iPad mini What do you think Apple is doing with the iPad mini this Fall?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Yebubbleman, Sep 2, 2015.

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What do you think Apple will do with the iPad mini this fall?

Poll closed Nov 2, 2015.
  1. Do nothing; they'll continue to sell the iPad mini 3 and 2 for another year

    2 vote(s)
    5.7%
  2. They'll keep the mini 3, discontinue the mini 2, but not introduce nothing new

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. They'll introduce the iPad mini 4 as rumored, discontinue the mini 2 and sell the mini 3 for low-end

    33 vote(s)
    94.3%
  4. They'll discontinue all iPad minis

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #1
    Personally, I don't know. I really don't think the iPad mini product line is long for this world, but I also don't have any compelling reasons to suggest that it's going away as soon as this next round of iPad updates. Next year, I could picture a discontinuation at the worst. This year, I honestly couldn't say what I think will happen. What say you?

    Before you comment, let's review some of the facts:

    - Last year: (a) Google discontinued the Nexus 7, the iPad mini's chief competitor product in favor of a 9" tablet and a 6" phablet, and (b) Apple only gave the iPad mini a gold color option, TouchID, AppleSIM capability on cellular models, while leaving the design otherwise untouched (save for a slightly different camera bezel). The Air 2, on the other hand, got literally every possible upgrade it could have.

    - The Mini tablet (7.0" to 8.4") market is in the process of being cannibalized by Phablets such as the Galaxy Note and the iPhone Plus series of phones. This is shifting the focus that was once had on the smaller tablets back to the larger tablets and now Phablets as well.

    - Apple is rumored to announce one final iPad mini (iPad mini 4) which catches up with the iPad Air 2 in terms of features and design changes before they cull the iPad mini product line altogether. However this rumor has been contradicted before.

    So, I ask you, don't tell me what you WANT to see Apple do here. Tell me, with facts and honest reasoning, what you THINK Apple will do here.

    Again, opinions and desires are useless to this discussion. I can assume that you're an iPad mini fan just like I am and we don't need to go into how it's the best thing for you since sliced bread. Looking for insight, not opinions. /rant

    Anyway, what do you think Apple will do regarding the iPad mini this fall?
     
  2. Newtons Apple macrumors Pentium

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #2
    They will upgrade the mini, ipad Air and introduce the iPad Pro and Apple TV.
     
  3. Cool Pup macrumors 6502a

    Cool Pup

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    #3
    Definitely the Mini 4 with specs similar to the iPad Air 2, except maybe with a lesser-quality camera. But, I wouldn't be shocked if it's just an iPad Air 2 in a smaller form.
     
  4. iMacmatician macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    #4
    I think we will see an A8-based iPad mini 4 with 2 GB RAM and a similar thickness to the iPad Air 2.

    Given the iPad mini 4's expected release timeframe, we have two reasonable process types:
    • 20 nm
    • 14/16 nm.
    I think 20 nm is more likely than 14/16 nm due to the latter supposedly being much more expensive than the former. Apple might not want to use a relatively costly chip on their cheapest (current generation) tablet. A 20 nm process leaves four possibilities for the SoC itself:
    1. A8
    2. ~1.5 GHz A8X
    3. Lower clocked (e.g. 1.2 GHz) A8X
    4. Some kind of new chip.
    An A8X may be too power-hungry and possibly too expensive for an iPad mini-sized device (apparently real-world battery life on the Air 2 is slightly lower than on the Air 1?), so I don't think that's likely. I think that it would make sense for the chip in possibility 4 to be less powerful than the A8X because the iPad Air 2 is rumored to not get updated this year and I doubt Apple would let the mini be more powerful than the Air. I think the same reasoning applies to the technology (so no PowerVR Series 7XT, for example). Furthermore, I think it would be between the A8 and A8X in performance and not close to either. Otherwise, Apple could just use the A8 or A8X instead, plus the A7 of the iPad mini 3 acts as a lower bound in performance. I'm not convinced that there's room in practice for a 20 nm chip between the A8 and A8X. Apple would presumably be using such a chip in midrange devices (e.g. iPad mini, hypothetical iPhone "6C") since I expect the higher-end to move to A9-series SoCs starting from this month, and I think that Apple would rather use the A8 instead and save on the development time and costs.

