Apple phasing out iPad mini in light of low sales, Plus-sized iPhones - report

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  • Reply 61 of 102
    lorin schultzlorin schultz Posts: 2,744member
    blastdoor said:
    If true, big mistake. 

    iPad Mini might have a niche audience, but it's an important niche -- kids! 

    Kids love it for videos and games. It's the perfect device for little hands. 
    Yup. We got our grandson a mini to replace his broken Samsung (at three times the price of the Samsung it was a tough decision, but we decided the ecosystem compatibility made biting the bullet worth it). We looked at full-size tablets and they were just too big for him to handle. If there is no "compact" version next time he needs one, I suspect he'll wind up with another Samsung. The ~10" size is just too big for little hands.
  • Reply 62 of 102
    nhtnht Posts: 4,496member
    nht said:

    And there are sound reasons to score better on a regular iPad: the games are designed for those, all controls, figures, targets are designed with regular iPads in mind. When you shrink down the regular iPad, playing becomes harder due to the shrunken size of targets, figures, and controls. 
    Touch targets on the iPad mini are still compliant with the minimum HIG values.

    Touchscreens report the centriods of a touch even so the contact patch isn't really all that relevant.  Guidelines for touch targets are 6mm minimum, 8mm preferred and no bigger than 15mm with 8-10mm spacing between elements.  The 44 point HIG minimum for touch targets on the mini is the same physical size as on the iPhone.
    OK but games are not played in millimeter precision. Those measurements mean nothing to gamers. This is the subjective experience of the game that counts and Steve Jobs was right about the sandpaper.
    Those measurements mean something to game designers as the game UI has to be designed to work across all iPads.  The cumulative number of iPad minis is simply too large to ignore.  Also many iOS games run on both iPhones and iPads.  The target sizes are the same size for both iPhone and iPad mini.  No sandpaper required. 
  • Reply 63 of 102
    nhtnht Posts: 4,496member

    nht said:
     This is not a matter of which one sells the most, graphs exist around,
    Yes, graphs do exist.

    On amazon the mini outsells the normal iPad.  Last year the mini topped iPad sales.

    https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Computers-Accessories-Computer-Tablets/zgbs/pc/1232597011

    The whole "iPad mini's aren't popular" wasn't true January of 2016.

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/16/01/21/mini-takes-lead-in-ipad-sales-as-ipad-pro-jumps-in-at-12-percent-survey-data-says

    Here's a contrary headline but looking at the data still shows healthy iPad mini sales even if it has dropped since 2014.  The most recent drop in sales is likely tied to the lack of updates as opposed to lower demand.  No point in updating your mini if you already own the iPad mini 4.  Sales were solid until 1Q17 a year after the 1Q16 (sept 2015) release of the 4.

    https://www.aboveavalon.com/notes/2017/3/29/apple-is-pushing-ipad-like-never-before

    So your whole "the mini doesn't sell" assertion is untrue given the publicly available information.

    A contrary headline proves the point, see Exhibit 3: iPad Unit Sales by Screen Size (TTM) there. It shows clearly that while all iPad sales decline, Mini's share is shrunken by an increase in regular iPad sales. You seem relate that to the lack of updates, but even if it is so, keeping a product which is hard to update does not make sense. Larger form factor provides more room for updates. Putting an A9 in an iPad Mini seems hard to imagine with such a small battery while the pixel count remains unchanged.
    No.  The blue graph (larger iPad sales) is in constant decline from 4Q14 until 3Q16, more or less flat for 4Q16 and then only shows an increase in sales 1Q17.  This is clearly seen in Exhibit 4.  The uptick in 1Q17 is the new iPad releases at a lower ASP in comparison to the iPad Pros.

    The volume decline seen in 2016 is IMHO caused by Apple increasing the ASPs for larger iPads by $100 by not refreshing the $499 iPad Air 2 with the A9 and releasing the $599 A9X iPad Pro instead and also not refreshing the iPad Mini.

