Will Apple Kill Off the iPad Mini?

The iPad mini still exists in Apple’s lineup, but is it a product that Apple could soon kill off?

Apple originally released the iPad mini back in 2012, and it was a big release at the time, especially since Apple only offered one iPad model. The iPad mini release offered buyers more options, especially if they weren’t quite fond of the 9.7-inch display.

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Read: iPad Mini 4 vs iPad Mini 2: Which One Should You Buy?

The iPad mini 2 was an even bigger release for Apple, as it came with a huge upgrade over the previous generation, including sporting a Retina display, making it one of the highest-resolution products Apple offered.

Since then, though, the iPad mini has faded into the background and Apple spends less time focusing on it.

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For instance, when the company released the iPad mini 3, it was barely an upgrade over the iPad mini 2, only coming with Touch ID and a gold color option, but still touted as a whole new refresh for the smaller tablet. To make matters worse, Apple only spent about 30 seconds discussing the iPad mini 3 during the keynote.

Read: Which iPad Should You Buy? An In-Depth Comparison

Fast forward a year later and Apple released the iPad mini 4. This time it came with a spec bump and a better camera, while still keeping the same overall design. But again, the company spent less than a minute talking about the iPad mini refresh and instead spent the majority of the time discussing the iPad Pro.

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That’s not too surprising, as a new iPad mini isn’t quite as exciting as the iPad Pro was during the keynote, but it makes you wonder if Apple is planning to do something with the iPad mini, and by “something” I mean take it out to the pasture and shoot it in the head.

It’s certainly something that I’ve thought about since the iPad Pro was released. It makes me curious as to whether or not Apple turns the iPad Pro into its new full-size iPad, while the iPad Air series is now the “iPad mini” of sorts.

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Furthermore, with the release of larger iPhones starting with the iPhone 6 in 2014, it’s possible Apple could be cannibalizing iPad mini sales. The 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6s Plus have fairly large screens, and while you might not think that these larger phones could replace tablets, the argument has come up several times, with Apple users debating whether or not to upgrade their phone to an iPhone Plus model or get an iPad mini.

I actually did this myself and ended up upgrading to an iPhone 6 Plus recently. I then sold my iPad mini 2 to get some of that money back that I spent on the iPhone. I still have a larger screen than what I used to have with my iPhone, but I’m now down to just one mobile device instead of having to carry around two mobile devices when I travel.

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There’s obviously going to be some users who still prefer the iPad mini over an iPhone Plus model, but I feel like most users will compromise. Plus, with the iPad Air series getting better and better while the iPad mini gets more lackluster every year, more users will likely turn to the iPad Air when they want to buy a new tablet.

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However, I wouldn’t be completely surprised if Apple kept the iPad mini in its lineup during the foreseeable future. It certainly rounds out the iPad models, with the iPad Pro, then the iPad Air, and then the iPad mini being the entry-level model.

Plus, it would go well with the iPhone lineup once the iPhone SE is released. The company will offer the same three-tier lineup just like the iPad, with the iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6s, and the iPhone SE.

It makes sense for Apple to keep the iPad mini around, but it’s clear that the company doesn’t think that it’s a big product at all, thus proving Apple’s lack of focus on the iPad mini.

Best iPad Mini Cases in 2015

Apple Smart Case

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Apple Smart Case

Apple's sells the Smart Cover and Smart Case. You're likely familiar with the Smart Cover, which is a simple foldable cover that protects the screen when you're transporting your iPad, and it can clip on and off thanks to magnets.

The Smart Case, however, is a full-on case that incorporates the Smart Cover. The Smart Case is made out of leather and fully protects the iPad mini, including the back and sides.

The Smart Cover portion is connected to the case and acts just like the Smart Cover itself, allowing you to fold it up and turn it into an iPad stand of sorts.

The Smart Case for the iPad mini is priced at $69, making it one of the pricier options for just a simple case, but it looks really good.

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