Why Apple’s 7.9-inch iPad mini has no future

“In 2012, Apple introduced the iPad Mini, likely in an attempt to fend off the swarm of Android-based tablets that came with screens measuring between 7 and 8 inches along the diagonal,” Ashraf Eassa writes for The Motley Fool. “The product category was successful for a brief time, but over the last several years, small-screen tablets have fallen out of favor with consumers as smartphone screens have gotten bigger.”

“Apple hasn’t updated the iPad Mini since the introduction of the iPad mini 4 in September 2015,” Eassa writes. “At this point, I think it’s safe to say that the iPad mini product category is, for all intents and purposes, finished.”

“My guess is that Apple will continue selling the iPad mini 4 until Apple stops supporting devices powered by the A8 processor (the chip that powers the iPad Mini 4) in new releases of its iOS operating system,” Eassa writes. “Over those few years, I expect sales of the iPad Mini 4 to continue to decline (something that should be helped along by a lack of price cuts on the device) until demand is nearly nonexistent. At that point, Apple would likely dump all remaining inventory for fire sale prices and ultimately discontinue the iPad Mini product category altogether.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The the entry-level 9.7-inch iPad being so affordable and with iPhone set to go up to 6.5-inch displays, iPad mini has lost it’s raison d’être. Of course there are fringe uses, but they’re very likely not profitable enough to justify continuing development of a dead end product category.

SEE ALSO:
Apple’s 7.9-inch iPad mini might be dead – October 17, 2017
Wired reviews Apple’s new iPad: Offers plenty for just $329 – May 8, 2017
The Daily Express reviews Apple’s new iPad: ‘World’s greatest tablet just got more affordable’ – April 22, 2017
Macworld reviews iPad (2017): With a stripped-down iPad for $329, you may not need to go pro – April 10, 2017
Ars Technica reviews Apple’s $329 iPad: ‘For people who have never upgraded’ – April 6, 2017
It’s just plain old iPad, and it’s cheap – starting at just $329! – April 3, 2017

Apple’s new iPad is actually more than ‘just’ an iPad Air – March 30, 2017
Apple unveils new 9.7-inch iPad starting at new low price of just $329 – March 21, 2017

18 Comments

  1. I use my Mini 4 every night in bed. My X’s screen is too small for serious reading. A 9 inch iPad is, for me, a little too big. Maybe it is my age/ eyesight/ personal preference, but I do enjoy the Mini’s size. It is just right. I hope there is an Mini 5!

    1. the size/portability is another plus to me….but I don’t like/use a big screen iPhone, so I can see where its “not profitable enough to justify continuing development of a dead end product category.”

  2. I think it’s larger than MDN writer is suggesting here, but sure, smaller than the 10inch ones. Nevertheless there are some people that think this serves them best. To paraphrase one of the guys on MacBreak Weekly, when you’re the sole purveyor of the machines in this ecosystem you really should fill all your users needs and perhaps make some things which might not entirely help your bottom line much.

  3. Love my second-generation Mini!

    Perfect size to be an e-book reader, it fits in my lunchbox which keeps it secure. Prop it up on my desk, and it’s great for watching streaming ballgames or movies.

    I do have a full-size iPad as well, but the Mini is the one that goes places with me.

  4. Hope this doesn’t happen. I have owned the mini and the larger ones and given the
    Choice would never consider the larger ones. At present I have three mini 4’s. It would
    be nice if they would offer an updated one.

  5. If Apple would have kept the iPad mini up to date they could have done much better. Let me make calls from it and tether it to my Apple Watch with LTE and I will never buy another iPhone.

  6. Definitely room for a 199-249 iPad mini 5C in a plastic case

    For children it’s the best, make it drop resistant and we have a winner for the low end market

    The other iPads will be fine, this will only hurt Android!

    1. Yeah, it is the ideal size for kids.

      I work part time at Target in the electronics department, and we probably sell a dozen Kindle Fire tablets a week in the 7 and 8 inch sizes. Amazon has models that come already fitted with bump cases in kid colors. Huge sellers this past holiday season. We couldn’t keep them in stock.

  7. I believe the market for the mini is larger than Apple thinks. Like a previous commenter said, it is the perfect in between the iphone and larger ipad. And perfect at work to take a restroom break and catch up..I’d be first in line if Apple would update the internals, as the A8 is really slow compared to my IP X.

    1. Agree. I have friends who don’t want large phones and the mini is the ‘right’ size for them. If large iPhones replace the mini Apple will likely lose a significant portion of the user base that would like smaller tablet devices that do not include phone capabilities they won’t be using and thus are reluctant to pay for.

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