All iPads Growing Gap Between Air and Mini

Discussion in 'iPad' started by quamsi, Oct 26, 2014.

  1. quamsi macrumors regular

    Nov 18, 2013
    Forgive me if this post is redundant. I feel I need to get this out, so please bear with me.

    A year ago I decided to switch from Android to Apple. Like so many others here, I agonized over the newly released Air and the rMini. Aside from the gamut issue, the only real deciding factor was based on size. I started out with the Air, but within a few weeks replaced it with a rMini. I am a self-employed professional and the tablet was intended for both home and secular tasks. In the end the rMini was the perfect fit as it became apparent how important the added portability was. I gave Apple kudos for meeting all my needs without sacrificing quality. And the childish part of me was satisfied with not feeling my device was somehow inferior from those around me wielding their Airs. For a year I was a happy Apple convert and was looking forward to a lasting relationship with this brand.

    My disappointment was palpable when I learned that going forward, Apple would put me in the frustrating position of making a decision based on convenience versus innovation. In stunting the Mini in order to place the Air alone in the premium category, Apple decided that those seeking smaller tablets were not seeking innovation. Mini buyers were wrongly assumed to be solely the budget conscious or parents buying for children. This error puts many people, including many professionals, in the uncomfortable decision of even continuing with this brand for future purchases. Added to that, many long-time customers have hundreds if not thousands of dollars invested into Apple's environment making the move near impossible.

    To beg the question, if Apple is insisting larger is "premium", what will eventually happen with the standard and plus size iPhones? Will there become a gap in innovation with these devices as well? You would surely assume not, but then, why with the iPads?

    Apple absolutely has the know-how and the resources to create two "premium" devices- one for each tablet size. Why they chose to stunt the Mini boggles my mind. I hope that next year we will see the gap close, but I am not at all confident this will happen. It's a really disappointing move and one I wish I had seen coming. Perhaps I wouldn't have been so quick to jump on the Apple bandwagon.

    Thanks for letting me get that out. :eek: :rolleyes:
  2. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    The A7 is more than fast enough for any apps today, or for the next two years still.

    The mini 2 is not noticeably stunted, except to spreadsheet worshiping nerds who need to brag they have the fastest cpu.

    There is more space for 'innovation' in larger form factors, this is sinply reality...
  3. quamsi, Oct 26, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014

    quamsi thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 18, 2013
    Oh, don't misunderstand, I am not saying the A7 is not fast enough for most apps today or for the next two years. I AM saying that it is unnecessary to add improvements to one tablet and not to the other. Improvements are necessary for buyers, regardless of the degree. For example, in my field of work I am using my iPad outside a lot. The addition of laminate to the glass would have really helped the glare. I also have a job that requires several browser tabs to be open and compared. This is impossible on my tablet so I work this job from my laptop. The addition of ram would allow me to do this job with my rMini.

    The only party benefiting from stunting the Mini is Apple. It does nobody good to insist that it doesn't matter if certain devices do not receive upgrades as it depends on the usage of the device and the person using it.

    Perhaps instead of having 5 different tablet choices they could have an Air "Premium" and Air "Home Edition" alongside a Mini "Premium" and Mini "Home Edition".
  4. haruhiko macrumors 601


    Sep 29, 2009
    Last year Apple put the same internals to the mini, with a price tag $100 below that of the Air. Apparently, the only thing better for the Air than the mini is colour accuracy. It has the same config, cheaper, more portable, lighter, I guess this had a strong negative effect to the iPad's ASP and profit margin. Therefore Apple has to widen the gap again this year. I think Apple wanted to put the same internals of the Air to the mini with the same price tag, but I don't think they can really raise the price tag so much.
  5. quamsi thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 18, 2013
    See, to many people larger in itself is an upgrade. Larger = more screen real estate = better. The $100 price difference last year made sense. A larger tablet would reasonably cost more than a smaller one. Larger iPhone = costlier.
  6. Max Payne macrumors 6502a

    Oct 27, 2006
    Brisbane, Australia
    I agree.

    I was planning to buy an iPad air 2 and 2 iPad mini 3. Apple messed up the mini's update so I bought iPad mini 2 and save loads of money. They arrived 5 minutes ago. The air is a beauty.
  7. Wrathwitch macrumors 65816

    Dec 4, 2009
    It all comes down to profit. Apple doesn't care what you or I think.

    It's nice to imagine that the tripe they feed us during the keynotes (which I watch religiously) is actually true but in reality their first concern is profit everything else is secondary.

    There are plenty of articles out there about the speculation that Apple is more concerned with their version of aesthetics than about practical user experience.

    For me iOS7 was a perfect example. Their idea of clean and tidy share, forward etc icons is absolute garbage. There is nothing wrong with keeping an arrow key that indicates forward which matches almost every other email or share type application out there.

    I suspect that with the iPhone 6+ they feel that the mini is going to be phased out or they will simply use it to cannibalize the chipsets from current models and use them in the "new ipad minis" when they update the chipsets for the current iPad airs.

    Just my opinion but I do believe there is some logic in what I have written. Companies don't care about people, they care about money.
  8. 12vElectronics macrumors 68040


    Jul 19, 2013
    Just because the air has better specs, doesn't mean the mini is garbage. People tend to think that if it doesn't have the latest cpu or the most ram that it's not worth anything. Quite the contrary.
  9. Johnny907 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2014
    Agree with OP, and many reviewers such as those at The Verge: save your money and just get a Mini 2nd Gen. What's the point of getting the new one? A hundred bucks more buys you what, Touch ID? BFD. With the Air versus the Air 2, that additional hundred bucks gets you faster wifi, faster LTE in the case of cellular models, a much faster processor and double the RAM, and a brand new screen that is noticeably better. Why they treated the Mini 3 like an afterthought in this refresh cycle is puzzling, but it makes the decision of which one to get easy.
  10. quamsi thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 18, 2013
    Who on this thread said anything about the mini being "garbage"? :rolleyes:
  11. JoEw macrumors 68000


    Nov 29, 2009
    100% costumer sat made apple assume they could do minimal updates and keep a high sat while also dropping the price of the 100% sat product 100 dollars.

