The writing is on the wall. The iPad mini 4 is probably going to be the last iPad mini ever. Apple just announced iPad updates during its WWDC keynote. Both the 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models are receiving major updates. In the meantime, the iPad mini feels like the neglected device in the iPad lineup, and it’s now probably on life support.
If you want a cheaper iPad, you can buy a 9.7-inch iPad for $320. It’s cheaper than the $399 iPad mini 4. And if you want a big, powerful iPad, there’s always the iPad Pro.
It’s clear that both the entry-level iPad and the iPhone 7 Plus (and phablets in general) have become more popular than the iPad mini. So Apple is just going to keep the iPad mini for now and discontinue it at some point.
The iPad mini was the hot new thing when it debuted in 2012. Back then, the full-size iPad was a heavy monster, and everybody was excited about the Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire tablet. Phones had a tiny 3.5-inch display.
People wanted something light so that they could carry it around. The iPad mini was the perfect device to browse the web, read emails and more. It was just a bit small to watch movies. I loved my iPad mini. But now that iPads have become lighter and phones bigger, the iPad mini isn’t as useful. And the tablet market in general isn’t growing anymore.
So Apple is trying to make the iPad Pro more powerful for those who really want to do stuff with their tablet. And the iPad mini isn’t getting any of the new bells and whistles.