Vincent Messina, Cult of Android (emphasis mine):
For Apple consumers, there’s simply no reason other than form factor to choose the Mini over any of the other iPads Apple has to offer.
The only thing the iPod Mini had going for it was its smaller thinner form factor. It went on to become the best-selling iPod.
The iPad Mini does a different job than the iPad 2, the iPod Touch, and the iPhone. What that job is has yet to be seen. I’d put my chips on casual reading as a major selling point, but then most reviewers thought the original iPad would be mainly used for content consumption, like watching video.
One thing is for sure: if they’re releasing it this month, you can be damn sure that Apple has at least some idea of what that job will be. And rather than watch Amazon and Samsung disrupt the iPad, Apple is willing to disrupt itself. The similarity with the iPad 2’s pricing is no mistake: the Mini will lure in customers who might buy an iPad 2 or 3 when they get a chance to play with it.
And if it takes sales away from the more expensive tablets, great! Apple is better off if anyone who would rather spend less for a smaller tablet ends up buying an iPad Mini instead of being wooed by a Galaxy Tab or a Microsoft Surface. Welcome to Disruption Theory 101.
I can’t wait to get one.