Apple on track to launch three new iPads in spring 2017, but none of them mini

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Though it hasn't been updated since 2015, the 7.9-inch iPad mini won't be among the trio of new iPads Apple is expected to introduce this spring, instead sticking to larger form factors, according to a new report.




KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo issued a note to investors on Sunday, a copy of which was obtained by AppleInsider, in which he indicated that Apple is expected to update the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, to introduce a new design sized 10 to 10.5 inches with a narrow bezel, and to offer a low priced 9.7-inch model. They are expected to debut in the second quarter of 2017, which would put them in the hands of consumers sometime between April and June.

Kuo, who has a strong track record in predicting Apple's future product plans, made no mention of an updated iPad mini. The diminutive tablet was last refreshed in September of 2015 --?since then, Apple has focused on introducing "Pro" models with Apple Pencil support and magnetic Smart Connector, commanding a more premium price.




The 12.9-inch and 10-plus-inch iPad Pro models are expected to feature a beefed-up version of the A10 chip found in the iPhone 7, dubbed an "A10X." According to Kuo, the so-called "A10X" will be manufactured by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.

Meanwhile, the budget-priced 9.7-inch model is expected to feature a version of the A9 chip found in the iPhone 6s. That chip will be manufactured by Samsung, he said.

Kuo believes that the 9.7-inch model may move the most units -- his forecast calls for the lowest priced option to represent between 50 and 60 percent of total shipments.

He also predicts that iPad shipments will drop yet again, though less than last year, off 10 percent year over year. In his view, "the worst has passed" for the iPad, and better average selling prices with professional-grade models will boost revenue.




Where that leaves the iPad mini remains to be seen. Apple still sells the iPad mini 4 for $399, but it features an outdated A8 processor that Apple no longer uses in its iPhone lineup. If Apple does plan to keep the iPad mini in its lineup, it's possible that an update could wait until later in the year.

Back in 2015, it was suggested that the latest iPad mini 4 would be the last update ever to the product line. At the time, it was said Apple was planning to end-of-life the smaller form factor.

Late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs famously decried small tablets before his company ultimately introduced the iPad mini back in 2012. Jobs quipped that makers of tablets with smaller form factors would need to ship sandpaper with their devices, so users could file down their fingers to the point where they could hit smaller targets on the screen.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 47
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 628member
    Is end-of-life the iPad mini just an attempt to move consumers to higher-priced models? Or have consumers decided they just don't like that size? In my household, there are two minis and one regular size.  
    edited January 2017 williamlondonSpamSandwich80s_Apple_Guyewtheckman
  • Reply 2 of 47
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,730member
    What if they lower the price of the 9.7" iPad to what the iPad mini is? They also seriously need to put the smart connector on the 9.7" regular iPad. This drops the pain in the ass thing with bluetooth keyboards. 
    edited January 2017 williamlondon
  • Reply 3 of 47
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,752member
    williamh said:
    Is end-of-life the iPad mini just an attempt to move consumers to higher-priced models? Or have consumers decided they just don't like that size? In my household, there are two minis and one regular size.  
    I'm going to say the former. That's obviously the point of the iPad Pro line. Though I'm not sure why Apple thinks the solution to what ails the iPad is making it more expensive.
    pulseimagesdysamoriaentropys
  • Reply 4 of 47
    tshapitshapi Posts: 288member
    I think we are looking at it all wrong. The iPad mini will soon be replaced by the standard iPad when Apple removes the home button and slims down the top/bottom bezel. And Elomiantes the edges.  This will make the 9.7 iPad the same overal size as the  entire iPad mini.  

    Ever stop to think that Apple releases iPads based off competition.  Is there any more competition for the iPad mini? Is there any catalyst for Apple to upgrade it?  I suspect not. I suspect that's why it's been neglected. 


  • Reply 5 of 47
    My bet is they're going to have the screen differentiate the price/models.  The 9.7 will have the current (extremely fragile screen) and the Pro's a larger 10.5 OLED screen.

    The 12.9 screen is really to big to carry around.  It's more like a laptop replacement, but is more of a niche product.

    Apple really needs a lower end laptop, going with the A processor with the 12.9 non touch screen running OS X + keyboard, that would get them there.  Overlapping the products to save on cost makes a lot of sense.

