Rumor: Apple to launch 'end-of-life' iPad mini model and 'iPad Pro' in 2015, forego 'iPad Air 3'

Posted:
in iPad edited July 2015
A questionable report out of the Far East on Tuesday claims Apple will announce a larger 12.9-inch "iPad Pro" and refreshed iPad mini by the end of 2015, but will not introduce a follow-up to the iPad Air 2. Further, the company is supposedly planning to end-of-life iPad mini after this year's revamp.




According to Economic Daily News, Apple is concentrating 2015 iPad production on a next-generation iPad mini, dubbed "iPad mini 4," and a widely rumored 12.9-inch model some have taken to calling "iPad Pro." In order to alleviate pressure on manufacturing partner Foxconn, and to spotlight iPad Pro, the company will not release a next-gen iPad Air until 2016, the report said.

The Chinese language publication has a spotty track record in accurately predicting Apple hardware releases and cites Fubon Bank analyst Liaoxian Yi, not industry sources, as a basis for Tuesday's report. As such, AppleInsider cannot verify the following claims and presents them for purposes of discussion.

Perhaps most surprising among the analyst's claims is Apple's supposed plan to ditch the 7.9-inch iPad mini format altogether after this year's design refresh. Apple last updated its diminutive tablet alongside a new iPad Air version last October, though some consumers were nonplussed that, aside from Touch ID integration and a secure element for Apple Pay, the iPad mini 3 remained essentially unchanged from its predecessor.

The claims run contrary to recently surfaced rumors that Apple would soon ship an iPad mini with updated internals like an A8 SoC and 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

As for the so-called "iPad Pro," the report claims Apple will turn to the usual component suppliers, though Sharp will be responsible for more LCD panel orders than Samsung. Today's report of mass iPad Pro production doesn't line up with launch predictions from DigiTimes -- another hit-or-miss publication -- which cited supply chain sources as saying Apple is being "rather cautious" with orders for its jumbo-sized tablet.

While details have yet to materialize, circumstantial evidence pointing to the development of a larger iPad model is mounting. As noted in June, code discovered in a recent iOS 9 beta points to a heretofore unknown iPad with a massive screen resolution of 2,732-by-2,048 pixels. AppleInsider's sources said in May that Apple's 12.9-inch slate will include a new pressure-sensitive Bluetooth stylus, Force Touch technology, NFC capabilities and a USB-C connection port.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 106
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,826member
    I really don't think Apple is that stupid.
  • Reply 2 of 106
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,438member
    What's next, DigiTimes claiming Apple is going to release a 7.9" screen iPhone next year¿
  • Reply 3 of 106
    philotechphilotech Posts: 104member
    If I had a say in Apple, I'd do the following:

    - release new iPhones with the latest tech some time in spring because iPhones are usually bought depending on when the carrier contract expires (at least I understand in the US - in Europe we've moved away a bit from the subsidy model).

    - release new iPads (using the 4-6 months old tech from the spring iPhone release) in time for the holiday season as iPads are much more likely to be given as a gift, considering they don't depend on carrier contracts and are less "necessary" (compared to phones) and therefore better suited as gifts. Separating iPhone and iPad release flattens the top line as the hikes after new releases are spread over the year.

    - let the iPad mini trail one generation of CPU/GPU compared to the full-size iPad or the iPad Pro to allow for a price differenciation

    Until the release of the iPad 4 I think the iPads were always released after the iPhones, and with the latest release Apple indeed let the iPad mini trail one generation. But neither appears to be an actual marketing concept.
  • Reply 4 of 106
    pogo007pogo007 Posts: 43member
    I just hope Apple plans to put OS X on the the iPad soon. iOs might be good for phones but I think it's getting less and less relevant on the iPad. It's great it's getting bigger but ios will cripple any decent use you can get out of a big ipad.
  • Reply 5 of 106
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,154member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post



    I really don't think Apple is that stupid.

