Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) stock fell by more than 2.5 percent Tuesday afternoon following the company’s official announcement about the heavily rumored iPad Mini and several other redesigned and updated products.
Share prices, which rose steadily on Monday, started trading Tuesday below the previous day’s closing price of $634.03 and fell as low as $621.64 in late-morning trading. Shares continued to wobble below $630 in the lead-up to Tuesday’s announcement.
The stock rallied briefly during the beginning of the conference itself, particularly in the immediate lead-up to the iPad Mini announcement that Apple CEO Tim Cook began presenting around 10:40 a.m. PDT. Shares peaked briefly at $633.55 but plunged almost immediately after the new device was officially unveiled as low as $615.91.
Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple met expectations during the conference by announcing the new, smaller version of the iPad now officially known as the iPad Mini. At 7.9 inches and with a correspondingly smaller price tag, the device is the company’s first new hardware class introduced since it unveiled the original iPad in 2010.
Since that device was first released, the tablet marketplace has become increasingly crowded as competing hardware developers like Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN), Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Samsung (KRX: 005930) have undercut Apple with cheaper and smaller devices of their own. While Amazon's and Google’s comparative market share is still hard to assess since the former does not usually release sales numbers for its Kindle Fire tablet and the former’s Nexus 7 tablet was only released four months ago, the fact that a historically unblinking company like Apple may be interested in shrinking one of its own devices hints that even the world’s most valuable tech giant is feeling the pinch of competition.
Apple bucked expectations about the new price-point many analysts thought the company would try to establish for the iPad Mini, however, by announcing that it would sell the new tablet for a $329 starting price. A Wall Street Journal report Tuesday noted that many surveys of noted industry analysts predicted that the new tablet “would sell well if priced around $200 or $250.”
During Apple’s iPhone 5 announcements last month, the company’s stock jumped to $668.79, rising as high as $671.20 in the immediate aftermath of the smartphone’s triumphant debut.