     A 10.5 with OLED may become the mainstream IPad model.  I'd probably go that route for my next upgrade.

    With the larger size IPhone the mini has been made irrelevant.  I suppose they could release an IPad in the IPhone Plus dimensions with only WiFi (non OLED).  That would save on costs, and streamline production.  The next IPhone will probably be OLED...

    ----
    The last laptop release were kind of a mess.  Apple needs to fill in all kinds of product wholes to satisfy customers.  The Pro desktop market has been ignored for years.  They lack a lower priced laptop, and ignored the needs of the true Pro laptop market.  Hopefully we'll see the beginning of the plan with the next IPad release.

      
  • Reply 6 of 47
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,632member
    I don't get the need for a 10-10.5 model in the 9.7 stays. Keep the mini. Offer the 9.7 and the 12.9 as Pro devices. 
    pulseimages
  • Reply 7 of 47
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,929moderator
    Seanismorris said it.  The mini was a fill-in product when most iPhone owners owned 3.5" and 4" iPhone models.  It took a couple years for that to change as owners, some reluctantly, upgraded to the 4.7" and 5.5" screen sizes.  For those years the iPad mini was a great option.  But now its purpose has likely been filled by the iPhone + models.  Also, those opting for the mini are likely doing so for light-duty work, browsing and reading, watching video.  Not so much content creation, and so its A8 processor is perfectly adequate.  I'll bet Apple continues to sell it for at least two more years, lowering its price each year while milking its long already amortized R&D costs.  Great first tablet for the kids.
    edited January 2017 argonaut
  • Reply 8 of 47
    ktappektappe Posts: 759member
    Apple's loss. The Mini is the only iPad I will ever consider. The others are too large IMHO. I like my Mini 2 and will (apparently) keep using it for the foreseeable future.
    MiniForeverSpamSandwich80s_Apple_GuyewtheckmanEric_WVGG
  • Reply 9 of 47
    ktappe said:
    Apple's loss. The Mini is the only iPad I will ever consider. The others are too large IMHO. I like my Mini 2 and will (apparently) keep using it for the foreseeable future.
    Can't agree enough, I have both an air and mini 4, the air is hardly ever used. I suspect the mini cannibalizes sales of the 9.7 - it's all about margins - we're talking about Apple, it's always about margins.
    80s_Apple_Guyewtheckmanentropys
  • Reply 10 of 47
    Nameo_Nameo_ Posts: 34member
    I have an iPhone 7 Plus & iPad Air 2, and I love the Air 2 just as much as I love my iPhone (except it's missing the 3D touch which I love), and it doesn't feel at all like a two-year-old device. Don't think I'd bother to upgrade my iPad until there are some meaningful improvements or Apple adds 3D Touch to it. The bezel-less 10.0-10.5" iPad sounds interesting, but don't think it'll come with features that'll change the way I use my iPad. I'm still waiting for the iPad to be a real "ultimate PC replacement," or at least come with 3D Touch. Until then, I'll stick with my Air 2.
  • Reply 11 of 47
    williamh said:
    Is end-of-life the iPad mini just an attempt to move consumers to higher-priced models? Or have consumers decided they just don't like that size? In my household, there are two minis and one regular size.  
    I'm thrilled with my iPad Mini 4 and have no reason to switch to a larger size screen with added bells and whistles.
    argonaut
  • Reply 12 of 47
    For me to the mini is my first choice. Ultra portable. It would be sad to lose this form factor. 
    edited January 2017 argonautewtheckmancincytee
  • Reply 13 of 47
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,495member

    williamh said:
    Is end-of-life the iPad mini just an attempt to move consumers to higher-priced models? Or have consumers decided they just don't like that size? In my household, there are two minis and one regular size.  
    I'm going to say the former. That's obviously the point of the iPad Pro line. Though I'm not sure why Apple thinks the solution to what ails the iPad is making it more expensive.
    First you agree to a stupid suggestion, then you wonder why Apple would be following the logic of this stupid suggestion. I think this demonstrates that you will tie yourself into knots trying to add to the climate of Apple alienation. 

