Has Apple given up on the iPad mini?
I remember when the first iPad mini was annouced. I was ecstatic and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. It felt like the first proper redesign since the iPad was launched. It has thinner bezels, chamfered edges, and with the new size of the iPad mini, it could be held in one hand with ease.
To middle school me, this was the perfect device. It had all the flexibility and capability of the iPad, but in a compact size and a cheaper price point. Even today, I still love the idea and size of the iPad mini. However, it doesn’t seem like Apple cares about it anymore.
The first generation of the iPad mini came out back in 2012, and nine years later, we are now on the fifth generation of the iPad mini, but there isn’t much of a difference. We’ve gotten the spec updates that keeps the iPad’s power relevant and able to power most of the apps that are on the App Store, they’ve added support for the Apple Pencil and they have added Touch ID, but they haven’t done anything substantial to the iPad that makes it unique. Even during its press conferences and events, Apple doesn’t really announce that they have done anything new that they have done to the iPad mini and at the most just throws in a “FYI” in their presentations.
In fact, the iPad with the bigger screen (10.2 inches) is now cheaper and more affordable than the iPad mini which defeats one of the biggest selling points of the iPad mini.
So, with no major updates and Apple barely marketing or giving the iPad mini any attention, who is the iPad mini for? Its no longer the budget iPad option since the iPad is cheaper and has the same power and battery life. So, this means that the iPad mini are for people who really want a smaller screen (by two-inches) and who are willing to pay more for it? Personally, I believe that that is a very small and selected target audience.
The way I see it, Apple should do one of two things:
First, update the iPad mini and market it a bit. Update the iPad Mini to have a similar design to the iPad Air and Pro models. This will make it stand out a bit more, become a bit more relevant in todays world, and people will start to notice it again. In addition, make a couple of ads for the iPad mini and highlight how it is new. Again, this is a mostly forgotten product of Apple, so they need to revive it publicly in some manner.
Second, discontinue the iPad mini. I don’t imagine it is doing well, so it doesn’t make sense to continue selling the product. By discontinuing the iPad mini, I believe that the iPad line-up would become a lot more clear and easy to understand in terms of how much power you are getting for the price you are paying.
I would love to see an updated iPad mini that stays true to its roots. A light, thin and somewhat powerful device that is great for reading, entertainment and leisure use is a small, compact size where it can be taken almost anywhere and everywhere without a thought. The price should also be reduced so that it is the cheapest iPad available.