    You can also see that iPad mini sales were largely flat over 2016 but dropped when the $329 iPad was released there was no refresh since 2015.
  • Reply 64 of 102
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,907member
    nht said:
    nht said:

    And there are sound reasons to score better on a regular iPad: the games are designed for those, all controls, figures, targets are designed with regular iPads in mind. When you shrink down the regular iPad, playing becomes harder due to the shrunken size of targets, figures, and controls. 
    Touch targets on the iPad mini are still compliant with the minimum HIG values.

    Touchscreens report the centriods of a touch even so the contact patch isn't really all that relevant.  Guidelines for touch targets are 6mm minimum, 8mm preferred and no bigger than 15mm with 8-10mm spacing between elements.  The 44 point HIG minimum for touch targets on the mini is the same physical size as on the iPhone.
    OK but games are not played in millimeter precision. Those measurements mean nothing to gamers. This is the subjective experience of the game that counts and Steve Jobs was right about the sandpaper.
    Those measurements mean something to game designers as the game UI has to be designed to work across all iPads.
    That is exactly the problem. Taking the regular iPad and shrinking it down to the Mini form factor didn't work. Games and everything had to be redesigned for the Mini form factor but then fragmentation would occur. Scaling down everything helped developers but didn't help users since you cannot scale down user's finger...

    Anyway, I don't think the phasing out of the Mini is imminent. This is a device which still has a demand. The phasing out of the 13" MBP w/CD took several years.
    edited May 2017
  • Reply 65 of 102
    bestkeptsecretbestkeptsecret Posts: 3,392member

    I wonder if the Mini was released as a stop-gap to make a dent in the phablet market, till Apple ironed out the kinks in getting a bigger iPhone out?

    Now that is has served its purpose, it is let to die on the vine, like the iPods.

  • Reply 66 of 102
    bestkeptsecretbestkeptsecret Posts: 3,392member
    blastdoor said:
    If true, big mistake. 

    iPad Mini might have a niche audience, but it's an important niche -- kids! 

    Kids love it for videos and games. It's the perfect device for little hands. 


    That really is not cut and dry. My kids are used to the iPad 3 & 4. I tried to get one of them to use the Mini, but they didn't like the smaller screen.

    The size & weight of the iPad Air is ideal for kids.

  • Reply 67 of 102
    bestkeptsecretbestkeptsecret Posts: 3,392member
    The worst part is that even though I get to say, "I told you so," I don't even care anymore, at all. Whether products that make sense and improve a person's life are released doesn't seem to matter anymore. I should probably just lock myself in a room and stop eating.

    I think half the fun on AI died the moment you dialled yourself back TS.
    edited May 2017
  • Reply 68 of 102
    argonautargonaut Posts: 124member
    blastdoor said:
    If true, big mistake. 

    iPad Mini might have a niche audience, but it's an important niche -- kids! 

    Kids love it for videos and games. It's the perfect device for little hands. 
    This!  

    My kids LOVE their Mini 4's - just the right size!
  • Reply 69 of 102
    gutted if true. I just bought another mini a few weeks back, had to buy 2nd hand since apple ditched everything bar the overpriced "top spec" model. The regular iPad size is too big for carrying around whereas the mini fits in my back pocket perfectly. Also 7.9" is a HUGE jump from 5.5" so I can't see how the plus is cannibalising it at all.

    4" iPhone + 7.9" iPad + 12"+ Macbook is my personal ideal - covers all scenarios. The one-fits-all attitude of "just get a 5.5" iPhone" sounds like the microsoft windows 10 strategy, some people may like that but I don't want my fridge to be making toast ;)
  • Reply 70 of 102
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,151member
    Apple needs to be careful about its long term marketing strategy:   It needs kids.  And, kids will continue to use what they are comfortable using
    -- Currently, kids are being indoctrinated into the Google ecosystem via the proliferation of Chromebooks in schools.
    -- Now, the primary tablet for kids, the mini, may be killed off.   The mini is perfect for little hands and the excuse that it competes against the IPhone+ doesn't apply because kids don't have IPhones.

