iPad mini The Future of the iPad mini

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Yebubbleman, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030


    May 20, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    The recent announcement of the iPad mini 3 was unarguably underwhelming.

    The iPad Air received a sizable overhaul in terms of specs and a slight design change, whereas the iPad mini remained virtually unchanged save for TouchID, support for AppleSIM, a slightly different shape of the rear camera, and lastly, a gold color option.

    A couple facts:

    1. This is the weakest update that the iPad mini product line has ever been given.

    2. The iPad mini was first introduced two years ago to combat a then-growing market of 7.0" to 8.4" tablets, which, today, seems to be shrinking in terms of popularity.

    3. The rise of 5.5" and larger Phablets appears to be successfully cannibalizing said market for 7.0 to 8.4" tablets.

    4. Case in point (for points 2 and 3) Google's current Nexus line-up; the Nexus 7 (Google's long-standing competitor to the iPad mini as well as the iPad mini's closest competition) was completely discontinued in favor of a Nexus line-up featuring a 5.9" Phablet and a 8.9" Tablet (more closely set to compete with the iPad Air 2 instead).

    5. Amazon appears to be putting most of their strength behind larger Kindle Fire tablets (rather than ones more close to the iPad mini's size).

    6. The iPhone 6 Plus has many features that would render owning an iPad mini pointless for most; plus it has several tech features (faster processor, better camera, 802.11ac, etc.) that Apple didn't give the iPad mini 3

    Given these observations, what do you guys think is in store for the iPad mini product line? What about the 7.0" to 8.4" tablet market at large?
  2. stretch80 macrumors regular


    Oct 30, 2012
    I sure hope they will continue making the Mini. I personally love the size. I'm probably one of the few that upgraded from Mini 2 to Mini 3. I was disappointed by the lack of spec upgrade but the size and Touch ID ultimately kept me a buyer. Hopefully next year they can make the specs a little closer to the Air's. Fingers crossed!
  3. RickTaylor macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2013
    Since it's been given a total of two updates, this isn't saying much. :)

    I don't really know, but I would hope even if we aren't in the majority, there are enough people like me who want a smaller tablet, and who would switch to some other manufacturer if Apple didn't offer the mini, that Apple will continue to offer the mini as a second tier device. Also, it's generally a good strategy to have a top tier device for those who are willing to pay top dollar for the latest tech, and a cheaper lower tier device to at least get some income from those who aren't, and the mini serves this strategy. While the upgrade to the mini 3, it was at least upgraded to Apple's latest technologies, touch id and the potential to take advantage of Apple Pay, which gives me some hope. And in my opinion the minimal upgrade this time needs to be balanced against the larger upgrade last time.
  4. jigzaw macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2012
    I'm probably not the best source of an opinion since I was never interested in a Mini and don't see myself ever wanting one. But as a fan of ios devices, I do find the argument that the 6 Plus will eat up the Mini market compelling.

    I have a 5S and am under contract til next year so I see myself getting a 6S Plus. After playing with the 6 Plus, I'm questioning even the need for a 9.7 inch ipad. That Plus is BIG. I also have an iPad 4 and am getting very tempted to upgrade to the Air 2, though thoughts of a potential Pro coming in only a few months are making me unsure about that move.

    All that blather was just to say that I'm not sure who the Mini will appeal to once the 6 and 6 Plus form factors become more of the norm amongst iPhone owners. The Mini is really not that much bigger than the 6 Plus and the 6 Plus has apparently a much better quality screen.
  5. Plutonius macrumors 604


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire, USA
    Apple will keep the mini at least 1+ generations behind the iPhone plus.

    In the fall of 2015, the mini will get an A8 when the iPhones get an A9.
  6. DSTOFEL macrumors 6502a

    Feb 11, 2011
    I owned the 2 previous versions of the Mini (original and Retina) and they were by far my most used Apple product (Mac's, Phones, etc...). However, that was when I also owned the iPhone 4S. This was a perfect combination for me at the time. The 4S was essentially just a phone with "emergency/on the go" internet/app functionality. The Mini's came out on the plane, in the Hotel room, etc... I preferred the smaller iPad because I mainly use it while traveling (for business each week) and valued the portability.

    Before the recent iPad refresh, I sold my R-Mini and bought a 6 Plus. At the time I was fully intending to buy the Mini 3 when announced. However, I decided against the Mini 3 after the dissappointing update. In the end, I replaced the Mini 2 with the Original Air.

    After having used the 6 Plus/Air combo now, I'm kind of glad Apple "nudged" me into the Air (admitadly kicking and screaming). For me, the 6 Plus and Mini are just too close to each other. I'm glad now Apple "essentially" took away the Mini as an option for me. I don't miss the portability of the Mini as much as I thought I would.

