Will there be an iPad mini (7.9") pro?

Mad Mac Maniac

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Original poster
I doubt the 7.9" iPad will ever get the "pro" moniker (that's a whole other story about what really makes a "Pro", what happens to the Air line, etc...), but do you think Apple will release the "pro" features on the next iPad mini? Mainly talking about Smart connector and Pencil support. I think the other "pro" features of the speakers, true-tone and A9 processor are simply the natural evolution of the platform.

I could see the pencil being pretty useful on such a portable "sketchbook".

Smart connector would be interesting. 3rd parties aren't really taking advantage of it yet, but I could see a lot of potential. On that note, do you think it's possible for Apple (or someone) to create a smart keyboard for the iPad mini that actually wraps around the entire device? So it folds out to a full sized keyboard and provides complete protection when closed.
 

Night Spring

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Jul 17, 2008
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I think smart connector and true tone would make it into the next iteration of the mini size iPad. Pencil support seems iffy, as that strikes me as the factor that caused Apple to raise the price of the base 9.7 model. Maybe eventually, once the costs of Pencil support technology comes down to allow Apple to include that without raising the price. And the thing that strikes me as least likely to be included are 4 speakers. The mini is so small that it seems hard to find space for 4 speakers, and the benefits from that would appear to be minimal, as there isn't enough space between the speakers to create sound separation.
 

temna

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May 5, 2008
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You think the Pencil is what raised the price of the 9.7 Pro, and not the other features, including the bumps in storage?
 

Night Spring

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Jul 17, 2008
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You think the Pencil is what raised the price of the 9.7 Pro, and not the other features, including the bumps in storage?
Bumps in storage... maybe.I think of that more as a little extra thrown in to justify the price increase. I think Pencil support counts for the bulk of the price increase.
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I would think that whatever the cost of implementing pencil support in the mini would be offset by the additional pencil sales
If that were the case, why not keep the 9.7 starting at $500?
 

Mad Mac Maniac

macrumors 601
Original poster
If that were the case, why not keep the 9.7 starting at $500?
Honestly, I think they should have... I can't imagine the 9.7 pro costing Apple much more than all the previous iPads, iPad sales have been plummeting for years, and they can recoup any extra cost through more pencil and smart keyboard sales. I really do think it's a bad move.

The most likely reason in my mind is that they simply believe that the overall value of the new pro with the extra functionality would be worth an additional price. Kind of like the sum of the parts being worth more than the parts by themselves. It just almost feels like Apple feels like the product matured in such a significant way that they could offer it for more.
 

Night Spring

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Jul 17, 2008
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Honestly, I think they should have... I can't imagine the 9.7 pro costing Apple much more than all the previous iPads, iPad sales have been plummeting for years, and they can recoup any extra cost through more pencil and smart keyboard sales. I really do think it's a bad move.

The most likely reason in my mind is that they simply believe that the overall value of the new pro with the extra functionality would be worth an additional price. Kind of like the sum of the parts being worth more than the parts by themselves. It just almost feels like Apple feels like the product matured in such a significant way that they could offer it for more.
I can kind of see the sum of all parts being worth more than the parts by themselves. But I don't think Apple can be assured of recouping the cost of Pencil support technology through the sale of the Pencil, because not everyone buys a Pencil.

So if Apple sells the base model for $500, and half the people who buy the base model also bought the Pencil, then Apple gets an average of $550 per unit.

But the base model is $600, so if half the people buy the Pencil, Apple gets an average of $650 a unit.

But say only 10% bought the Pencil. Apple only gets $510 a unit. But since the base model is sold for $600, they get $610 a unit. By raising the base price to $600, Apple gets at least $600 whether or not anyone buys a Pencil. Apple probably makes a good profit if they can get $550 a unit, but $510 a unit is probably cutting the margins too thin for comfort. So in order to avoid that possibility, they raised the base price.
 
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bodonnell202

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Jan 5, 2016
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That's a good question and one I've been wondering about myself. I suspect there will be an update this fall which will include the A9 processor (possibly with slightly higher clock speeds than in the iPhone 6s). Hard to say what other features would be included. True tone seems quite possible. Maybe Pencil support? Don't know about much else, I can't really see Apple promoting the mini as a "Pro" device.
 

FairyCatInPink

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Nov 23, 2015
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I've heard it's possible on next iPhone(plus size maybe) will support Apple Pencil, if it's gonna be true, then probably mini will do too.
I don't know if next mini will be called "pro" though.
True tone coming on mini sounds more possibility, since many people use that device to read Ebooks and articles too.
I don't think having 4 speakers happen on mini, since that size is just too small to fit 4 speakers, and there are still other things have to be fit in, and possibly those things more important.
 

