I always had the feeling that Apple was very cautious when they designed the iPad Mini. Non-retina screen. A5 (at the time iPhone 5 had A6 for year, and A6X in new iPad 4). including the same video driver (PowerVR SGX543MP2),exactly the iPad 2 SoC Basically a shrunken iPad 2 with some minor updates to audio . With the strong Steve legacy of 9.7" being the "perfect size" I suspect there was strong reluctance in Apple to make a smaller model unsure of how the market will react to it. To that end, Apple decided to make an easier to made shrunken iPad 2. Consider: iPad 2 was released March 2011. (Kindle Fire Nov 2011) iPad 3 was released March 2012. iPad mini (and 4) came out October 2012. It may be that Apple was thinking about a smaller iPad 2 soon after it came out. -or- In response to the surprising sales success of Kindle Fire at the end of 2011 Apple was looking to make a competing 7" class product as fast as possible (while not taking away valuable manpower off flagship iPad 3. I am making an assumption that it takes a year for each new product to produce, despite the size.). Discuss.