CNNMoney: Apple’s new iPad mini with Retina display is now the most important iPad

“Sure, Apple introduced a thinner, lighter, faster iPad Air on Tuesday,” CNNMoney opines. “But the updated iPad mini was the star of the show.”

“The new eight-inch iPad mini now matches the larger iPad Air in processor power, screen resolution and battery life. It runs all the same apps,” CNNMoney writes. “But the iPad mini has two things that make it more attractive to many consumers than the iPad Air: It’s easier to handle, and it’s $100 cheaper.”

“By putting the smaller iPad mini on level ground with the iPad Air, Apple tacitly announced that it is focusing its tablet strategy on the iPad mini. Despite all the marketing theatrics surrounding the iPad Air, make no mistake about it: the iPad mini is THE iPad now,” CNNMoney writes. “Looking forward, the upgraded iPad mini should be the better selling iPad. Unless you have a real, tangible need for the extra real estate on your tablet screen, there’s no real reason to buy the iPad Air.”

CNNMoney writes, “That’s not to say that the iPad Air will fade into total obscurity. Creative types, professionals in specialized fields, and road warriors still hell bent on using their iPad as a laptop will find utility in the iPad Air. But for anyone who is primarily looking for a media consumption device, the iPad mini is more than game.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Our poll, while admittedly skewed by a tech knowledgeable sample, begs to differ with 64% currently choosing the 9.7-inch iPad Air over the 7.9-inch iPad mini (36%).


  1. While my spouse prefers the mini, I’m sticking with the full size model. As a retired person, I live with the iPad daily. It’s not a casual quick use sort of device for me, but a full replacement from trekking up to the office for day to day use.

    I now don’t hang out at my iMac except when I need a lot more real estate, and to move windows around the Desktop.

    I do wish it had the new Touch ID, but I understand it’ll take a while for production to ramp up for that part, so saving those parts for the iPhone makes sense for now.

    1. iPad Air is twice faster in graphics than iPad mini Retina.

      So if you are avid gamer, or professional who uses 3D medical applications or Autocad viewer, then iPad Air is much better.

      (In graphics iPad Air is twice faster than iPad 4, which has A6X SoC. iPhone 5S is twice faster than iPhone 5, which has A6. iPhone 5S is as fast as iPad 4, which has A6X. Hence iPad Air has version of A7 which is twice faster in graphics than A7 in iPhones 5s/iPad mini Retina.)

        1. It is impossible for iPad mini Retina and iPad Air to be of equal graphic speed, because iPad Air is twice faster than iPad 4, and iPhone 5s equals iPad 4 in graphic speed. Hence A7 which is in iPad Air is twice faster than A7 in iPhone 5s/iPad mini Retina. It is just mathematics, there could be no opinions about it.

          1. You are incorrect sir. iPhone 5S has the same A7 as Retina iPad mini and iPad Air. It’s pushing the same number of pixels in both new iPads. They are identical in performance as long as they are both running the same speed TBD.

            1. I can not be incorrect, as mathematics is indisputable.

              The number of pixels pushed is unrelated, because A5X pushes the same number of pixels and yet it was four times slower than iPad Air.

            2. @ DeRS: I’m afraid you may be incorrect.

              The A7 chipsets in the 2013 iPad Mini Retina and the iPad Air are identical. But reports indicate the A7 chip is _NOT_ identical to the A7 chipset in an iPhone 5s. As in the past, the phones and the tablets are slightly different. I believe a teardown will reveal that the ipads get an “A7X” chip qweaked for higher speeds than the phone chips (for obvious reasons: more heat dissipation and more battery on board). Recall that the A6X chip was clocked at 1400 MHz for iPads while the A6 chip in the iPhone 5 and 5c is 1300MHz.

              Only testing will confirm, but given the fact that the A7X chipsets in all the latest Retina iPads are INDENTICAL and both the 7.9″ and the 9.7″ screens have IDENTICAL number of pixels, then the graphics performance of the iPad Mini and the Air will be practically IDENTICAL.

