In possible last gasp for iPad mini, Apple increases capacity to 128GB for $399

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in iPad
In a move potentially intended to push buyers to the budget-priced $329 iPad, Apple on Tuesday gave a minor update to the iPad mini 4, discontinuing 32-gigabyte models in favor of a single 128-gigabyte storage option with a hefty $399 entry price.




A Wi-Fi-only version costs $399, while adding cellular raises the price to $529. The amounts are identical to what Apple was previously charging for less storage.

Apple has otherwise left the tablets unchanged, including the same silver, gold, and space gray color options, as well as the aging A8 processor.

The company appears to be steering people towards its new 9.7-inch budget iPad, which goes on sale March 24 with a faster A9 processor. That product is available for as little as $329, albeit with only 32 gigabytes. Bumping storage to 128 gigabytes raises the cost to at least $429.

Apple has generally neglected the iPad mini line in recent years, perhaps most infamously with the Mini 3, which was essentially a Mini 2 with Touch ID, new storage tiers, and a gold color option.

The iPad mini 4 was originally released in Sept. 2015, and did make some more substantial upgrades including an A8 processor, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, an extra gigabyte of RAM, and a thinner body. It was still much less powerful than the 12.9-inch iPad Pro launched around the same time, which for example had an A9X chip.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 84
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 999member
    Apple knows better but would have been good to keep ipad mini at 32GB or 64GB and reduce price under $300
    london11jasenj1albegarc
  • Reply 2 of 84
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 29,087member
    It could also be possible that that has been the most popular model.
    mike1
  • Reply 3 of 84
    customtbcustomtb Posts: 325member
    It's a shame. The mini is perfect for the kids
    albegarcwozwozewtheckman
  • Reply 4 of 84
    sog35sog35 Posts: 12,367member
    wood1208 said:
    Apple knows better but would have been good to keep ipad mini at 32GB or 64GB and reduce price under $300
    No.

    Apple hates the iPad Mini. That is a fact. Why?

    1. Margins suck. Really does. Shrinking the ipad does not make it cheaper to make
    2. Don't sell enough units. So costs go up
    3. It canibalizes iPhone Plus - this is the main reason. Apple does not want the Mini at $399 to canibalize iPhone Plus at $769. It just isn't good business

    If sales of the Mini drop again this year, I will not be surprised if they just drop the Mini altogether.

    Now look at next year. Apple will be releasing the iPhone X1 Plus. That will have a screen size over 6 inches. At that point the Mini is not needed at all.
    patchythepirateewtheckman
  • Reply 5 of 84
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,609member
    Apple appears to be cutting off its niches to spite its cost structure. 

    The iPad Mini might not be a huge seller, but my impression is that kids (and perhaps small-handed people of all ages) really like the iPad Mini. 

    For a company that has used "ecosystem" as the metaphor for its business model, they might want to think more carefully about the unintended consequences of mass extinctions. 


    apple jockeyradiospacewozwozlmacewtheckman
  • Reply 6 of 84
    zroger73zroger73 Posts: 449member
    The iPad mini is the perfect size to attach to the remote for my drone. My iPhone 6S+ is too small and my iPad Air 2 is too big.
    techprod1gywozwozdasanman69
  • Reply 7 of 84
    gprovidagprovida Posts: 233member
    I really hope Apple updates the mini further, its size is really important to some people who need a light iPad and the largest iPhone is still not a device for reading. 

    Ideally, a pro version with pencil and perhaps haptic screen like iPhone 7. 

    Sigh, keep on hoping. 
    netmageEric_WVGGradiospaceewtheckman
  • Reply 8 of 84
    adm1adm1 Posts: 323member
    I was looking to replace my son's iPad mini v1 with a v2 later this year (or whatever base model is available by then), a £419 128gb iPad Mini 4 is overkill for his needs. I think Apple is missing a trick by not offering an older model mini for kids and infrequent/casual users. The iPad Mini 2 was available yesterday for £239, now old stock, refurbs or 2nd hand will be my options when I buy later this year.
  • Reply 9 of 84
    sog35sog35 Posts: 12,367member
    blastdoor said:
    Apple appears to be cutting off its niches to spite its cost structure. 

    The iPad Mini might not be a huge seller, but my impression is that kids (and perhaps small-handed people of all ages) really like the iPad Mini. 