    Is Apple expecting that kids will wait till their first IPhone before wading into the Apple ecosystem?  
    ... It will be too late.   They need to learn from McDonalds and start young
    muthuk_vanalingamargonaut
  • Reply 71 of 102
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,907member
    Apple needs to be careful about its long term marketing strategy:   It needs kids.  And, kids will continue to use what they are comfortable using
    -- Currently, kids are being indoctrinated into the Google ecosystem via the proliferation of Chromebooks in schools.
    -- Now, the primary tablet for kids, the mini, may be killed off.   The mini is perfect for little hands [...]
    Until they discover that actually a regular iPad is better than their Mini ;-) If they can use the regular iPad, given their age, they will immediately disgrace the Mini and stick with or envy for the regular iPad. Kids rarely fit into the model considered for them by the grown-ups... About controls, interaction, shrinking down the UI I don't want to repeat myself as I commented on those in previous posts, but just let me point to one more thing: kids don't see the world "smaller" because they have "smaller" eyes; if a game is hard to play on iPad Mini but easy to play on the regular iPad, this is valid for both kids and grown-ups.
  • Reply 72 of 102
    pbpb Posts: 4,233member
    Here is an interesting read:

    Apple, please don't kill the iPad mini

    Perhaps Apple is repositioning the iPad as a whole towards bigger screens, something like lightweight laptop. This is one facet of corporate logic that could explain the unexplainable.

    The idea of a bezel-less iPad in the same physical dimensions, more or less, as today's mini, with a display of 9.7" is also interesting. But I would not hold my breath on it.
  • Reply 73 of 102
    ike17055ike17055 Posts: 116member
    pb said:
    ike17055 said:
    pb said:
    joe28753 said:
    And I can't really use an iPad as a phone. Well you can link it to your account in ways, but not use as a sole phone.
    Not sure if I understand. I frequently use my mini as an autonomous phone unit, through software, at very low cost.
    I equipped my mini with skype, talkatone and magicApp and it is a btter phone than most phones. But if you make a lot of calls, the need for headset or the use of it on speaker may prove impractical.  
    This is the only real downside. Perhaps the AirPods provide an acceptable solution in between. But in cases of normally expensive calls, an iPad mini 4 plus Skype is almost impossible to beat. I say "almost" because I have not tried Talkatone. Is it as good as Skype?
    Talkatone used to be awesome, and still is quite good but they cHanged the interface to "modernize" it and it lost reliability. SOmetimes glitchy. Surprisingly, i get much better audio quality and reliability  from MagicApp, as unattractive as it appears (a phone app instead of an ipad app) but texting is better on Talkatone.  Skype works perfectly, but I was looking for a lower cost alternative. I just did an audio call back to the office in Pennsylvania today from a remote location in Puerto Rico and I had perfect audio for an hour and a half at NO COST with Magic App. 
  • Reply 74 of 102
    ike17055ike17055 Posts: 116member
    pb said:
    ike17055 said:
    pb said:
    joe28753 said:
    And I can't really use an iPad as a phone. Well you can link it to your account in ways, but not use as a sole phone.
    Not sure if I understand. I frequently use my mini as an autonomous phone unit, through software, at very low cost.
    I equipped my mini with skype, talkatone and magicApp and it is a btter phone than most phones. But if you make a lot of calls, the need for headset or the use of it on speaker may prove impractical.  
    This is the only real downside. Perhaps the AirPods provide an acceptable solution in between. But in cases of normally expensive calls, an iPad mini 4 plus Skype is almost impossible to beat. I say "almost" because I have not tried Talkatone. Is it as good as Skype?
    For work, i can have the calling app open and simulataneouly pull up emails, documents to follow and simultaneously pull up relevant incoming emails during the conference call, and it is all easy to do and easy to read on the screen, which would be much harder on phone. Of course, this applies to the full size, but the portability is ideal, especially when traveling.  The mini even fits in a pants pocket if you dont mind looking like you have an ongoing issue with a protrusion from your pants.  I use that sparingly, but ultra useful when needed. 
  • Reply 75 of 102
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,229moderator
    pb said:
    Perhaps Apple is repositioning the iPad as a whole towards bigger screens, something like lightweight laptop. This is one facet of corporate logic that could explain the unexplainable.