Booji

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Nov 17, 2011
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A mini with Pencil capabilities and Smart keyboard would make it the ultimate note-taking device
 

PatriotInvasion

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Jul 18, 2010
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I'm fine if it doesn't get "Pro" features like Smart Keyboard or Pencil support considering those devices are better suited for the bigger displays, but True Tone would be really nice. People lose faith in the mini but it's really a great device if you just want a very thin and light couch web surfing, Apple Newsing, emailing, imessaging, photo viewing iPad that is better at those things than an iPhone.

I've realized I don't want my iPad to replace my Mac (or PC as Apple is pushing with the Pro line). I love my Mac and want it to be a Mac and my iPad to be an iPad. To me, the iPad has always been a somewhat luxury device that is enjoyable between those two things and the mini is a great price to size/performance ratio for a lot of people.
 
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TheRealAlex

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Sep 2, 2015
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I doubt the 7.9" iPad will ever get the "pro" moniker (that's a whole other story about what really makes a "Pro", what happens to the Air line, etc...), but do you think Apple will release the "pro" features on the next iPad mini? Mainly talking about Smart connector and Pencil support. I think the other "pro" features of the speakers, true-tone and A9 processor are simply the natural evolution of the platform.

I could see the pencil being pretty useful on such a portable "sketchbook".

Smart connector would be interesting. 3rd parties aren't really taking advantage of it yet, but I could see a lot of potential. On that note, do you think it's possible for Apple (or someone) to create a smart keyboard for the iPad mini that actually wraps around the entire device? So it folds out to a full sized keyboard and provides complete protection when closed.

A mini Pro why Not ?

My 5.7 Note 5 has a Stylus built right into it. And at 5.7 inches it can do Split Screen, no problem Other tablets at 8.0 inches has Stylus and are fun to use.

Why would Apple turn down such a business opportunity to have an iPad Mini Pro and sell the remaining Minis at a discount.

Everything is getting the Pro brand iPad Pro, iPhone Pro, MacBook Pro. etc.

an iPad Mini Pro. ?

Maybe an A9X CPU, 2GB DDR4 RAM, Apple pencil support, Smart connector (can be used for other things besides keyboards) True Tone Display. Quad Speakers.

32GB $499 iPad Mini Pro
32GB $599 iPad Pro 9.7
XXGB $799 iPad Pro 12.9
 

Mad Mac Maniac

macrumors 601
Original poster
...
So if Apple sells the base model for $500, and half the people who buy the base model also bought the Pencil, then Apple gets an average of $550 per unit.

But the base model is $600, so if half the people buy the Pencil, Apple gets an average of $650 a unit.

...
Sure, I understand that Apple will make more profit per iPad sold when they increase the price, but I'm thinking...

1) how much more cost for apple is associated with the newest iPad? If it is truly is more, I'm guessing it's only about 10 bucks more (I reserve the right to be way off from this), which hardly warrants a $100 increase

2) In my mind, the more important thing isn't to create a more expensive product, but to reverse the downward sales trend. iPad sales are about half of what they once were. If Apple could sell twice as many iPads for $500 than they would for $600, then they'd be sitting pretty. Mathematically, Apple would only need to sell 20% more at the lower cost to break even from a revenue standpoint (not taking into account pencil sales).

I know that Apple has a lot of smart people that get paid a lot more than I do to figure out sales trends/variability based on price and other factors and ultimately determined they'd be able to make more money at the higher cost, but I guess the consumer bias part of me thinks of Jeff Goldblum's quote from Jurassic Park "[they] were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should." I know Apple's duty is to maximize profits and not keep products as low as they can get away with... Honestly I think a big part of their sale vs price analysis included the factor that the iPad Air 2 will still be available for $400. They don't anticipate losing a sale; either the sale will upgrade to the $600 iPad or downgrade to $400. But for me, if I ever upgrade my iPad (which honestly I'm not convinced I will) I don't think I'd ever go for one without the smart connector.
 

PortableLover

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Apr 14, 2012
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I don't think it will recieve smart connector, maybe not even pencil. They may just update this september with a A10/A9 and with the same screen tech used in the 9.7 pro. The only disappointing thing about the mini at the moment is that it has a slower processor then the 6S/6S Plus. It would be nice for apple to update it with current gen specs. In fact i think we could hopefully see this having the same tech as the 9.7 pro, without the 'PRO' features
 

sonicrobby

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Apr 24, 2013
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The "pro" suffix feels like a gimmick to me; an afford to make a new splash and reflect it as significantly different. It has some good features, but essentially if you aren't a graphic artist, the pro doesn't offer anything the other iPads didn't. Regardless, I do think the next generation mini (if there even is one) would likely have the stylus support, but I'm not sure about the smart connector. They may do it for consistency, but I can't see an effective 7.9" keyboard case.
 