     

    There's nothing particularly "stupid" about the rumor. In terms of processing power, the iPad 2 is already overkill for its uses, Apple might not see the need to update it, especially if it wants marketing focus to be on the iPad Pro. It's not without precedent, but i'm sure Apple has thought of the pros and cons of such a potential strategy more deeply than you have, 

  • Reply 6 of 106
    thepixeldocthepixeldoc Posts: 2,257member
    Actually I don't see this rumor to be so far fetched.

    iPad Air 2: is still the most powerful pure tablet on the market. At it's current size, it still will be for some time to come.

    iPad Mini: could use one "last major" upgrade before being mothballed... IF... Apple has other plans/designs on the table for a smaller iPad Air but with a similar screen size. The iPhone 6+ as well plays into to this: same overall size but larger screen.

    iPad Pro: the flagship beast... again similar to iPhone 6+... that has everything Apple can throw into it to maintain high margins and get people to see a reason to upgrade. Also see below.

    Current iPads just wont die fast enough... and stops the often stated mantra that Apple builds obsolescence into their devices. I have scores of clients still putting iPad 2's to good use in their businesses and families. Many saying they have no need to upgrade for the uses it's being put to at the moment, at the same time also having one of the Air releases for when they "need" more power.

    An iPad Pro though will get just about everyone to take a serious look towards upgrading, and an upgraded iPad Mini will offer the "economic drug" to the ecosystem without a contract. iPod is on it's last legs.

    iPad Pro is VERY important to Apple, because it's here and at this size (~13') that we will see GOOD desktop features and strategy start to take shape. Apple needs to move as they always do at their own pace, but notebooks are dead and not coming back. Hybrid devices like the Surface, or dedicated ponies like Chrome are not the answer, and I think Apple has some very good plans on how to make this transition easy on users and make sense (cents) as it progresses. No need to wait for power to catch up, they need to start "mobile/desktop fusion" now.
  • Reply 7 of 106
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,154member
    pogo007 wrote: »
    I just hope Apple plans to put OS X on the the iPad soon. iOs might be good for phones but I think it's getting less and less relevant on the iPad. It's great it's getting bigger but ios will cripple any decent use you can get out of a big ipad.

    Why don't you give us a rational explanation of how OSX on an iPad makes any sense whatsoever, considering people are mocking and deriding the 12" MacBook as a "gimped" and "pathetic" machine?

    What possible reason would Apple have to put OSX on an iPad, considering the completely different internal architecture (ARM) and the fact that the iPad has no built in keyboard, a CRITICAL input mechanism for OSX? Are you that excited to use OSX on a touchscreen, even though it's not made for one? That's literally the only thing the iPad has than the much more OSX optimized MacBook doesn't. iPads will always run iOS, which is getting MORE relevant (iOS9 on an iPad is much more multitasking friendly and powerful) not "less" relevant, as you state. If you think there's even a negligible percentage of normal people clamouring for OSX on an iPad, which makes no sense whatsoever, you're out of your mind.
  • Reply 8 of 106
    mr omr o Posts: 1,046member

    Ditching the iPad mini could pave the way for a miraculous return of the iPod?

  • Reply 9 of 106
    pogo007pogo007 Posts: 43member
    slurpy wrote: »
    Why don't you give us a rational explanation of how OSX on an iPad makes any sense whatsoever, considering people are mocking and deriding the 12" MacBook as a "gimped" and "pathetic" machine?

    What possible reason would Apple have to put OSX on an iPad, considering the completely different internal architecture (ARM) and the fact that the iPad has no built in keyboard, a CRITICAL input mechanism for OSX? Are you that excited to use OSX on a touchscreen, even though it's not made for one? That's literally the only thing the iPad has than the much more OSX optimized MacBook doesn't. iPads will always run iOS, which is getting MORE relevant (iOS9 on an iPad is much more multitasking friendly and powerful) not "less" relevant, as you state. If you think there's even a negligible percentage of normal people clamouring for OSX on an iPad, which makes no sense whatsoever, you're out of your mind.