    The idea of a bezel-less iPad in the same physical dimensions, more or less, as today's mini, with a display of 9.7" is also interesting. But I would not hold my breath on it.
    The bigger screen makes sense for the iPad Pro, which starts at $599. I suspect the mini was selling better than other iPads but Apple wasn't happy with the low $269 price point. The most recent change looks like an experiment to see if the mini was selling more based on size or price because they made a 9.7" iPad starting at $329 and the mini now starts at $399. If people are buying primarily based on price then Apple can streamline the production by just having the cheaper 9.7" iPad model. This wouldn't satisfy the portion buying for the size though.

    They keep refining the larger iPad to be smaller, thinner, lighter but the mini form factor hasn't changed nearly as much:



    http://www.imore.com/ipad-mini-4-evolution

    The larger model is converging towards the mini form factor. All it would need is for there to be a new iPad to replace both the iPad and iPad mini, perhaps a ~8.5" size:

    https://www.apple.com/ipad/compare/

    This would remain a non-Pro model and be positioned for media consumption where the Pro is intended more for production. Alternatively, they might be planning to only have iPad Pros somehow by lowering the price points in order to better tackle the education market. They could never really make a mini with a compatible keyboard cover. They'd need to have a 9.7" Pro with lower quality parts (screen, cameras) to be able to bridge the $270 gap between it and the cheapest iPad. I think it makes more sense to find a compromise between the non-Pro iPad and mini and sell a single product for consumption so $329 8.5" iPad and have that cover everything up to the $599 iPad Pro.
  • Reply 76 of 102
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,907member
    Marvin said:
    pb said:
    Perhaps Apple is repositioning the iPad as a whole towards bigger screens, something like lightweight laptop. This is one facet of corporate logic that could explain the unexplainable.

    The idea of a bezel-less iPad in the same physical dimensions, more or less, as today's mini, with a display of 9.7" is also interesting. But I would not hold my breath on it.
    The bigger screen makes sense for the iPad Pro, which starts at $599. I suspect the mini was selling better than other iPads but Apple wasn't happy with the low $269 price point. The most recent change looks like an experiment to see if the mini was selling more based on size or price because they made a 9.7" iPad starting at $329 and the mini now starts at $399. If people are buying primarily based on price then Apple can streamline the production by just having the cheaper 9.7" iPad model. This wouldn't satisfy the portion buying for the size though.

    They keep refining the larger iPad to be smaller, thinner, lighter but the mini form factor hasn't changed nearly as much:



    http://www.imore.com/ipad-mini-4-evolution

    The larger model is converging towards the mini form factor. All it would need is for there to be a new iPad to replace both the iPad and iPad mini, perhaps a ~8.5" size:

    https://www.apple.com/ipad/compare/

    This would remain a non-Pro model and be positioned for media consumption where the Pro is intended more for production. Alternatively, they might be planning to only have iPad Pros somehow by lowering the price points in order to better tackle the education market. They could never really make a mini with a compatible keyboard cover. They'd need to have a 9.7" Pro with lower quality parts (screen, cameras) to be able to bridge the $270 gap between it and the cheapest iPad. I think it makes more sense to find a compromise between the non-Pro iPad and mini and sell a single product for consumption so $329 8.5" iPad and have that cover everything up to the $599 iPad Pro.
    Apple wouldn't introduce a new Mini iPad just for 0.6 inch size increase, so a 8.5 inch model is very unlikely.

