Apple released the iPad mini 4 earlier this month as the successor the iPad mini 3, but instead of keeping the iPad mini 3 around as the entry-level model, Apple instead gave the title to the iPad mini 2. Here’s why.
The iPad mini 4 keeps the same design as the iPad mini 3, complete with the Touch ID fingerprint sensor, but comes with a handful of performance improvements on the inside, including Apple’s A8 processor and 2GB of memory, as well as an 8-megapixel camera.
Compared to the iPad mini 3, that’s quite an improvement. The older tablet came with an A7 processor with only 1GB of memory and a 5-megapixel camera, which is also the same specs that rock the iPad mini 2.
When Apple released the iPad mini 4, it replaced the iPad mini 3 at the $399 price slot, but instead of the iPad mini 3 going down to the $299 price point like Apple usually does with last-generation products, the company actually discontinued the iPad mini 3 and instead left the iPad mini 2 in the lower tier slot at $269.
You may think that this was a weird move by Apple and that it doesn’t make any sense, but with a company as smart as Apple, there’s a method to their madness.
Essentially, Apple wants you to buy the iPad mini 4 if you’re thinking about buying a new iPad mini. Yeah, the iPad mini 2 is there and available to purchase, but Apple actually doesn’t want you to buy it.
Of course, the company could have just discontinued the iPad mini 2 and made the iPad mini 4 the only iPad mini available in the Apple Store, which would easily solve their problem of trying to get consumers to buy the more-expensive tablet, but we all know crap would hit the fan if they didn’t offer a more affordable option for frugal buyers.
And it’s not necessarily that Apple wants everyone to buy the iPad mini 4, but merely just those who are deciding on which model to buy. The company wants their frugal customers to go with the iPad mini 2, but for those who are having a hard time deciding on which one to buy, Apple wants to give them a slight nudge over to the iPad mini 4.
First off all, while they did keep the iPad mini 2 around, it’s only available in 16GB and 32GB storage capacities, meaning that if you need more storage than that, you’ll have to buy the iPad mini 4. With a tablet, it’s not hard to fill up 32GB with music, movies, photos, etc., so that’s one way Apple is trying to get more consumers to buy the iPad mini 4.
Another way is by offering a gold color option only on the iPad mini 4. While color isn’t extremely important to some users, there are still many users out there who want a specific color, and if it’s a gold iPad that they want, then they’ll be forced to buy the iPad mini 4.
However, perhaps the biggest selling point for the iPad mini 4 is Touch ID. The Touch ID fingerprint sensor is combined with the home button and it allows users to unlock their iPads using just the scan of their finger, rather than having to enter in a passcode every time.
If the iPad mini 3 still existed and was used as the entry-level iPad mini, I’d argue that many users would see the Touch ID on both models and wonder what the difference is between the two tablets, and they would eventually just buy the iPad mini 3 to save some money, but with there being a clear difference between the iPad mini 2 and the iPad mini 4, users who are wanting a much better tablet will easily opt for the iPad mini 4 and the pay the $399.
The iPad mini 2 is still a great tablet and it has the performance necessary for most casual tasks, as well as the ability to play many of the latest games, but it will quickly age more and more as time goes on, which doesn’t make it the ideal choice if you’re looking to buy a brand-new iPad that will last you a few years at least.