    So that leaves 1 and 3 as potentially likely options. Out of those two my guess is the A8 because I think it will still have a cost and power advantage.
     
  5. rkuo macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2010
    #5
    Or Apple could just do an simple A9 upgrade to the iPad Air and not make a big deal of it at the announcement. Seems reasonable.
     
  6. newellj macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    Boston, MA, US
    #6
    Agree on 1, 3 and 4 but the rumors increasingly point to a no answer on the Air 3. But rumors are rumors...
     
  7. Newtons Apple macrumors Pentium

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #7
    I would be more than glad to see a new iPad Air with the A9
     
  8. The Game 161 macrumors G5

    The Game 161

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Basically a smaller iPad Air 2

    Don't expect a new air this year
     
  9. akimoriRyuuji macrumors regular

    akimoriRyuuji

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2015
    #9
    I'm just glad I got my iPad Mini 2 when I did. It would be terrible if they stopped selling them. I find the iPad Air (2) to be wayyyyy too big. If I get something with that screen size, might as well just use my Macbook instead.
     
  10. nj-morris macrumors 68000

    nj-morris

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    I didn't see an option for introducing a Mini 4 and keeping the Mini 3 and Mini 2, because this is honestly the most likely scenario. They'll keep the Mini 3 at $299 and $349, and the Mini 2 at $249, like they did with the original Mini until recently. They'll also keep the three Airs.
    Regarding discontinuation, I really don't see it happening because the Mini runs full tablet apps, which phablets lack. Lots of people use the Mini because it's more portable and cheaper than the full-sized iPad, and offers the full iPad experience. The Nexus 7 was discontinued because it was a mess. It arguably wasn't even a tablet, more a big phone. And the only ones claiming that the Mini will be discontinued are Economic Daily news, who are by no means a reliable source.
     
  11. akimoriRyuuji macrumors regular

    akimoriRyuuji

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2015
    #11
    Good point, if the Mini 1 is still in stores, why would they drop the Mini 2? But honestly, they might as well just drop the Air 1 and Mini 1. And if they have to drop the Mini 2, they should just make the Mini 3 the same price. Because there's no difference other than the home button and new colors.
     
  12. newellj macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2014
    Location:
    Boston, MA, US
    #12
    There was a considerable hardware difference between the Mini 1 and the Mini 2. The only hardware difference between the 2 and the 3 is the TouchID sensor. Whether that makes it more or less likely that Apple would keep both the Mini 2 and the Mini 3 in the lineup is anyone's guess. On the one hand, there isn't much hardware difference so the price difference doesn't need to be very great and the feature difference is minimal. On the other hand, the incremental cost of keeping the Mini 2 going should be modest.
     
  13. zacheryjensen macrumors 6502a

    zacheryjensen

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    #13
    I'd be more surprised at the mini being dropped from the lineup than the Air. If the iPad Pro is a real thing... well, we can only go by our own experiences and dubious data, but, my own experience says the regular sized iPad has become a sort of no-man's land for size. Everyone I know either hates it for being too big and is soooo much happier with the mini, even if they are power users. Then there are the rest who generally like their iPad (and have had the same one for years) but wish it was bigger.

    I would not be surprised at all if eventually there is iPad Mini and iPad Pro sizes only. That said, I think it's more realistic to keep 3 around at least for a while, particularly since Apple's still trying to figure out the upgrade frequency on this. I'm thinking they will stop annual major updates to both Mini and Air and in fact already have. So this year I expect a notable improvement to the Mini, probably mostly in terms of size and weight. It feels heavier than the Air 2 now. But I do not expect any updates to the Air 2, not even a model bump.
     
  14. nj-morris macrumors 68000

    nj-morris

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    I love my iPad Air 2 because it's small enough to take it with me around the house or on trips, and big enough to do work, browse the web and watch videos with ease. Of course, the Mini would be better at the former and the Pro would be better at the latter, but I would much rather have both in one package. This is why I don't see the Air going anywhere.
     

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