    iPad Mini may continue a few years as is, with incremental updates as long as its small battery permits. The rest is just rumor mill. The new iPad's price is not an experiment (Apple is not two years ago's startup), but rather a compensation for not being able to upgrade iPad Mini other than storage.
  • Reply 77 of 102
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,151member
    Apple needs to be careful about its long term marketing strategy:   It needs kids.  And, kids will continue to use what they are comfortable using
    -- Currently, kids are being indoctrinated into the Google ecosystem via the proliferation of Chromebooks in schools.
    -- Now, the primary tablet for kids, the mini, may be killed off.   The mini is perfect for little hands [...]
    Until they discover that actually a regular iPad is better than their Mini ;-) If they can use the regular iPad, given their age, they will immediately disgrace the Mini and stick with or envy for the regular iPad. 
    pb said:
    Here is an interesting read:

    Apple, please don't kill the iPad mini

    Perhaps Apple is repositioning the iPad as a whole towards bigger screens, something like lightweight laptop. This is one facet of corporate logic that could explain the unexplainable.

    The idea of a bezel-less iPad in the same physical dimensions, more or less, as today's mini, with a display of 9.7" is also interesting. But I would not hold my breath on it.

    pb said:
    Here is an interesting read:

    Apple, please don't kill the iPad mini

    Perhaps Apple is repositioning the iPad as a whole towards bigger screens, something like lightweight laptop. This is one facet of corporate logic that could explain the unexplainable.

    The idea of a bezel-less iPad in the same physical dimensions, more or less, as today's mini, with a display of 9.7" is also interesting. But I would not hold my breath on it.

    ... About controls, interaction, shrinking down the UI I don't want to repeat myself as I commented on those in previous posts, but just let me point to one more thing: kids don't see the world "smaller" because they have "smaller" eyes; if a game is hard to play on iPad Mini but easy to play on the regular iPad, this is valid for both kids and grown-ups.
    "Kids rarely fit into the model considered for them by the grown-ups"
    You may want to consider following your own advice...
  • Reply 78 of 102
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,151member
    pb said:
    Here is an interesting read:

    Apple, please don't kill the iPad mini

    Perhaps Apple is repositioning the iPad as a whole towards bigger screens, something like lightweight laptop. This is one facet of corporate logic that could explain the unexplainable.

    The idea of a bezel-less iPad in the same physical dimensions, more or less, as today's mini, with a display of 9.7" is also interesting. But I would not hold my breath on it.
    While I agree with your assessment/prediction, I don't think that it necessarily rules out the IPad mini.  Aside from the fact that expanding the IPad to also incorporate laptop functionality does not diminish its functionality as a tablet,  Apple is mature enough to be able to see multiple product focuses...

    The mini provides tablet functionality with greater kid friendliness and greater portability than a full sized tablet.  My grandson loves his tablet:  its great for games and he can hold it easily.   And, many of the personal trainers at my gym also use them because they have all the functionality of a tablet without the bulk.

    We have seen with the Series 1 and 2 watches that Apple can direct a single product line in multiple directions.  And, the same with the IPhone 7 and IPhone SE.   One size does NOT fit all!
  • Reply 79 of 102
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,151member
    Marvin said:
    pb said:
    Perhaps Apple is repositioning the iPad as a whole towards bigger screens, something like lightweight laptop. This is one facet of corporate logic that could explain the unexplainable.

    The idea of a bezel-less iPad in the same physical dimensions, more or less, as today's mini, with a display of 9.7" is also interesting. But I would not hold my breath on it.
    The bigger screen makes sense for the iPad Pro, which starts at $599. I suspect the mini was selling better than other iPads but Apple wasn't happy with the low $269 price point. The most recent change looks like an experiment to see if the mini was selling more based on size or price because they made a 9.7" iPad starting at $329 and the mini now starts at $399. If people are buying primarily based on price then Apple can streamline the production by just having the cheaper 9.7" iPad model. This wouldn't satisfy the portion buying for the size though.

