Jonathan Geller at BGR posted this morning that Apple will soon be phasing out the iPad Mini form factor. This comes as a little bit of a surprise to me since the Mini 4 just got a memory bump when the new iPad was released. This effectively brought the price of the device down, at least in terms of value. We have also had on again and off again rumors of a Mini Pro with a Smart Connector and Apple Pencil support over the past three months.
However, it has also been rumored that the Mini is lagging far behind its larger siblings in sales over the last two to three years. This makes sense, as the size of smartphones have greatly increased and cut into the Mini’s territory. Without the features of a Pro model, the Mini seems to be stuck in no-man’s land when it comes to marketing. It’s too close to modern smartphones in size and severely under-powered in comparison with either current iPad Pro model. Add in the fact that the new iPad, which is closer to the Mini 4 in terms of specs, is actually cheaper at a larger size, and you can see that this was make or break time for the Mini form factor. According to Mr Geller, it looks like it might be break, as he is the most connected source to weigh in on the situation to this point.
I know this news of the Mini fading away will be unwelcome for many of our readers. Several of you responded in two posts earlier this year (found here and here) discussing size preferences of iPads, and what models everyone hoped to see coming up. I know we are only a small slice of the Apple pie, but I was surprised at how many of you still had a preference, in some cases a strong preference, for the iPad Mini. Several of you had hopes of seeing a Mini Pro this year, and the possibilities of such a portable device with Pencil compatibility. However, I think today’s news is a strong indication that it won’t happen.
Mr Geller did say that it isn’t clear whether Apple would kill the Mini outright, or would just allow it to fade out like the old iPod Classic and other such devices. I think the latter is more likely, given the fact that Apple just made a change to the Mini 4 less than two full months ago. Still, if sales of the Mini are as poor as some have let on, then the Mini will probably get a lot less runway on its way out than the old Classic did. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the Mini continue on until the holidays with some blowout pricing to move as many units as possible. However, I have my doubts that any iPad Mini model will be available by February of next year. If that is the case, then fair thee well iPad Mini. You have served many of us, myself included, very well.
Are you still an iPad Mini user or fan? If so, are you surprised to hear that the Mini could be on its way out, or is this what you’ve been expecting? Let us know in the Comments below, on Flipboard, on our Facebook page, or on Twitter @iPadInsightBlog.