    It couldn't be that the point of the Pro line is to offer a state of the art larger display that's more suitable for graphics and the precision of Pencil input. No, that would be too positive an interpretation. It couldn't be that the Mini has the best LCD screen available right now, and so there's no update needed since the last one. No, that's too sensible.



    edited January 2017 brucemcwatto_cobrafastasleep
  • Reply 14 of 47
    mr omr o Posts: 1,046member
    The iPad mini is perfect for reading books:

    1. The line length of the pages in iBooks is between 45 and 75 characters, which makes for comfortable reading. 
    2. And the iPad is comfortable to hold because of its small form factor & weight.

    It is the best iPad I've ever had. Just make it compatible with the pencil.

    >:x
    edited January 2017 ewtheckman
  • Reply 15 of 47
    flaneur said:

    williamh said:
    Is end-of-life the iPad mini just an attempt to move consumers to higher-priced models? Or have consumers decided they just don't like that size? In my household, there are two minis and one regular size.  
    I'm going to say the former. That's obviously the point of the iPad Pro line. Though I'm not sure why Apple thinks the solution to what ails the iPad is making it more expensive.
    First you agree to a stupid suggestion, then you wonder why Apple would be following the logic of this stupid suggestion. I think this demonstrates that you will tie yourself into knots trying to add to the climate of Apple alienation. 

    It couldn't be that the point of the Pro line is to offer a state of the art larger display that's more suitable for graphics and the precision of Pencil input. No, that would be too positive an interpretation. It couldn't be that the Mini has the best LCD screen available right now, and so there's no update needed since the last one. No, that's too sensible.



    Didn't the first retina iPad provide a state of the art display? Apple didn't add $100 to the price. The facts are iPad sales have been trending downward for some time now and what did Apple do? They created a 'Pro' line that is more expensive and hasn't really reversed iPads downwards sales trajectory.

    There's a lot of Apple hysteria out there and a lot of it I don't agree with. But the Apple can do no wrong crowd is just as bad. Every company needs a good kick in the ass once in a while and I think Apple does right now.
    ewtheckmandysamoriaentropys
  • Reply 16 of 47
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 1,072member
    The Plus model phones in no way take the spot of the mini in the iOS world.   I've had a Plus sized phone since they started making them and also have a couple minis.   They rarely overlap in their use.  The mini is much larger screen area and a different aspect ratio.   I've been wanting a 12.9 iPad Pro and a new mini to update our old stable of iPads.
    ewtheckman
  • Reply 17 of 47
    tshapi said:
    I think we are looking at it all wrong. The iPad mini will soon be replaced by the standard iPad when Apple removes the home button and slims down the top/bottom bezel. And Elomiantes the edges.  This will make the 9.7 iPad the same overal size as the  entire iPad mini.  

    Ever stop to think that Apple releases iPads based off competition.  Is there any more competition for the iPad mini? Is there any catalyst for Apple to upgrade it?  I suspect not. I suspect that's why it's been neglected. 
    I hope you're right, this I think would be ideal. I love my mini (my 2nd) but have to be honest I use it a lot less after they ballooned the iPhone and offered it in a Plus size. I hope they don't get rid of the mini, it's still great, but I would really love a trimmed down iPad that is nearly the same size as the mini with a larger screen. That sort of configuration would be very interesting. I hope you're right!
    ewtheckman
  • Reply 18 of 47
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 628member
    flaneur said:

     It couldn't be that the Mini has the best LCD screen available right now, and so there's no update needed since the last one. No, that's too sensible.


    No, that doesn't make any sense at all.  By that logic, Apple wouldn't be updating the other models either.  In any event, the suggestion that they're "end of lifing" the Mini does not mean it's the best and no update is needed.  If true, it means that Apple doesn't want to sell it anymore. Eliminating a popular model doesn't seem like the intuitive solution to a product line in decline.

  • Reply 19 of 47
    kamiltonkamilton Posts: 259member
    I'd like to see the data on how many iPads are still in daily service.  If I'm any indication, then sagging sales are due to market saturation + upgrade reluctance.  Content consumption devices don't run out of steam as quickly as content creation devices.  They may run out of memory, but otherwise provide little reason for upgrading.  iPad was a huge hit, then it tanked.  Seems like the market niche was filled and remains so.

    My iPad Air 2 Retina still does 110% of what I need.  I'd love a new device, but I'd sooner spend the cash on a new iPhone or new MBP.  
  • Reply 20 of 47
    kamiltonkamilton Posts: 259member
    Or, an Apple toothbrush
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