iPad mini Will we ever see an upgrade to the iPad mini 4?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by saintforlife, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. saintforlife macrumors 65816

    Feb 25, 2011
    Or have we seen the last of the mini iPad? I love my mini 2 and have been wanting to upgrade for a while now, but the A8 chip in the mini 4, which is already 3 generations old, is what's putting me off.

    It will be a real shame if Apple decides to kill the iPad mini line.
  2. Aluminum213 macrumors 68040


    Mar 16, 2012
    We will sooner see an update to the iPod shuffle then we will for the iPad mini

    Apple is clearly just trying to do everything they can at this point to get rid of the stock of the item, I doubt they have actually manufactured a new iPad mini in a year
  3. psac, Oct 10, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017

    psac macrumors 6502a


    Jul 6, 2009
    That's completely false, with the change to the single size large memory mini 4, they're still churning them out for sure. Whether or not they come out with a new model is a completely different question. I'm still under the mindset of "probably not," but my gut feel would be about 25% likelihood, and not zero.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 10, 2017 ---
    From what I can find online, based on my serial number, my mini 4 128GB was manufactured in June 2017.
  4. iOSpecialist macrumors member


    Aug 7, 2016
    I’m hoping a mini will come out in 2018 with the design refresh.

    The iPad lineup actually makes sense now, so I think they’ll keep it like this.

    iPad Pro: 1 or 2 Gen old “X” chip (depending on what time of year it is) (A10X)
    iPad: 1 or 2 Gen old chip (A9)
    iPad mini: 3 or 4 Gen old chip (A8)

    So next year’s mini would have an A9, the iPad will have the A10, and the iPad Pro will have the A11X if they follow this pattern. Of course nothing’s for sure and this is just my guess.
  5. 007p, Oct 10, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017

    007p macrumors 6502a

    Mar 7, 2012
    I disagree, given the mini is not the cheapest iPad now, it doesn't make sense to have it have the oldest chip. Both the iPad 2017/8 and the new mini need to have A10 or there is no point. Personally I think they should do iPad 7.9" & 9.7" to bring it in line with the pro naming scheme and drop all this Mini X naming. Just have iPad and iPad Pro each with 2 different sizes.

    If they update it in 2018, giving the mini a 3 year old chip is crazy, we'd be right back in this spot in 11 months with iOS 12. The absolute last time they could give the mini an A9 upgrade was last month.

    I'll buy a mini with an A9 regardless, I just think they'd be crazy to do that in 2018.
  6. Cool Pup macrumors 6502a

    Cool Pup

    Jun 18, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    I'm a little more optimistic about its future than most, because they are probably extremely cheap to make and have a better cost-to-profit ratio than the larger iPads. Especially if they make them an intentional budget line (for them), and parlay those costs onto us ardent Mini supporters for older technology whilst still playing a premium price (in classic Apple fashion).

    I would suspect we would see at least another one, but it does seem a little grim right now. I think if they are still making SE-sized phones then they might keep the miniature tablet size as an option to purchase. Maybe every few years? I hope we get some word on the future of the line because as of now, the Mini 4 is still very capable. In a few years though? That will change.
  7. iheartcle macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2012
    So I bought a mini 4 the other day, mainly because it was on sale for $299, and I'm paranoid Apple will discontinue the mini, and supply and demand will increase the price of remaining minis.

    I bought the mini 1 on release day, I use the heck out of it, and the only issue is slow typing at times, and websites crashing at times. Granted this happens more than I would like, but I've gotten an unbelievable amount of use out of one device.

    I haven't even opened my 4 yet, I guess I'm curious to see what the market will be like for the mini in the coming years. I think I'm going to wait 30 days before I open it, in the off chance there is news from Apple by then. If Apple says, we are not abandoning the iPad mini, and it will be in production for years to come, I may return my 4. If apple next week says they are killing the mini, I will be so happy I got one on the cheap.

    My question is, does apple have a track record of when and how they discontinue devices? Does this normally happen at Apple events, or does it happen on a random Tuesday? I know one knows apple plans, but do we have any idea of when, how and if we hear about their plans?
  8. psac macrumors 6502a


    Jul 6, 2009
    It could be a combination. Sometimes a device just disappears from their website without an official notice. Other times at an event they'll announce their new lineup, and you can just infer what has been discontinued based on what is no longer listed. Although there has been exceptions, the iPad line has been spring event focused in recent years, so I really don't think anything will change with the Mini either way until then.
  9. IJBrekke macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2009
    Long Beach, CA
    You can still return it after opening and using. The only risk you'd be taking is potential breakage.
  10. Dave-Z macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2012
    Apple doesn't really announce the discontinuing at events. They typically just pull the product off their store/shelves. But the traditional iPods were around for years with few, if any, updates before being removed so the Mini should probably be around for awhile in its current iteration. (Though it suffers a bit more from needing iOS updates than the iPods so who knows.)

