“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.”
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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?