    I do think the the larger phones are taking sales away from the small tablet market and the market for small tablets will continue to shrink.
  7. Supermallet macrumors 65816


    Sep 19, 2014
    While I agree that the "improvements" in the Mini 3 aren't worth more than a $20 premium over the rMini, saying that this is the weakest update the line has ever seen makes it seem like the Mini got years of great updates and suddenly this one dropped the ball. The Mini received exactly one great update, from Mini 1 to rMini. There haven't been enough released of the Mini to suggest a pattern yet.
  8. AppleDApp macrumors 68020


    Jun 21, 2011
  9. RickTaylor macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2013
    The iPad mini has more than twice the screen real estate as that of the 6 plus, as well as a 4:3 rather than 16:9 aspect ratio. I expect the 6 plus will eat into mini sales (and maybe even Air sales), but there will still be enough people like me for whom the 6 plus is not a replacement for the mini for Apple to continue to support it, even if not as a top tier device. But if Apple ever does discontinue it, when I need a replacement, I'll shop around and see what Android has to offer.
  10. stretch80 macrumors regular


    Oct 30, 2012
    My feelings exactly. I have the 6 Plus and still love the Mini's size. I will continue buying the mini's as long as they keep making them.
  11. marcosscriven macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2006
    What often seems to be overlooked as well is that the mini has exactly the same res as the air- You see everything, just smaller.

    The iphone 6+ on the otherhand is device that's too large for many people to use as a phone, only shows a little more than the 6, and rather less than the mini.
  12. PowerBook-G5 macrumors 65816


    Jul 30, 2013
    The United States of America
    See, people (such as Apple) don't seem to realize that while a large-screened phone is good for many people all of the time, a smaller form factored tablet is equally important to some, including myself. There are some situations where a 6 Plus just CANNOT take the place of a Mini, like in class when taking notes, due to many schools/professors not allowing them in class. I was planning on buying a Mini 3, but with this red-headed Mini 2.5 "update", I'm just going to get an Air 2.
  13. goobot macrumors 603


    Jun 26, 2009
    long island NY
    If they release a 12.9 hybrid i would get that plus a mini, if they don't i will get the air 2.
  14. haruhiko macrumors 601


    Sep 29, 2009
    :eek::eek::eek::eek: Did you sell your old one?
  15. stretch80 macrumors regular


    Oct 30, 2012
    Yes I ended up selling the Mini 2 to someone. I like to update to the newest version each update :D
  16. jigzaw macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2012
    Are you waiting til March to make this decision.
  17. goobot macrumors 603


    Jun 26, 2009
    long island NY
    Yea, i don't really have the money at the moment to buy anything anyway.
  18. yinz macrumors 6502a

    Apr 12, 2012
    I think the iPad Mini will stay because the iPod touch is just not that relevant anymore. Everyone and their grandmothers have a smart phone. No one wants a small screen device without cellular connection. Even my 7 year old nephews have a smart phone. The iPad mini will stay as the entry level device while the iPod Touch will fade like the iPod Classic. The only reason why the iPod Touch is around is because it can be built off of iPhone scraps.

    The iPad Mini is a great entry level device at a pretty affordable price. It's great for kids and for the education industry. I don't see the iPad Mini going anywhere, although it'll soon fall into that niche market due to the supremacy of the iPhone 6+.

    The iPhone 6+ is just an overall better device being both tablet and phone in one device. It's small enough for hand bags, but large enough for sharing movies. It is NOT, however, an entry level device. This price difference will help the iPad Mini stay afloat.
  19. Wrathwitch macrumors 65816

    Dec 4, 2009
    Apple will keep the ipad mini to cannibalize the processors etc from the ipad air line before they release the new airs.

    Makes good financial sense.
  20. Shanghaichica macrumors G3


    Apr 8, 2013
    I thunk after a while you get used to having a big phone and find that you still want a tablet. When I first got the original galaxy note I thought it was going to be my tablet and phone rolled into one. After a while a knew I needed something bigger. When I've used note devices I've always had an ipad mini too.
  21. petvas macrumors 601


    Jul 20, 2006
    Mannheim, Germany
    What future? I don't think it has a very bright one. Phablets are definitely replacing mini tablets. You can find 6" Android phablets and people seem to like them.
  22. BMcCoy macrumors 68000


    Jun 24, 2010
    Predicting future market trends is a tricky business..

    The ipad mini is much cheaper than the iphone 6+, cheaper than the ipad Air, and offers a 326ppi screen (rMini2/3).

    I think it has its place, and will receive updates in coming years, forming part of apple's multiple size ios device lineup.
  23. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Its quite possible the IP6+ is going to eat into the Mini's market share. As it stands my rMini is still a better tool for some tasks over my iPhone, but that list shrank quite a bit with my purchase of the IP6+
  24. New Apple, Oct 30, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2014

    New Apple macrumors regular

    Mar 29, 2012

    Steve Jobs: 'no one's going to buy a big phone'

    as i said before

    anything bigger than the iphone 5s is not going to be nice (handy)
    apple just didnt like to sell the MINI at the current price
    in 1-2 years the mini will be back, up and running for the price of the current 6+

    that is what is wrong with the mini, too cheap (for apple's shareholder tastes).

    i read that apple 'cut' the mini because they dont see much love from us
    but then apple makes a phone close to the mini

    no sense.

    that is the very sweet spot, and they know it, otherwise there would be no six and six+
  25. ron7624 macrumors 68020


    Oct 14, 2011
    Houston, Texas area
    Yup, I'm with you on this one. It was a surprise when they matched the Air last year. I look forward to the bump the Mini will get next Fall. It will bring it up to the current Air spec, while the Air rises to new heights.
    I do love the size and convenience if the Mini.

Share This Page