    Basically Apple garners a wider margin on the people who do buy either mini now, since there has been an entire year for the price to go down while at the same time making the higher margin iPad Air 2 to be an attractive buy for people who are having trouble deciding between the 2.

    From a business perspective it made sense, 100% sat = no need to update right away.

    Next year? We will likely see more notable update to the mini series and iPad Mini retina will take the place of the non-retina mini.

    In a non-business driven world the mini and the air would have received equal treatment... but it did not since at the end of the day, margins are the factor in deciding specs.

    Expect a mini next year with an improved color gamut and the next display method and thinner/lighter.

    Oh and the 400 dollar or ($340 apple refurb) iPad air is a steal.
  12. 12vElectronics macrumors 68040


    Jul 19, 2013

    Just speaking in general. People seem to believe that if the device doesn't have the latest and greatest specs, that it's worthless.
  13. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    I think that is a big part of the problem -- this perception that larger is better. I think the cost differential to produce iPad mini and Air with the same internals is probably less than $100, but because of this perception, Apple felt they had to price the mini a $100 less than the Air. Thus, Apple was making less profit for each mini sold than for each Air sold. And this year, they decided not to do that any more.

    I think what they should do is make the mini and the Air with the same specs other than screen size, and sell the mini at $50 less than the Air. But no, they didn't do that. I can kind of see why they would do what they did, though I don't agree with their decision.
  14. Ledgem macrumors 65816


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    Serious question: what is "fast enough"? quamsi said that he (or she) uses their iPad professionally. So do I. I can tell you that I could do with more speed than even the iPad Air 2 offers.

    The trouble is that Apple dabbles in professional markets but they're clearly a consumer-oriented company with little allegiance to the business sector. That's just a fact that quamsi and I need to accept. Doesn't mean we can't try to make our opinions heard though :)
  15. justinTlME macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2014
    Apple did this intentionally so people so slowly start making their way back to the full size iPad where they make more profits.

    I love my retina mini and thought I would always be on the mini bandwagon, but that I know (feel confident in) that apple is going to keep the mini as the nerfed iPad I will be going back to Air size.

    I'm actually considering buying the iPad Air 2 this week and just keeping my retina mini as an extra iPad. I'll take it to work and travel, and just leave the larger one for home use etc. When my wife and I have kids it can also serve as the road trip movie iPad.
  16. bidwalj macrumors 65816

    Feb 16, 2007
    Let see what happens when the pro comes out. Maybe the Mini gets a new form factor at that time along with the pro. No one knows what apples plan is going forward.
  17. iPadDad, Oct 26, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014

    iPadDad macrumors 6502


    Sep 8, 2014
    I understand where you are comming from, you love your rmini and use it allot so naturally you want it to have the best available features in terms of hardware.

    Just remember the iPad Mini & iPad Air/2 are two very different devices, I believe the mini is geared more towards consumption and where as the iPad Air/2 is moving more towards productivity. Naturally you can be productive on the mini, but when it comes to more demanding tasks, I.e creating presentations, letters, adverts and spreadsheets the screen size on the iPad Air/2 makes it allot easier.

    Look at the amount of businesses both small and large, using iPad, it's a ton, and growing fast.

    I think what you need, is an iPad Air 2!
  18. dbdynsty25 macrumors regular

    Nov 9, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    Last I checked...there is a pretty big gap between the 6 and 6+...most notably the inclusion of iOS in the camera which is something I find to be a necessity in my phone I carry everywhere. Not quite the gap between the Air 2 and Mini 2/3 but still an important difference.
  19. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    That difference is important only to people who use the camera, which not everyone does. The difference in CPU or the screen, however, affects everyone who uses the device, because you can't use the device without using the CPU and the screen. Therefore, I just can't agree that the difference in cameras in iPhone 6 and 6+ is anywhere near as important as the differences between iPad Air 2 and mini 3.
  20. Defender2010 macrumors 68030


    Jun 6, 2010
    It's probably more of a supply chain issue. The iPhone 5S is still being made and sold with the A7 chip, which the new iPad Mini uses also. All the A8 and A8X chips are being used by new products which are high in demand (well, the iPhone's are) so they are probably using A7 as they have excess chips before production of it winds down. Or not, just a thought.
  21. haruhiko macrumors 601


    Sep 29, 2009
    The iPhone 5s, iPad Air 1 and iPad mini 2 all were released in late 2013 with the same A7 chip.
  22. Nozuka macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2012
    exactly what i did. the mini 2 is so cheap now, that i wouldnt have a problem upgrading it every few years.
  23. Menel macrumors 603


    Aug 4, 2011
    But at that time, they alao relaunched the 5C using the A6 to eat up old supply lines.
  24. mr.bee macrumors 6502a


    May 24, 2007
    Brussels, belgium
    That's what I think. Every A8 put in a mini is a loss vs an A8 put in an iphone.

    On the other hand, the mini receives a lot of respect from it's customers (100% SAT), so I believe there was enough price elasticity to create a premium mini.
  25. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    Its strictly motivated by profit margins. They'll update it next year when their margin goals permit.

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