Apple’s 2018 product lineup is largely expected to be jam-packed with new devices, as well as updates to some aging ones. Those aging devices include the Mac mini and MacBook Air. However, there is one device that probably won’t see an update this fall — or ever, for that matter.
By the looks of it, it might be time to finally say goodbye to any hopes of a refresh to Apple’s iPad mini. The most recent addition to the product line, the iPad mini 4, was first introduced in 2015. Since then, it hasn’t seen any meaningful update beyond the axing of the 32GB and 64GB models.
And while there were early rumors that Apple could unveil an “iPad mini Pro” this year, chatter about such a device has gotten extremely quiet the closer we get to Apple’s fall keynote. At this point, it’s unlikely to be on the docket for 2018. And if it doesn’t launch this year, an iPad mini refresh might not launch at all.
It’s not like we didn’t see this coming, though. Back in May 2017, an anonymous source within Apple indicated that Apple was on the verge of phasing out the mini lineup entirely.
That’s largely because of declining sales for the device, but it’s also because iPhones and their displays are getting bigger. This year, Apple is rumored to release an OLED-based iPhone with a massive 6.5-inch display. In other words, as the AppleInsider put it, the iPad mini is being “sized out of its own category.”
Not to mention that Apple’s latest 9.7-inch iPad, which retails for about $70 cheaper than the iPad mini’s $400 price tag, packs more impressive specifications and hardware components.
In other words, it would probably take some extremely clever design elements and features, as well as a hefty price drop, to make an iPad mini refresh stand out among a crowded product lineup.
Even smaller details suggest that the iPad mini 4 is on the chopping block. Back in March, iDrop News noticed that the latest comparison graphics on Apple’s iPad product page ominously omitted the iPad mini.
All in all, unless Apple totally surprises all of us, it might be the end of an era for the smaller tablets. For better or worse, it seems like the iPad mini’s fate is basically sealed.