    Well first off Apple probably has a ARM version of OSX for the iPad internally, if not they could easily port it or design a line of ipads with a x86 chip. If you remember the time when OSX was in transition from the power pc to Intel all apps were cross compatible and it worked pretty well . The people this ipad will target are professionals. Professionals need to run professional apps like Photoshop, Autocad and ect. Regular ipad users like grandma's and consumers won't need more than the regular ipads and ios as all they do is surf the Web and check facebook. OSX already has ios like features built in so ipad users would not be completely alienated. As for a built in keyboard it would be so easy to implement it in OSX. As for the physical keyboard, well there are already so many ipad cases out there with keyboards. Apple could also design there own to get more revenue. As for the new macbook it's a first gen product, give it time. Just like when the MacBook Air was released it was horrible. Then a few years later it became a best seller. Now ios is irrelevant due to its lack of file explorer. Like I said in my previous post you can't even attach documents from the mail app in a email. You can't easily navigate and move or copy your files. File transfers are horrible in ios. All this said this is taking into consideration that the iPad pro will be targeted to the professional crowd.
  • Reply 10 of 106
    dachardachar Posts: 330member
    I guess we can take some hints on Apple's plans for a larger "Professional" iPad by looking at what is coming out of their recent partnership with IBM. I have not seen any software yet. Is it iOS based?
  • Reply 11 of 106
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ThePixelDoc View Post



    ...


    Apple needs to move as they always do at their own pace, but notebooks are dead and not coming back. Hybrid devices like the Surface, or dedicated ponies like Chrome are not the answer, and I think Apple has some very good plans on how to make this transition easy on users and make sense (cents) as it progresses. No need to wait for power to catch up, they need to start "mobile/desktop fusion" now.

     

    Short of a good physical keyboard (BT connect fine) and hardware connect to 1 or more large screens, I don't see a way this 'kills' the laptop.

  • Reply 12 of 106
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,154member
    pogo007 wrote: »
    Well first off Apple probably has a ARM version of OSX for the iPad internally, if not they could easily port it or design a line of ipads with a x86 chip. If you remember the time when OSX was in transition from the power pc to Intel all apps were cross compatible and it worked pretty well . The people this ipad will target are professionals. Professionals need to run professional apps like Photoshop, Autocad and ect. Regular ipad users like grandma's and consumers won't need more than the regular ipads and ios as all they do is surf the Web and check facebook. OSX already has ios like features built in so ipad users would not be completely alienated. As for a built in keyboard it would be so easy to implement it in OSX. As for the physical keyboard, well there are already so many ipad cases out there with keyboards. Apple could also design there own to get more revenue. As for the new macbook it's a first gen product, give it time. Just like when the MacBook Air was released it was horrible. Then a few years later it became a best seller. Now ios is irrelevant due to its lack of file explorer. Like I said in my previous post you can't even attach documents from the mail app in a email. You can't easily navigate and move or copy your files. File transfers are horrible in ios. All this said this is taking into consideration that the iPad pro will be targeted to the professional crowd.

    .. And in your entire post you didn't even attempt to answer the single question I posed you, which is what advantage an iPas running OSX would have over the new MacBook, which is almost the exact same form factor, except with a built in keyboard and appropriate hardware. You mention applications like photoshop and AutoCAD, which pretty much required a mouse and keyboard. That is the entire reason they created the new MacBook , which takes all the advantages of an iPad (mobility, thinned, lightness) in a machine that runs OSX. So WHY is an iPad running OSX needed in addition???
  • Reply 13 of 106
    "As such, AppleInsider cannot verify the following claims and presents them for purposes of discussion. "

    Please, don't insult our intelligence AI. You present these baseless rumors from unreliable sources for the sole purpose of clicks. Nothing more, nothing less.
  • Reply 14 of 106
    portcityportcity Posts: 68member
    philotech wrote: »
    If I had a say in Apple, I'd do the following:

    - release new iPhones with the latest tech some time in spring because iPhones are usually bought depending on when the carrier contract expires (at least I understand in the US - in Europe we've moved away a bit from the subsidy model).

    - release new iPads (using the 4-6 months old tech from the spring iPhone release) in time for the holiday season as iPads are much more likely to be given as a gift, considering they don't depend on carrier contracts and are less "necessary" (compared to phones) and therefore better suited as gifts. Separating iPhone and iPad release flattens the top line as the hikes after new releases are spread over the year.