    For a company that has used "ecosystem" as the metaphor for its business model, they might want to think more carefully about the unintended consequences of mass extinctions. 


    they can use an iPhone Plus then.

    or next year the 6+ inch iPhone X1 Plus
  • Reply 10 of 84
    sog35sog35 Posts: 12,367member
    gprovida said:
    I really hope Apple updates the mini further, its size is really important to some people who need a light iPad and the largest iPhone is still not a device for reading. 

    Ideally, a pro version with pencil and perhaps haptic screen like iPhone 7. 

    Sigh, keep on hoping. 
    the iPhone will come in 6.5 inch models next year
  • Reply 11 of 84
    sog35sog35 Posts: 12,367member
    adm1 said:
    I was looking to replace my son's iPad mini v1 with a v2 later this year (or whatever base model is available by then), a £419 128gb iPad Mini 4 is overkill for his needs. I think Apple is missing a trick by not offering an older model mini for kids and infrequent/casual users. The iPad Mini 2 was available yesterday for £239, now old stock, refurbs or 2nd hand will be my options when I buy later this year.
    I'm sorry. But Mini is just to niche of a product. Especially with 6.5 inch iPhones coming out next year.

    It would not make sense to have 6.5 inch phones and 7.9 inch tablets. This isn't Samsung who makes 100 different phones/tablet sizes.

    Its the same reason why Apple does not make 15 inch iPads.
  • Reply 12 of 84
    glynhglynh Posts: 56member
    zroger73 said:
    The iPad mini is the perfect size to attach to the remote for my drone. My iPhone 6S+ is too small and my iPad Air 2 is too big.
    Exactly the same position I find myself in! Thinking of getting the Mavic Pro and figured I'd get a cheap iPad Mini to use exclusively for that. I also have a 6S and an iPad Air 2 and like you would find the phone too small to peer at outside in the sunshine and the iPad too large to fit the controller.

    I would have thought keeping it as a cheap, entry level iPad would have worked. I don't agree with Sog35 above that it would cannibalise sales of iPhone Plus for the simple fact it doesn't make telephone calls!
    edited March 21 randominternetpersonewtheckman
  • Reply 13 of 84
    sog35sog35 Posts: 12,367member
    glynh said:
    zroger73 said:
    The iPad mini is the perfect size to attach to the remote for my drone. My iPhone 6S+ is too small and my iPad Air 2 is too big.
    Exactly the same position I find myself in! Thinking of getting the Mavic Pro and figured I'd get a cheap iPad Mini to use exclusively for that. I also have a 6S and an iPad Air 2 and like you would find the phone too small to peer at outside in the sunshine and the iPad too large to fit the controller.

    I would have thought keeping it as a cheap, entry level iPad would have worked. I don't agree with Sogs point 3 above that it would cannibalise sales of iPhone Plus for the simple fact it doesn't make telephone calls!
    I think the canibalization would be:

    I own an iPhone6 but I need a bigger screen.  So I'll just buy a cheap $299 Mini. 

    Instead Apple wants people to buy an iPhone Plus instead if they need a bigger screen iPhone. And eventually they will buy an iPad also.



  • Reply 14 of 84
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,544member
    sog35 said:
    wood1208 said:
    Apple knows better but would have been good to keep ipad mini at 32GB or 64GB and reduce price under $300
    3. It canibalizes iPhone Plus - this is the main reason. Apple does not want the Mini at $399 to canibalize iPhone Plus at $769. It just isn't good business
    Since you cannot effectively use an iPad Mini as a Phone, it cannot cannibalize the iPhone Plus. If anything, the larger screen of the iPhone Plus does cannibalize the iPad Mini.
    Metriacanthosaurusdewme
  • Reply 15 of 84
    Eric_WVGGEric_WVGG Posts: 122member
    How do you call the Mini "niche" when it's the best-selling iPad? I don't have numbers, but I see far more of them than any more size "in the wild." My family owns six of them and not a single larger model.

    If the margins are too low, raise the price. That's not complicated.
    ewtheckman
  • Reply 16 of 84
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,609member
    sog35 said:
    wood1208 said:
    Apple knows better but would have been good to keep ipad mini at 32GB or 64GB and reduce price under $300
    No.

    Apple hates the iPad Mini. That is a fact. Why?

    1. Margins suck. Really does. Shrinking the ipad does not make it cheaper to make
    2. Don't sell enough units. So costs go up
    3. It canibalizes iPhone Plus - this is the main reason. Apple does not want the Mini at $399 to canibalize iPhone Plus at $769. It just isn't good business

    If sales of the Mini drop again this year, I will not be surprised if they just drop the Mini altogether.

