Following Apple’s October 16th event, we posted about why the iPad mini 3 received little to no updates while the iPad Air 2 completely changed. One theory was because the iPad mini no longer has a place in the market with the iPhone 6 Plus (5.5″ display) and the iPad Air (9.7″ display.) Apple won’t be able to make the iPhone any larger without cutting into iPad mini (7.9″ display) sales. A new report by Taiwan’s Economic Daily says that Apple may be looking to discontinue the iPad mini as early as next year.
In addition to the screen size of the iPhone 6 Plus, the report claims that Apple is considering this decision because of declining iPad sales and “fierce competition” in the market. The iPhone 6 Plus costs $749 for the 16GB model on a 2-year contract while the 16GB iPad mini 3 is $399. A price difference of $350 is huge in terms of profits for Apple. The customer who buys an iPhone will likely upgrade to the newest iPhone every two years while some customers may keep the iPad for years. For a perfect example, I buy a new iPhone every two years and I’ve had my iPad 3 since it was released in March of 2012. It runs iOS 8 so I don’t plan on replacing it any time soon.
The report goes on to say that Apple may be looking into focusing its resources on the iPad Pro instead of the iPad mini. This would allow the next-generation iPhones to get larger display without competing for sales and the iPads might be the perfect medium between the smartphone and the laptop. Apple’s lineup would consist of three iPhones (one with a 4″ display, 4.7″ display and 5.5″ display), two iPads (one with a 9.7″ display and rumored 12.2″ display) and their MacBooks (which start with a 11″ display.)
It is difficult to determine the truth behind this report, but it does make sense for Apple to discontinue the iPad mini. After this past year of only changing a few minor details, Apple may be getting a feel for an iPad mini-less world.