    They keep refining the larger iPad to be smaller, thinner, lighter but the mini form factor hasn't changed nearly as much:



    http://www.imore.com/ipad-mini-4-evolution

    The larger model is converging towards the mini form factor. All it would need is for there to be a new iPad to replace both the iPad and iPad mini, perhaps a ~8.5" size:

    https://www.apple.com/ipad/compare/

    This would remain a non-Pro model and be positioned for media consumption where the Pro is intended more for production. Alternatively, they might be planning to only have iPad Pros somehow by lowering the price points in order to better tackle the education market. They could never really make a mini with a compatible keyboard cover. They'd need to have a 9.7" Pro with lower quality parts (screen, cameras) to be able to bridge the $270 gap between it and the cheapest iPad. I think it makes more sense to find a compromise between the non-Pro iPad and mini and sell a single product for consumption so $329 8.5" iPad and have that cover everything up to the $599 iPad Pro.
    I like your analysis -- except for one thing:    Apple has already committed to a low cost 9.5" tablet.   While a low cost 8.5" tablet makes a lot of sense, it looks like Apple sees the necessity of a 9.5" low cost model -- perhaps because a 7" mini is too small to be effective at things such as computer based learning.  (But it is good, as you point out, at consumption based tasks.)
  • Reply 80 of 102
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,151member
    Marvin said:
    pb said:
    Perhaps Apple is repositioning the iPad as a whole towards bigger screens, something like lightweight laptop. This is one facet of corporate logic that could explain the unexplainable.

    The idea of a bezel-less iPad in the same physical dimensions, more or less, as today's mini, with a display of 9.7" is also interesting. But I would not hold my breath on it.
    The bigger screen makes sense for the iPad Pro, which starts at $599. I suspect the mini was selling better than other iPads but Apple wasn't happy with the low $269 price point. The most recent change looks like an experiment to see if the mini was selling more based on size or price because they made a 9.7" iPad starting at $329 and the mini now starts at $399. If people are buying primarily based on price then Apple can streamline the production by just having the cheaper 9.7" iPad model. This wouldn't satisfy the portion buying for the size though.

    They keep refining the larger iPad to be smaller, thinner, lighter but the mini form factor hasn't changed nearly as much:



    http://www.imore.com/ipad-mini-4-evolution

    The larger model is converging towards the mini form factor. All it would need is for there to be a new iPad to replace both the iPad and iPad mini, perhaps a ~8.5" size:

    https://www.apple.com/ipad/compare/

    This would remain a non-Pro model and be positioned for media consumption where the Pro is intended more for production. Alternatively, they might be planning to only have iPad Pros somehow by lowering the price points in order to better tackle the education market. They could never really make a mini with a compatible keyboard cover. They'd need to have a 9.7" Pro with lower quality parts (screen, cameras) to be able to bridge the $270 gap between it and the cheapest iPad. I think it makes more sense to find a compromise between the non-Pro iPad and mini and sell a single product for consumption so $329 8.5" iPad and have that cover everything up to the $599 iPad Pro.
    Apple wouldn't introduce a new Mini iPad just for 0.6 inch size increase, so a 8.5 inch model is very unlikely.

    iPad Mini may continue a few years as is, with incremental updates as long as its small battery permits. The rest is just rumor mill. The new iPad's price is not an experiment (Apple is not two years ago's startup), but rather a compensation for not being able to upgrade iPad Mini other than storage.
    "not being able to upgrade iPad Mini "
    What?
    Why would Apple not be able to upgrade the mini?  If they can upgrade a phone nearly half its size, they can upgrade the mini...

    Part of the trouble with the mini is that they haven't upgraded it:  the mini 2 is quite old and the mini 4 barely any better when you look at the specs -- there was simply no reason for mini users to upgrade.  Apple has all the technology to make the mini as high end as they want it to be.   But, part of its justification was low cost -- so it falls into the same category as the IPhone SE -- smaller and cheaper.   But the specs on the SE are far better than those of the mini
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