    Now look at next year. Apple will be releasing the iPhone X1 Plus. That will have a screen size over 6 inches. At that point the Mini is not needed at all.
    Tim Cook used to say that "never fear canibalizaiton" was part of Apple's core philosophy. That is, they wouldn't cancel a product because it was taking sales from another Apple product. 

    If you're right, then that means a core part of what makes Apple has changed, and in a way that I don't think is good. 
    edited March 21 jasenj1
  • Reply 17 of 84
    glynhglynh Posts: 56member

    sog35 said:
    wood1208 said:
    Apple knows better but would have been good to keep ipad mini at 32GB or 64GB and reduce price under $300
    No.

    Apple hates the iPad Mini. That is a fact. Why?

    1. Margins suck. Really does. Shrinking the ipad does not make it cheaper to make
    2. Don't sell enough units. So costs go up
    3. It canibalizes iPhone Plus - this is the main reason. Apple does not want the Mini at $399 to canibalize iPhone Plus at $769. It just isn't good business

    If sales of the Mini drop again this year, I will not be surprised if they just drop the Mini altogether.

    Now look at next year. Apple will be releasing the iPhone X1 Plus. That will have a screen size over 6 inches. At that point the Mini is not needed at all.
    IMHO - pure speculation of course;

    1. Margin should be good as all the R&D, tooling etc. has been recouped long ago.
    2. If it was cheaper it might even encourage sales amongst those who might otherwise not consider an iPad.
    3. As I said above it might not impact sales of iPhone Plus as people buy the phone to make calls and the tablet can't make calls! In fact it's the other way around isn't it - iPhone Plus impacts sales of iPads.

    Didn't Tim Cook himself say he's not worried about cannibalisation?

    In fact I find Apples attitude towards memory size hypocritical; hanging on far too long to 16GB to make the iPhone financially appealing while simultaneously strangling it and yet here they are increasing memory on the iPad to gouge the customer for more money when it's not actually required on an entry level device.

    edited March 21 jasenj1wiggin
  • Reply 18 of 84
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 873member
    I love my Mini 2. We have an iPad Air 2 at home but it's very unwieldy for mobile use on the go. The Mini performs admirably in large hands and is great for reading and video playback on public transport.

    They should have given it a decent upgrade at an attractive price and they really should stop playing games with the storage options. 
    london11ewtheckman
  • Reply 19 of 84
    sog35 said:
    wood1208 said:
    Apple knows better but would have been good to keep ipad mini at 32GB or 64GB and reduce price under $300
    No.

    Apple hates the iPad Mini. That is a fact. Why?

    1. Margins suck. Really does. Shrinking the ipad does not make it cheaper to make
    2. Don't sell enough units. So costs go up
    3. It canibalizes iPhone Plus - this is the main reason. Apple does not want the Mini at $399 to canibalize iPhone Plus at $769. It just isn't good business

    If sales of the Mini drop again this year, I will not be surprised if they just drop the Mini altogether.

    Now look at next year. Apple will be releasing the iPhone X1 Plus. That will have a screen size over 6 inches. At that point the Mini is not needed at all.
    IMHO, you are wrong with point 3. The Mini is a different beast to any iPhone. The screen aspect Ratio for one thing. I hate viewing my photos on an iPhone. The aspect ratio is all wrong. The mini is perfect. I use mine for presentations all the time. It leaves me with the iPhone in my pocket.
    The two things work together perfectly.
    Maybe if Apple comes out with a phone that is 4:3 and not a (IMHO) stupid 16:9 or whatever then it might be time to replace it.
    I am not alone in using an iPad this way.
    IT is a perfect entry level device. Companies are not averse to giving up some margin to get people on board with their product line.
    but hey, this is just my worthless opinion which clearly does not count.
    harry wildpscooter63wigginewtheckman
  • Reply 20 of 84
    cincyteecincytee Posts: 203member
    sog35 said:

    they can use an iPhone Plus then.

    or next year the 6+ inch iPhone X1 Plus
    You miss the point. Apple will not earn a phone sale from me if the iPad mini is discontinued. I don't want a phone; I want a tablet. The choice is sale or no sale, not sell one product instead of another.
    harry wildfirelockewtheckman
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