Serban

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Jan 8, 2013
5,160
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0% chances for pro mini
the apple smart keyboard too small for this one
apple pencil no use for taking notes or drawing on such small real estate screen. apple always want yoy to have good experience
 

sracer

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Apr 9, 2010
8,361
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Prescott Valley, AZ
The "pro" suffix feels like a gimmick to me; an afford to make a new splash and reflect it as significantly different. It has some good features, but essentially if you aren't a graphic artist, the pro doesn't offer anything the other iPads didn't. Regardless, I do think the next generation mini (if there even is one) would likely have the stylus support, but I'm not sure about the smart connector. They may do it for consistency, but I can't see an effective 7.9" keyboard case.
I can. I can see Apple producing an ASK for the mini that not only flips up but folds out to provide a keyboard that is at least as large as the keyboard on the 9.7 ASK.

The "Pro" suffix is nothing more than the successor to the "Air" suffix. It helps to differentiate the hardware differences (smart connector, Pencil support)from previous generations/models.

In spite of many comments to the contrary, I said with great confidence that the Pencil would come down to the 9.7 form-factor... it did. I'm now saying that the Pro features will come to the 7.9 form-factor. ;)
 

Night Spring

macrumors G5
Jul 17, 2008
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1) how much more cost for apple is associated with the newest iPad? If it is truly is more, I'm guessing it's only about 10 bucks more (I reserve the right to be way off from this), which hardly warrants a $100 increase

2) In my mind, the more important thing isn't to create a more expensive product, but to reverse the downward sales trend. iPad sales are about half of what they once were. If Apple could sell twice as many iPads for $500 than they would for $600, then they'd be sitting pretty. Mathematically, Apple would only need to sell 20% more at the lower cost to break even from a revenue standpoint (not taking into account pencil sales).
(1) I think the new screen technology to support the Pencil is costing Apple way more than $10 a unit, but of course, we are both just making guesses off the top of our heads.

(2) I don't think selling a larger number of iPads should necessarily be the priority. I think that iPads sold so much initially because it was a new product category that many people wanted. Now everyone who wants one already has one, and most are hanging onto their model for 3-4 years, some even longer. Someone who's satisfied with their current iPad isn't going to run out to get a new one because the new model was $500 instead of $600. In the meanwhile, to someone who is planning to keep the iPad for 3-4 years, a $100 difference over 3-4 years isn't going to be much of a deterrent in buying one. So I think the priority should be in offering a solid, feature-rich product, rather than cutting corners to lower the price in the hopes of selling more units.
 

Mad Mac Maniac

macrumors 601
Original poster
I can. I can see Apple producing an ASK for the mini that not only flips up but folds out to provide a keyboard that is at least as large as the keyboard on the 9.7 ASK.

The "Pro" suffix is nothing more than the successor to the "Air" suffix. It helps to differentiate the hardware differences (smart connector, Pencil support)from previous generations/models.
Yes, I think a fold out keyboard on the mini would be an interesting proposition, as I alluded to in my OP. If it's possible to even wrap around the device like a case when closed, and then open up to a full sized keyboard. Have there been any keyboards that do anything like this at all?

Yeah, I'm sort of confused by the new naming convention. Will the Air drop completely and leave us with iPad mini (7.9), iPad Pro (9.7) and iPad Pro (12.9)? Will we have iPad Pro 2 (9.7)? If "Pro" means smart connector and pencil then will Apple continue to upgrade the Air line at a $400 price point just leaving off those 2 features? I honestly think Apple kinda screwed the pooch by changing the Air name (or at least need to be more clear about what it means going forward). Name differential by size makes sense. Should be iPad mini, iPad Air, and iPad Pro without version numbers. Let the tech community make up "5th gen" or "2016 version" if they want as is done with every Mac (and iPod) they've ever sold. I'm actually ok with the iPhone numbering, but it just doesn't feel right on the iPad.
 

Leo90

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Sep 15, 2014
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Of course there will be a Mini Pro, but it will be called just 7.9 inch Pro.
 

rhinosrcool

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Sep 5, 2009
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Of course there will be a Mini Pro, but it will be called just 7.9 inch Pro.
I agree. The mini is plenty big for Apple Pencil. Most of these objections are the same used before the 9.7 Pro was released. Yes, the keyboard will be small, but it will still sell.
 

joeblow7777

macrumors 603
Sep 7, 2010
5,971
6,763
0% chances for pro mini
the apple smart keyboard too small for this one
apple pencil no use for taking notes or drawing on such small real estate screen. apple always want yoy to have good experience
How is the Mini too small for the Pencil when phones like the Galaxy Note have made use of a stylus for years? The Mini is actually sized quite similarly to many physical notebooks, designed to fit comfortably in the palm of one hand while you write with the other. I actually think it's the best sized iPad for taking notes while standing/working, like in a lab or field notes. And there have also been Bluetooth keyboards for the Mini for years.
 
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