Apple is considering ditching the iPad Mini to focus on the larger ‘iPad Pro’ tablet the company is expected to launch next year, so says Taiwan’s Economic Daily News (EDN).
The long-running publication may be a bit hit-and-miss when it comes to reporting Apple-related news, but it’s believed to have some reliable connections in the local supply chain which has connections with various Apple products.
EDN says its unnamed source has led it to believe the tech titan will no longer update the iPad Mini, meaning the third iteration launched last month with a few minor improvements could be the last.
Why is Apple apparently going down this route? EDN’s report cites a number of possible reasons. Now that the company has the 5.3-inch iPhone Plus on the market, it’s thought that refraining from making improvements to the 7.9-inch Mini could help to boost sales of its largest handset.
Before, some consumers will have bought the small-screen iPhone and a Mini. If Apple believes a significant number of consumers will now ignore the Mini in the belief that the large-screen iPhone Plus will adequately deal with tablet-like tasks, it’s not hard to see why the company might shift its focus from the Mini to the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Pro, which, according to a report on Monday, could land with a 12.2-inch display. Apple’s possible shift to the Pro may arise from a belief that a large tablet could be a hit with specific types of users, namely gamers, educators, and business people.
Also, when the Mini first landed, it was markedly different from the heavier, chunkier, and wider full-size iPad. But with the arrival of the thinner and lighter iPad Air last year, the two devices moved closer together in terms of design, while the gap narrowed even further with the launch last month of the iPad Air 2. And with the Air 2’s higher margin per unit, ditching the Mini may not be such a great loss for the company.
However, Apple’s smallest tablet could continue to be sold for some time, though possibly without any updates, making it an increasingly unattractive option for customers as time goes on. This would have echoes of the way Apple has run with the iPod Touch, which hasn’t had any updates for the last two years as the Cupertino company looks to tempt potential buyers with one of its phones instead.
With Apple’s tablet sales declining over three straight quarters, executives at the firm will certainly have been taking a close look at its sales strategy, and it could just be that the Mini will drift from view as the company pushes its handsets, the Air 2, and an iPad Pro instead.