    - let the iPad mini trail one generation of CPU/GPU compared to the full-size iPad or the iPad Pro to allow for a price differenciation

    Until the release of the iPad 4 I think the iPads were always released after the iPhones, and with the latest release Apple indeed let the iPad mini trail one generation. But neither appears to be an actual marketing concept.

    An iPhone release in the spring wouldn't work well in the U.S. The iPhone is Apple's bread and butter and the Fall/Winter is the biggest shopping season for the U.S.
  • Reply 15 of 106
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,528member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post





    .. And in your entire post you didn't even attempt to answer the single question I posed you, which is what advantage an iPas running OSX would have over the new MacBook, which is almost the exact same form factor, except with a built in keyboard and appropriate hardware. You mention applications like photoshop and AutoCAD, which pretty much required a mouse and keyboard. That is the entire reason they created the new MacBook , which takes all the advantages of an iPad (mobility, thinned, lightness) in a machine that runs OSX. So WHY is an iPad running OSX needed in addition???



    Exactly.  Since the new 12" MacBook came out, those that still argue for an "OSX" tablet never provide any justification for why the MacBook won't address their (perceived) use cases.  It must just be one of their talking points, like "I am not buying an iPad until it has a real OS on it".

  • Reply 16 of 106
    Ending the iPad min makes zero sense. I guarantee that the iPad mini will outsell the 13" iPad pro. I love the mini. I went from a regular iPad to the mini. So much more portable. Even if I had an iPhone 6 plus, I'd still use the mini. It's the perfect size iPad imho.
  • Reply 17 of 106
    mrboba1mrboba1 Posts: 270member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by stargazerCT View Post



    "As such, AppleInsider cannot verify the following claims and presents them for purposes of discussion. "



    Please, don't insult our intelligence AI. You present these baseless rumors from unreliable sources for the sole purpose of clicks. Nothing more, nothing less.

     

    Maybe you haven't been here that long, but the point of AI is and always has been "throw out the rumors that have some basis in reality and let us figure out if we believe them or if they make sense."

     

    I don't come here for the tips, tech support, or the general news that I can get elsewhere. I come for the rumors. How long have they been in the rumor business? Almost 20 years? This is their wheelhouse, not clickbait.

  • Reply 18 of 106
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Why is screen size never considered a differentiator? Why should a smaller screen size be a worse product just because the screen size is smaller? Apple is already charging $100 more for a larger screen so why should the smaller screen be a gimped product? I'm talking specifically about the Air and the mini. There is no reason for the Air to have better specs than the mini other than a bigger battery. If Apple would rather people just buy a 6 Plus or an Air then kill off the mini and be done with it. No more lame mini 3 like updates.

    My guess is this so-called iPad "pro" is going to be geared towards business/professionals and not general consumers. But this idea that it's going to run both iOS and OS X is ridiculous. There is NO point for the retina MacBook to exist if Apple's plan is to bring OS X to the iPad.
  • Reply 19 of 106
    mr o wrote: »
    Ditching the iPad mini could pave the way for a miraculous return of the iPod?

    The iPod is the Apple II of our time. Apple's going to ride it into the ground.

    rogifan wrote: »
    Why is screen size never considered a differentiator? Why should a smaller screen size be a worse product just because the screen size is smaller? Apple is already charging $100 more for a larger screen so why should the smaller screen be a gimped product? I'm talking specifically about the Air and the mini. There is no reason for the Air to have better specs than the mini other than a bigger battery. If Apple would rather people just buy a 6 Plus or an Air then kill off the mini and be done with it. No more lame mini 3 like updates.

    My guess is this so-called iPad "pro" is going to be geared towards business/professionals and not general consumers. But this idea that it's going to run both iOS and OS X is ridiculous. There is NO point for the retina MacBook to exist if Apple's plan is to bring OS X to the iPad.

    Especially since Apple released the worst product update in history with the Mini 3; I would hope they didn't expect it to sell in serious volume.
  • Reply 20 of 106
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,155member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    A questionable report out of the Far East...

     

    I stopped reading right here.

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