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(Pocket-lint) - Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller has defended the price of the iPad mini, claiming that it makes buying an iPad "even more affordable".

The iPad mini was launched during the Apple Special Event 2012 in San Jose, USA, on Tuesday 23 October. It ticked almost all the boxes fans and eager consumers wanted. Some were slightly disappointed that it didn't feature a Retina display - although, because of its size, the 1024 x 768 resolution equates to 163 pixels per inch (ppi). But almost all were disappointed by Apple's pricing of the new device.

Starting at £269 in the UK ($329 in the States), it is more than £100 more expensive than its competitors, including the Google Nexus 7, Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Barnes & Noble Nook HD. However, Schiller is not concerned.

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"Others have tried to make tablets smaller than the iPad and they've failed miserably," he said in his presentation at the event. "These are not great experiences."

He was also keen to emphasise that the iPad mini is a 7.9-inch device, not a 7-inch.

Schiller also believes that, as the cheapest iPad yet, the seemingly hefty price tag won't put people off, especially when faced with the competition.

"The iPad is far and away the most successful product in its category. The most affordable product we've made so far was $399 and people were choosing that over those devices," he told Reuters.

"And now you can get a device that's even more affordable at $329 in this great new form, and I think a lot of customers are going to be very excited about that."

What do you think of the pricing for the iPad mini? Is Apple right in keeping it priced as a premium product? Let us know in the comments below...

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 16 April 2013.