Open thread: Does iPhone 6 Plus kill iPad mini, iPad Air sales?

We’ve just received an email that prompts an open thread to iPhone 6 Plus owners:

Dear MacDailyNews,

I own an iPad Air and an iPhone 6 Plus. I have not touched my iPad Air since my iPhone 6 Plus arrived.

I am a huge Apple fan and, through my business, I also have the ability to write-off my technology purchases. I am also an Apple shareholder. I’m a great example of someone who would concoct pretty much any reason to own both devices. However – and as an Apple shareholder, this is concerning – if I had an iPhone 6 Plus first, I would struggle to find a compelling reason to ever buy an iPad.

If, after just two weeks with my iPhone 6 Plus, I am struggling to find a reason, this bodes very, very poorly for Apple’s iPad Air – and near certain death for iPad mini. IBM had better do an excellent job of quickly moving iPad into the enterprise!

Now that I have my Plus and have used it extensively, it is very doubtful that I will ever buy another iPad unless or until there is a 12-inch iPad that weighs a 1.25 pounds (566 grams) or less.

Again, I am the very person most likely to buy both an iPhone 6 Plus and an iPad. I don’t see how people with different budgetary concerns (buying these devices with their own discretionary income) will ever buy both an iPhone 6 Plus and any iPad. At this point, from what I’ve experienced, every iPhone Plus that Apple sells very likely means no future iPad sale and almost certainly kills future iPad mini sales.


James W.

MacDailyNews Take: iPhone 6 Plus owners, do you agree? Does iPhone 6 Plus kill your need for an iPad mini and/or iPad Air?


    1. agreed…

      And also, iPhone 6 Plus is only 1/3 the size of iPad Mini.
      I do not enjoy lugging around a laptop or an iPad.

      iPad mini is a perfect size to carry and still do some sketching, photos, email, browsing, iMovie editing and yes – hell – yes some Pages, Numbers and Keynote type of work.

      The iPad mini, maybe popular with 6-12 year olds, that demographic jumps to 35-50 year old and beyond depending on need. If they ware glasses, its possible they prefer iPad for the larger real-estate.

      Lastly, the day Apple offers iPad mini with real phone technology as used in iPhone 6+, then ask me what is more useful?

  1. I have to disagree strongly. As big as the plus is, it isn’t big enough for all my iPad applications.

    My uses for the plus would be mainly games that make use of the gyro and reading novels. It is quite useless for magazines or any application using four and five finger gestures let alone the ten finger gestures made possible should Apple ever make an iOS dev larger than 9.7 inches.

    1. I bought the iPhone 6 Plus and am hoping to see an iPad Mini with Retina and Touch ID this month so I can upgrade my 1st gen mini. I got a 16 GB just to try it out. I use my iPad Air for work and my Mini for some web, email and reading. I def want a 32 Or 64 GB this time around. There is no better device than the Mini for casual reading. The iPad Air is still a bit bulky though not as heavy as it was while the Mini is about the same size as a paperback and even weighs about the same. I ENJOY my Mini more than the iPad Air but that’s a given since the Air is work while the Mini is casual. Totally different mindset for me depending on which device I pick up. And I don’t consider my phone for any of that. The phone is for maps and casual web on the go and a few apps. Again, different mindset.

  2. I have an iPhone 6 and an iPad Mini. I find myself using the iPhone 6 a lot more and the iPad Mini a lot less. There is one reason to get the iPad Mini or the iPad though, even if you have an iPhone 6 or an iPhone 6 Plus: to use as a cellular hotspot. You’ll get far more battery life as a hotspot on an iPad and you can turn the service on or off easily. If you get an iPad with a cellular carrier different from your iPhone, then you will have additional coverage with two different providers.

    Watching videos is better on an iPad as well.

    If you’re a college student and like Electronic Textbooks, then the iPad is the way to go as Electronic Textbooks often can’t be used on phones. My daughter tried to download an E-Textbook from Amazon onto her iPhone 5 and it wouldn’t download to the device as it said that it was incompatible.

    I do believe that there will be a cannibalization effect on iPads but I do think that there are use scenarios for the iPad.