    Given all the iPad updates year and in light of the very few rumours about it, I would be incredibly surprised to see an update to the Mini in 2017. I think the best that can be hoped for is spring 2018.
  11. newellj macrumors 604

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    Whatever else is true, I very strongly doubt prices would rise on what is frankly a dated piece of hardware. That almost -never- happens. And even after Apple discontinues them, they will be available as good as new in the refurb store.
  12. iheartcle macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2012
    That all makes sense, I'm most likely going to keep the 4. I suppose I'm being slightly paranoid, and frugal. $299 is great value on a device that is perfect for my needs. I honestly have a weird devotion to my mini 1. I'm 36 years old, and it is easily my favorite tech item of all time.
  13. masotime macrumors 68020


    Jun 24, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    Email tcook@apple.com. Seriously. The more voices that reach him, the more likely something will happen
  14. Dave-Z macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2012
    I emailed him once and Apple Corporate actually called me a few days later to make sure my laptop repair was taken care of. Followed up through the whole replacement process. Quite impressive.
  15. subjonas macrumors 68000

    Feb 10, 2014
    It’s really hard to say.

    I think the iPad mini has unique compelling use cases over Apple’s other devices, and I would wager that the user base is big enough to make it worth Apple’s while to keep it around (at least updating it sparingly a la iPod Touch).

    However, it may not be financially strategic for Apple to do so, not because of lack of demand per se, but rather because of its hindrance on the direction Apple wants to go with their other, more favored devices—bigger, more powerful, more profitable iPads—likewise for iPhones.

    And with the mini reportedly being an afterthought (it is after all the only iOS device in Apple’s lineup that doesn’t have its own optimized version of iOS), it’s doubtful Apple would show any remorse in finding a good excuse to drop it from the lineup.

    But again, it’s hard to accurately predict its fate because there are a lot of assumptions being made, but in actuality a lot of unknowns—especially right now because the entire iPad line is in flux. A relatively new range of iPads in different sizes, performance tiers, and prices; with irregular and unestablished update cycles across the line.

    The iPod Touch went 3 years without an update, the longest of any iOS device so far. So even if the iPad mini isn’t updated this fall (2 years between updates) nor next spring (2.5 years), there is still precedent for it to continue on until next fall. Precedent will end if it doesn’t receive an update at that point. But even then, who really knows what Apple will do.

    All that to say, I don’t know. :D
  16. sorcery macrumors regular


    Mar 27, 2016
    Ring of Fire
    Am unaware of any market research indicating the majority will buy a big iPhone or iPad, if deprived of the Mini.
    I am sure you are probably correct, although I, for one, would eventually be obliged to buy an android replacement for the Mini. And I detest android, the prospect fills me with dread.
    But 8" is my travel essential for reading and messaging. Neither a 6" or 10" hacks it.
  17. subjonas macrumors 68000

    Feb 10, 2014
    I’m thinking more like if Apple wants to change the image of iPad from casual device to laptop replacement, and cater future iOS features for the bigger screen, they might see the mini as “getting in the way”. Hoping that’s not the case though. I agree, for an optimal casual tablet experience, nothing currently beats the mini.
  18. newellj macrumors 604

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    I don't know how relevant this is, but I was surprised earlier this year when I was restoring and cleaning up my two iPads, a Mini 4 and an Air 2, when I found that the firmware and backup files were identical. I had assumed that Apple would have had some tweaks that differentiated the two sizes in some way. If Apple sees them as functionally interchangeable, it is less surprising to me that the Mini gets so little attention from Apple. And, arguably, since Apple's marketing probably follows its engineering perspective, the Mini probably gets under-sold by Apple.
  19. subjonas macrumors 68000

    Feb 10, 2014
    Interesting. Not too surprising though. Just further shows that Apple really put minimal effort into the mini, not optimizing the software in any way.
  20. newellj macrumors 604

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    Yeah, that was always my guess and this was just another indication.
  21. Kal-037 macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2015
    Depends on the day, but usually I live all over.
    I see Apple releasing a new one every two years or so since their iPad 9.7” and Pros sell the best. I see Apple announcing a new one this Spring or next Fall.

    Possible (semi-logical Spec. upgrades)...

    DCI-P3 Display
    12mp 4K Camera and Video
    Touch ID 2
    7mp Front Facing Camera
    Quad Speakers
    A10 processor
    True Tone
    HDR Video
    600 Nit Brightness
    Apple Pencil Support
    *Maybe Pro-Motion
    *Maybe 120 Hz
    *Perhaps new screen size with smaller bezels similar to 10.5”

    Even if they don’t, I still love my mini 4, It’s so tiny, yet still a great size to do work on or watch a movie. :)

  22. onepoint macrumors 6502a


    Aug 3, 2010
    As long as Apple produces the 9.7 I think there’s a remote sliver of hope for the Mini, as they’re essentially rendering the same thing on-screen (only in a shrunken manner to us). If Apple goes all-in on 10.5 and 12.9 then the Mini dies. Again.

    Edit: my thoughts being they can create a mirror of the 2017 iPad (non-Pro) with similar internals and a mature assembly line, knock $50 off the price model-per-model, and not inconvenience developers etc.
  23. danny842003 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 6, 2017
    Why would a mini which sells in smaller numbers have a better cost to profit ratio than a normal iPad?

    Assuming a new mini would be launched with more sensible storage configurations than currently available.
  24. MistrSynistr macrumors 65816

    May 15, 2014
    This is so bizarre that these products don't all get the same internals. lol.

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