              Let us know when you’ve done an actual test rather than armchair mathematics based on faulty assumptions.

            1. It is amazing that so many can not grasp elementary school mathematics.

              Apple A6X does 76 GFLOPS, as well as regular A7 (check AnandTech’s iPhone 5s review).

              Apple says that iPad Air = 2x iPad (A6X) in graphics.

              This means that version of A7 for iPad Air is 2x comparing to regular A7.

        1. Perfect logic: you saw it yourself: iPad Air is twice faster in graphics than iPad 4. iPhone 5S is twice faster than iPhone 5 (A6 SoC). iPad 4 (A6X) is twice faster than iPhone 5 (A6).

          Can you follow?

          1. The A6X in the iPad 4 (I own two) is not twice as fast as the iPhone 5 (I own one). It’s about the same. There’s no longer the need for a specialized iPad processor because the A7 graphics engines are powerful enough to drive iPad retina displays without enhancement. Both New iPads are simply twice as fast as iPad 4 and four times faster than the original iPad mini.

            1. How is it “the same”?

              You might want to check the difference between A6 and A6X. The latter is twice faster in graphics. (As well as A5X was twice faster in graphics than A5.)

        1. There is nothing in specifications that tells they are the same speed.

          Again, follow me:

          1) iPad Air is twice faster than iPad 4 in graphics, according to Apple;

          2) iPad 4 is twice faster than iPhone 5 (A6X versus A6);

          3) iPhone 5S is twice faster than iPhone 5.

          Elementary school mathematics.

          1. DeRS, I thought we were comparing CURRENT iPad Retina models.

            Your logic is faulty first and foremost because you haven’t even looked under the hood. Until you get your hands on a new iPad, it would do you a lot of good to reference Geekbench benchmarks. That will tell you the different performances of the different iOS chipsets.

            1. Where the logic is faulty?

              How iPad Air can be the same in graphics if it is twice faster than iPad 4, and iPhone 5s with regular A7 is only as fast as iPad 4?

      1. @DeRS,

        Are you trolling? Because it sounds like you’re trolling.

        You’re saying that in terms of graphics:
        iPad Air = 2X iPad 4
        iPhone 5S = 2X iPhone 5
        iPhone 5S = iPad 4
        Therefore: iPad Air is 2X iPad mini Retina

        Do you see the part before the “Therefore”? You’re not relating the iPad mini Retina to anything. It’s like saying A = B, therefore C. You need to relate C to either A or B.

        As mentioned by others, the iPad mini Retina has the same published specs as the iPad Air. The unpublished specs may reveal differences (such as RAM) that may make one faster than the other, but until they can be benchmarked or other specs are revealed that show differences, I don’t see how you can point to one being faster than the other.

        1. A7 Air = 2x regular A7 AND A7 in iPad mini Retina is the same as in iPhone 5s.

          This is because Apple showed the slide that said iPad mini Retina is 4 times faster than regular iPad mini, which has A5.

          A6 = 2 * A5
          A7 = 2 * A6
          => A7 in iPad mini Retina in terms of graphics is the same as in iPhone 5s (Apple says it is twice faster than previous iPhone 5, which has A6 SoC)

          1. My bad: Apple said 4x about CPU, and 8x about graphics; you were right on this.

            This means that A7 for both iPad retinas — big and small — are the same, twice faster in graphics than A7 for iPhone 5s (iPads have bigger batteries and more pixels so they needed faster version of A7).

            My main point, though, was that A7 has two versions, not one, despite dropping “X” suffix.

            1. That’s funny, because in your first post, you wrote, in bold, and as your first sentence/paragraph: “iPad Air is twice faster in graphics than iPad mini Retina.”

              And then continued with replying to others with “There is nothing in specifications that tells they are the same speed.” in comparing the iPad mini Retina with the iPad Air.

