Is Apple About To Release A New iPad Mini Or Kill The Line Entirely?

Rumors swirl around the iPad mini line--will Apple update it, or cut it off entirely?

There are two sets of rumors floating around about the iPad mini, and they’re completely contradictory. The Inquisitr has reported on several occasions that Apple may choose to release a new iPad mini device in April, along with the iPad Pro (which is still rumored). Even today, Christian Times continues to report on the ongoing rumors that the iPad mini 4 is likely to be released in just a few months.

However, just a few days ago, the Motley Fool reported that supply chain manufacturers based in Taiwan had not received orders for a new iPad mini version. This led the site to conclude that Apple has no intentions of continuing to update the iPad mini, letting the Plus family of iPhones fill the tablet offerings for Apple.

The biggest rationale for this viewpoint is that Apple did not go out of its way to show the iPad mini 3 any love when it was updated last year.

“When Apple refreshed its iPad lineup last year, it made a number of unusual moves. Firstly, while the iPad Air 2 was made thinner, faster, and just all-around better, the iPad mini 3 was essentially just an iPad mini 2 featuring Touch ID.”

According to the Fool, it is generally accepted that the iPad mini isn’t a particular moneymaker for Apple, especially when compared to the iPad Air lineup. The Fool suggests that Apple may have thought that it wasn’t worth investing in the mini 3, since the mini 2 didn’t do all that well at launch, and was considered a great product at that time.

With smartphones getting larger with each generation, is it really necessary to still have a tablet? Opinions vary. There’s a reason why comparing the iPad mini and the iPhone 6 Plus have been popular since the larger iPhone was released. It really does seem that the two devices cross over into each other’s territory; one customer buying both seems illogical. When tablets first became popular, they were great because they offered bigger screens than phones for playing games, reading, and watching videos. As our phones increase in size, most people no longer need dedicated devices for these tasks, especially as laptop/tablet hybrids like the Microsoft Surface and the Lenovo Yoga become more mainstream.

All in all, the Fool doesn’t think that Apple will kill the line entirely.

“But I think the pattern of relatively meagre and/or infrequent upgrades is going to continue. After all, if the demand for the product category just isn’t all that robust, then it might make sense to just milk current products for as long as possible.”

What do you think about the iPad mini? Here to stay, or on its way out?