Apple may be in the stages of phasing out its iPad mini lineup due to stagnant sales and the popularity of larger iPhone models, according to a new report. If true, it could make the iPad mini 4 — released in October 2015 — the last device in the lineup.
The biggest reason appears to be the lineup’s declining sales, as the numbers there are “very clear,” an anonymous Apple source told BGR. Not only that, but there’s also been “fierce cannibalism of our own products” due to the rise of 5.5-inch, Plus-sized iPhone models, the iPad mini has been “sized out of its own category.” Adding to that is the fact that Apple’s recent 9.7-inch entry-level iPad is both more powerful and cheaper than the older iPad mini 4. It’s currently unknown whether Apple will axe the iPad mini 4 in the near future, or if it will continue to sell the device for a while longer.
What About the iPad mini Refresh Rumors?
Of course, if BGR’s source is to be believed, this new information would conflict with a variety of reports that suggested Apple would refresh the iPad mini this year — possibly tacking a Pro designation onto the device. Thought it would undoubtedly make sense for Apple to eventually phase out the device, as the form factor is being squeezed from all sides, and it would take some clever design additions and features to make an iPad mini refresh stand out among Cupertino’s current family of products.
Of course, eventually phasing out the iPad mini and refreshing the lineup doesn’t exactly have to be mutually exclusive — at least, not this year. Cupertino could indeed release an “iPad mini Pro,” while simultaneously continuing with its plans to phase out the form factor, making the mini Pro device the last in the lineup. But that’s just speculation at this point — and it might be an unlikelier outcome.
On the other hand, Apple is largely expected to unveil its new 12.9-inch and 10.5-inch iPad Pro models at its upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference. And if Apple does release an iPad mini Pro, it’ll likely be alongside those devices. In any case, it seems we’ll at least have to wait until June to find out for sure.