The best part about the new iPads is Apple’s deal on the old iPads

Apple's old iPads great deal now
Apple’s October 16 event introduced us to the new iPad Air 2. At first, we were tempted, but our interest cooled when the slide showing the new pricing structure was flashed up on the giant screen. As it turns out, Apple is still going to sell its old tablets. You can now get an iPad Air 1 for $400 and an iPad Mini 2 for $300.

After doing a double take at the costs, this is what we heard in our head: “Roll up, roll up! It’s crazy deal time over at Apple. We’ve got deals so insane we can’t hold them back. We’re talking $$$ off an iPad Air, and even more $$$ off an iPad Mini 2. We’re even mad enough to cut our prices permanently. That’s right, forget the new shiny things: Buy old, and buy cheap forever, here at Apple.”

Phil Schiller might as well have been a used car salesman starring in a local TV ad, and this was his pitch. It worked, too. Congratulations, Apple. Your 90-minute event succeeded in persuading us to buy last year’s iPad models.

Not enough incentive to buy the latest and greatest iPad models

The iPad Air 2 is very cool. It’s really thin, and the tech demos made the graphical and processing abilities look very impressive. But it’s $100 more than the equivalent capacity iPad Air. Even if you have $500 to spend on a new iPad, it’s hard not to recommend grabbing an iPad Air 1 with twice the internal storage capacity, over a base model Air 2.

Thinness aside (and remember, the iPad Air is hardly brick-like at 7.5mm thick), the Air 2 has two major new features: the A8X processor, and Touch ID. Statistics show 70 percent of owners use their tablets at home, and in the living room. Other stats include 63-percent of owners watch videos and look at pictures, while the same figure also check prices online. Games come out as the most used apps, with weather apps coming second. Will any of these tasks benefit from the iPad Air 2’s speed increase over the iPad Air? Probably not. Graphically intensive games like XCOM and Skylanders already work great on the first Air.

iPad Air
iPad Air

Touch ID’s fingerprint scanning capabilities are essential for Apple Pay, which is about to become a big thing. Well, on the iPhone 6. If 70 percent of owners never take their tablets of the living room, then Apple Pay and Touch ID aren’t compelling reasons to buy a new tablet — for 70 percent of people. Apple Pay is also in its infancy. It may grow quickly, but not signing up to use it until next year will only give it time to become more convenient and widespread. This is equally applicable if you own an iPhone 5S or an iPhone 6. Even if you carry both around, do you really need Apple Pay on each device?

It gets even harder to justify spending more on the iPad Mini 3. It doesn’t come with the A8X processor, it’s the same thickness and weight as the Mini 2, and the screen is identical. Even the battery is the same. You do get Touch ID, and the pleasure of paying another $100 for it. No wonder Apple swept it aside during the launch. It’s the iPad Mini 2.1, at most.

For most people’s needs, the iPad Air or Mini 2 is more than adequate. Overkill, even, if all you do is check the weather.

Illusion of choice

Apple’s tablet range now consists of five models, with 22 variations. The only really different one is the $250 iPad Mini, and not in a good way. It lacks the Retina display found on its peers, and uses the aging A5 processor, both of which are replaced in the iPad Mini 2 for an additional $50. Less experienced tech buyers will find this illusion of choice confusing. Samsung may have even more “choice,” but it does at least work hard to differentiate them. If this is Apple’s attempt to match its rival’s huge selection, then it has failed.

iPad Mini 2
iPad Mini 2

There was a time when Apple’s mobile product range was simple. You bought the newest product, or nothing. Now, it’s started hoarding — unable to let go of the past and not confident enough to let its new hardware stand on its own. Perhaps because the Air 2 and Mini 3 only warmed over revisions, it’s afraid we won’t know the difference if it should suddenly whisk away the previous generations from its online store?

There will always be the people who want the latest product, particularly when it’s one made by Apple. However, shrewd buyers will save some money and take the iPad Air or iPad Mini 2 over the new versions, then rejoice that the company isn’t ballsy enough to discontinue them.

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.


New iPad Pro’s durability in question after it fails YouTuber’s bend test

The new iPad Pro models failed a bend test that was carried out by popular YouTuber JerryRigEverything. The result raises questions about the durability of the tablets, especially since customers are also reporting bending issues.

The best iPad deals for November 2018

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for November 2018.

Turn your iPad into a display for your new Mac Mini with this workaround

The folks at Luna Display have figured out a workaround which lets you get the best of both worlds and use Wi-Fi and an adapter in order to turn your iPad into a display for the 2018 Mac Mini.

How to convert and play FLAC music files on your iPhone or iPad

The high-resolution revolution is upon us, and FLAC files are a popular way to store hi-res sound. But what if you’re an iOS user? Check out our article to find out more about FLAC files, and how to use them on Apple devices.

Save up to $850 with the best smartphone deals for November 2018

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $850.

Apple applies for a patent on a wrap-around iPhone display

Previously, Apple was awarded a patent for a foldable phone, and the company has been rumored to be working on one. But it's not at all similar to other concepts. Here's everything we know about a folding iPhone.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 display could be bigger than the iPhone XS Max screen

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 was only released a few months ago, but Samsung is already working on a follow-up. Not much is known about the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 just yet, but we do have a few details.

How does fast charging work? Here’s every single standard compared

Modern smartphones can charge in mere minutes instead of hours. How does fast charging work? Here's a guide to the most popular standards, including Qualcomm Quick Charge, Apple fast charging, OnePlus Dash Charge, and more.

The Best Black Friday Deals from Best Buy in 2018

We've been hard at work assembling all the best Black Friday deals Best Buy offers in 2018 and putting them in one place to save you time and money this holiday season. From laptops to TVs, game consoles to smart speakers and much more…

Keep your phone organized with one of the best file managers for Android

Your smartphone has a limited amount of storage space and all sorts of files tend to accumulate if you let them. To keep things in order and find what you need, you should snag one of the best file managers for Android.

Upcoming Honor View 20 may forgo the notch for new display technology

Nearly a year after Honor released the spectacular Honor View 10, the Chinese smartphone giant appears to be hard at work on its successor, the Honor View 20. Here's everything we know about the upcoming midrange powerhouse.

The best Walmart Black Friday deals in 2018

Walmart has historically been the undisputed king of Black Friday deals. The mega-store is known for offering deals on products in almost every category, from smart TVs to children’s toys. We're combing through every deal as it is…

The Google Photos iOS app gets a bit better, now has depth control

Google updated the iOS version of the Google Photos app to now take advantage of the depth data that can be captured by the iPhone's camera in Portrait Mode. The new feature is already available in the Android app.

T-Mobile-Sprint merger could close as early as first quarter of 2019, exec says

T-Mobile and Sprint are finally merging. After a few failed attempts, the two companies announced their merger at the start of 2018. Once it's complete, the new T-Mobile could be better positioned to take on the likes of Verizon and AT&T.