            2. There is nothing in specifications that tells they are the same speed, that is true. Because Apple’s label for A7 for iPhone 5s is the same as for A7 for iPads, even though the latter twice faster in graphics. You can not use direct specifications to discern various versions of A7.

              As to iPad Air and iPad mini Retina difference I explained above, how it came. What is funny exactly?

            3. @DeRS,
              “What is funny exactly?”

              Your math, and your obstinance from the beginning of the thread.

              Again, this started with you proclaiming “iPad Air is twice faster in graphics than iPad mini Retina.”

              You used faulty math to support this claim, and did so repeatedly…even to the point of demeaning others by calling it “elementary school mathematics” and negating others with “the math is indisputable”.

              When finally confronted on your faulty math, you then admit you were wrong, but change the premise of your argument.

              But do keep going, you’re giving me a good laugh.

            4. What is the problem with the mathematics, exactly?

              If you have read to what you reply to you know that the reason why I have got iPad mini Retina graphic speed wrong is because I referenced to wrong slide from Apple’s presentation (4x speed boost for for CPU, not for GPU, which was 8x).

              Nothing to do with mathematics.

    2. The iPad mini may be my next iPad. Bought 5 iPads so far. Grand kids have the first 2 now and the 3rd was a 70th birthday gift for my mom. I may get the mini and AirPlay to my AppleTV when I need the bigger screen.

      1. Me too, my iPad 3 is sufficient for the 9.7″ size and it would be nice to have the smaller option too, mostly while traveling. My wife will appreciate the smaller size too. Hope I’ll be able to secure one for her for Christmas.

  2. Good to have choice. But I think the bigger one is optimised for adults HI-wise, while the Mini is perfect for kids (with shaper eyes and smaller hands). (I have the prev. model Mini)

  3. While the new iPad Mini Retina is an all-around value winner, personally, I’m not ready to trade larger screen targets for of my iPd 3 for higher pixel density.

    I might now be convinced to by the original iPad Mini though at $300. If I had no iPad the new Mini Retina would be my experimental choice.

  4. I use my iPad most often sitting a stand siting on a table. I would actually like a larger one for that scenario. If Apple released rumored 11″-13″ model I would be looking to buy one of those AND a mini. But for now I think it will be the 9.7″.
    The base mini is too expensive in Canada anyhow, almost $500 with tax which is plain ridiculous.

  5. What this author has completely neglected is the significant thinness and weight advantage the iPad Air has over all other full-size tablets. That alone will make it much more desirable.

    I don’t doubt the iPad mini will outsell the IPad Air, but not because it is better. It’s less expensive, and many young people may prefer the mini for gaming and easier portability.

  6. Both the iPad mini w/ Retina and the new iPad Air are great values. Lots of up selling potential when placed alongside the original iPad Mini and the iPad 2.
    Apple definitely knows wtf they’re doing.

    I’m getting the new iPad Mini myself. 32 gigs.

  7. I still don’t understand the iPad 2 and how Apple can justify the price for a device that is so much lower spec wise and is 3 generations back, Priced the same as the iPad Mini with retina. It should be at least $50 cheaper to have some separation.

  8. Really!???
    Then , using the same logic why not an iphone 5s .. Even smaller and easier to handle.

    The differentiating aspect if the ipad is the screen real estate and image size !
    I cant wait for an 11 inch version !

  9. I think people underrate the mini. Watch and see the numbers when it goes on sale. I also think a lot of people were waiting for the retina display. This is not to say the iPad Air won’t be a big hit, anybody want to buy a iPad 3 retina? I would upgrade both, although the mini is the defacto goto iPad now. 🙂

  10. I’m so glad the iPad mini isn’t being positioned as a cheap iPad. I have a Nexus 7 and that thing is a cheap piece of garbage. I’m getting a 128GB mini Retina with WiFi/LTE!

    The only problem I see for Apple in regards to this is that I don’t see how they can significantly improve on it next year.

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