Why Apple’s next iPad mini should be better and launch sooner than next October

“Yes, it’s true: the iPad mini 3 is basically just an iPad mini 2 with Touch ID and a gold color option. However, it’s not hard to understand why Apple doesn’t seem to care about this particular product category,” Ashraf Eassa writes for The Motley Fool. “Apple has stated on previous earnings calls that the iPad mini carries lower-than-corporate gross margins. Further, according to Localytics (via MacRumors), iPad mini 2 share of total iPad device share was just 5% — lower than even the original iPad at the time of publication.”

“It’s clear that the iPad mini 2 failed to sell in high enough volumes for Apple to justify more aggressively developing the line, and that’s probably why customers saw such a lackluster iPad mini 3 this year,” Eassa writes. “That said, a recent report from Mac Fan (via MacRumors) suggests that the next generation iPad mini, referred to in the report as the iPad mini 4, could be the iPad mini that customers have been looking for.”

“According to the report, the new iPad mini 4 will feature the A8X processor found inside of today’s iPad Air 2,” Eassa writes. “This would strongly suggest that Apple will move to 2GB of memory in the iPad mini 4, as it did with the iPad Air 2 this year… Given that the iPad mini 3 probably isn’t going to do all that well either, I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple were to replace it much sooner — just as it did with the iPad 3, which was replaced just months after its introduction by the iPad 4.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Why would Apple even bother further developing a product that could, at its best and most-equal incarnation, with feature and spec parity (notwithstanding display size), only take 5% of the mix?


  1. iPad mini isn’t dying. It’s an Apple TV remote/video game peripheral/video gaming device/e-reader/video player for the back of your carseat/video player for a couple kids/not to mention calendaring book. It’s a more convenient and portable iPad that even fits in your back jeans pocket, I must say.

  2. Answer to mdn ..
    Becouse it represents a complete line and selection for the consumer.
    And does not send them away to the competition if they prefer that size.
    Makes apple and apple line solid !

    ( Ps, why do a mac pro ?)

  3. Why not sacrifice some profit and price it a little closer to SamDung/Google similar sized models and get more tablet users into the Apple eco system? Drop it to $299 and see the volume.

    1. That’s simply not a good option for Apple. Do you think they actually NEED to be competitive with Android hardware pricing. You should realize that the Android pricing strategy is a failure. Apple needs to distance themselves away from that sort of competition. All Samsung/Google will do is lower their prices even further. Apple only needs to keep building better and better products and those who can afford them will see they’re worth the price. It’s only Wall Street that believes cheaper is the best way for any company to operate. If a company doesn’t have good enough products then they may need to lower their prices. Apple is clearly not suffering from selling higher-priced products. I’m talking about taking the whole product line-up into consideration and not just one particular product.

      I’ve said that Apple could have loss leader products but I no longer see it that way. My new opinion is to keep all hardware priced as usual but use content as a loss leader. I believe if consumers can get plenty of cheaper content on a platform, they’ll be willing to pay a premium for the hardware. At least I would like it that way. If the product lasts a long time, I’ll eventually make the hardware cost up in content.

  4. Those numbers are dubious at best. There is no way that the iPad mini only accounted for 5% of iPad sales prior to the October updates. I see people using them all the time. I’m sure they’re lower margin for Apple, but they’re not a 5% sales niche by any stretch.

    1. I agree. Five percent doesn’t sound anywhere close to being accurate. Someone’s being creative with their source data.

      I see many minis around, and my spouse even switched from the full size iPad when it came out.

      That said, I was also disappointed when Apple failed to upgrade it this cycle, except for the Touch ID.

  5. Maybe it is just my personal habits but I love my mini – more than the full size iPad. I don’t want the iPhone 6+ because it is too big and even the new iPad Air is just a bit too big to be comfortable. The mini is the perfect size for me do everything I want on a tablet. The (non) update was a real disappointment. I had my cash in hand on announcement day, ready to rabidly search for a new mini. At the end of the day, I put it back in my pocket.

  6. My iPad mini was my favorite iOS device of all time, until the iPad mini Retina which was my favorite until the iPhone 6 Plus. I haven’t used my iPad mini Retina since. I have used my full sized iPad, but very rarely.

    That said, it seems like the iPad mini has a position for a lower end iPad, mostly for kids. My niece and nephew love it.

  7. The iPad air got a big update this year, the mini got a big update last year and will get the big update next year. Simples. Another no brainer is the Pro (not Maxi, Silly J Billy!). It will boost iPad category ‘awareness’ for another bracket of buyers / users. I think Apple knows what it is doing better than its watchers.

  8. Your Take is a bit lame and hypocritical, MDN. Even just 5% of the iPad market is substantial. I thought that market share did not matter!

    If the availability of the iPad mini diverts even just a modest percentage of people from purchasing a small Android tablet, then Apple should maintain the iPad mini in its lineup. After all, someone who purchases an iPad mini today just might buy an iMac or iPhone next year. And these same people will be purchasing content and services for their iPad mini in the meantime movies, music, apps, and Music Match, etc. As long as the iPad mini is even modestly profitable, why kill it off and allow Android to capture and indoctrinate users into its ecosystem?

    The fact that the larger 9.7″ iPad still dominates iPad sales does confirm Apple’s/Job’s original stance on tablets, in general. The larger size has more utility and more people prefer it.

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