  3. Short answer NO! The iPhone 6 Plus is still the minority phone size to the iPhone 6. In general most people are going to carry phones that are below 5″. Also note that the iPhone 6 Plus does not run iPad apps. For those who want that size, well maybe they want one device to rule them all and the iPhone 6 Plus fits that perfectly, especially in the Asian markets where this is to be true. For me I am an iPhone 6 user, along with an iPad mini and MacBook Pro Retina 15″ computer. I use all three and all three have their purpose. I think the iPhone 6 Plus for MOST is a burden for mobility, so I don’t think this is going to be an issue, but this isn’t a concern for Apple anyway. The iPhone is killing off the iPods. The MacBook Pros are killing off the Desktops. Nothing new.

    1. re: Jay – I use an iPod Nano for running as I couldn’t run comfortably with a phone in my pocket and I don’t care to use those armband-devices. iPods are still useful for some use scenarios.

      1. Oh yeah always a use case for having it, but the iPods are not selling at the numbers they once were. I think the bigger concern is with the iTunes Music Store and getting people to value music and movies again. Streaming services in music is really burning down the assets to nothing, instead they need to be innovating that business model. It is rather sad to see that industry to continue to fall further and further.

  4. I am in a very similar position to the writer. I am a share holder and also own a multitude of Apple devices, including an iPad Air and an iPhone 6 Plus. While your point is well taken, the difference in size between the 6 plus and the Air is still dramatic. I am still constantly using my iPad Air. The difference is that when I am out and about, and can’t carry an iPad with me, I get a much better user experience with the 6 plus than I did with my 5. I still love my Air though. I think the Mini could feel the pinch though from the 6 plus. As far as being a shareholder, don’t forget that the profit margins on the iPhone 6 and especially 6 plus are far better than on the iPad Mini. This should me a win on the bottom line for the company and in turn the price of our shares.

  5. To a point. IPhones can be subsidized, not so much for iPads. I’ll probably get a 6s+ next year instead of buying both an iPhone and an iPad. The initial cost Will be over $1000 less, especially when you factor in AppleCare.

  6. I love my iPhone 6 Plus and I my iPad Mini, but I acknowledge that I am likely to soon prove to be the exception. Plus owners will probably see no need for the Mini, but the Air is different. Fundamentally, these devices are the same, but screen area is still a key differentiator: long document typing is better on any iPad, as is, at least for a meaningful number of people, watching shows or movies.

    Be that as it may, I fully believe it is important for Apple to add at least one or two more key features that are exclusive to the iPad line. Phones, tablets and desktop devices fit into a Venn diagram reasonably well at this time, with the tablet in the middle, but leaning a bit to the left circle, where the phones are. Positioning the tablet perfectly in the center with such differentiating features seems inevitable, but wholly necessary at this point.

  7. I’ve been wanting a mini for quite some time. When the 6 plus was announced, I canceled my plans to get one and ordered that instead. Hasn’t arrived yet, but I don’t see myself in the iPad market anymore. Just my own experience.

  8. Not sure yet, as my Plus is yet to arrive from China for another week. But my thoughts are as follows. Own both A7 iPads from last year. I just read the A8 iPads will have 2GB of system RAM, Touch ID, NFC Apple Pay, 802.11ac. That would inspire me to buy the A8 iPad mini Retina but not the A8 Air. I use the A7 Air almost exclusively for Viggle which I’m addicted to. But I reach for my A7 mini Retina all the time for watching my 6 Plus UPS tracking. 😜 You might be right.

    But I’m curious about what positive impact 2GB of system RAM might have on the mini Retina’s performance. And I do think the 802.11ac might be the key spec to get me to also buy the A8 Air. I have bought every ATT maxed out iPad and iPhone (except the original) to date including both the 64 and the 128 iPad 4. So I am obsessive compulsive when it comes to iOS device ownership. Atypical.

    If Phil can pitch ’em we’ll enough next Thursday, I’ll probably continue my insane purchase habit. I have nothing else to do with my money. Will return to this thread in November to let you know what happened after I got my 6 Plus and Phil gave it his best shot.

  9. I have both and use both an iPhone 6+ and an iPad mini.
    I do not want to read on an iPhone and if I am doing something which takes a significant amount of time I use the iPad not the iPhone.
    I need both.

  10. I’m in the exact same situation as James W. I haven’t used my iPad mini since I got my iPhone 6 Plus. I also have a full sized iPad that I haven’t used either. I’m thinking of selling all of my iPad (I have older ones) and if there’s a larger iPad, I might get that. I’d like to have a large iPad just for movies (maybe games).

    The iPad mini was a great work-horse, but it totally overlaps with the iPhone 6 Plus for my use.

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    2. scott31270,

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