Critics and pundits far and wide were quick to complain about the pricing of Apple's iPad mini, which starts at $329. Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu told clients on Thursday that we've seen this happen over and over again with Apple product launches, but that customers will choose iPad mini because Apple's products are the "easiest and funnest to use" and are still affordable.
"All this has happened before, and all this will happen again." It's a line from Battlestar Galactica (that was borrowed from religions and mythologies from around the world), and it's a theme Mr. Wu argued that could be applied to Apple.
In his research note, which was obtained by The Mac Observer, Mr. Wu wrote, "When you're a company like AAPL who has had such big and unexpected success over the past decade, the bar is set especially high, almost to a double standard."
"For this reason," he added, "we are not surprised to see lukewarm reviews on pretty much every product refresh over the past few years. There is always something to complain about when one is looking for something wrong."
Customers, however, have proven each and every time that the critics are missing the big picture, that "AAPL's products are still by far the easiest and funnest to use with price points that most find reasonable. We believe this has been instrumental in helping driving greater than expected sales each time."
The analyst said that the iPad mini's price point of US$329 will drive sales of the device because it will be compared not to the $199 Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HD, but to Apple's iPad with Retina Display at $499 and even the, "the arguably overpriced $599 MSFT Surface tablet with touch keyboard."
In the end, he said, "We believe iPad mini is positioned to do better than expectations similar to what we have seen in the past with iPod mini and iPod nano, both products that were also ironically viewed as overpriced."
He repeated his mantra that Apple's iPad mini is "the competition's worst nightmare," something he first voiced before the device was announced. He also reiterated his "Buy" rating and a price target of $840.
Shares of AAPL closed slightly higher on Thursday, ending the session at $596.54, up $1.22 (+0.20 percent), on light volume of 12.9 million shares trading hands.
Image made with help from Shutterstock.
*In the interest of full disclosure, the author holds a tiny, almost insignificant share in AAPL stock that was not an influence in the creation of this article.