In October, Apple refreshed their iPad lineup with the introduction of iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. The Air gained many improvements, like a thinner body, Touch ID, more efficient A8X processor and higher storage capacity, while the mini only received a couple updates. We concluded that either Apple was discontinuing the iPad mini or they wanted to differentiate the two products since they are practically the same tablet with two sizes of displays. Mac Fan is posting some details for the iPad Air Plus in their magazine for January and also claiming the iPad mini 4 will be coming out in the Spring, supporting our theory that Apple wants to differentiate the mini.
The iPad mini 4 will be receiving the updates it should have received in October. The processor powering the tablet will be upgraded to the A8X processor, like the iPad Air 2 and unlike the iPad mini 3. It will also receive the same design that the Air 2 has and the tablet will replace the iPad mini 1st generation and iPad mini 3rd generation. The iPad mini 4 will come out alongside the iPad Air Plus in the Spring.
It appears that instead of discontinuing the iPad mini, Apple is looking to change the release date so it will be viewed differently than the iPad Air. Since they are virtually the same tablet with different screen sizes, Apple did not update the iPad mini in October so the Air looks like the superior product. It has the better processor and camera, faster Wi-Fi connection and more features. When the mini is updated in the Spring, it will look like a better product, but in reality, it will be the same as the iPad Air. Perhaps with six months between the two tablets, they will appear different. Personally, I have the iPad 3 and iPad mini 2, but I prefer my mini. My full-sized iPad doesn’t have much of a need since my Mac does the same things and it’s a lot more powerful. My iPhone still has a small screen (iPhone 5) so that’s where my mini comes in.