Apple’s next iPad Mini could be its last, if a new report turns out to be true.
Chinese language publication Economic Daily News — which has a mixed track record when it comes to accuracy — is claiming that Apple is considering axing the iPad Mini to focus on other products.
The report quotes Liaoxian Li, an investment advisor at Fubon Hardware, who says the next iPad Mini could killed off so that Apple could focus on its larger iPads, according to MacRumors.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard this rumour — The Economic Daily News made a similar claim back in November, saying Apple will stop producing new iPad Minis once it releases its anticipated 12-inch iPad. That older report has since been taken down, however.
The report also says Apple may push the launch of its next-generation iPad Air to next year in order to emphasise its larger iPad, which is expected to debut later this year. Apple has not yet confirmed plans to create a larger iPad, but reports from The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg have indicated the company plans to release one this year.
Apple’s 9.7-inch iPads seem to be its most popular, according to recently released data from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. After conducting a survey of 500 Apple customers that purchased a new iPhone, iPad, or Mac in the US between January and March, the firm found that first and second generation iPad Air sales combined accounted for 63% of iPad sales in Q1 2015, as shown in the chart below. Notice Apple’s newest iPad Mini only accounts for a sliver of those sales.
It’s unclear whether or not Economic Daily News’ report is legitimate — the publication has reported some wacky Apple rumours in the past. For example, the website reported last November that Apple was working on a 3-D display for the iPhone that wouldn’t require special glasses.
It’s possible that these rumours are just coming from chatter within Apple’s supply chain — Apple tests different types of technology all the time, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will materialise in a real product. The rumours around Apple’s upcoming iPads could just be banter within the supply chain, but we don’t know for sure.
That being said, several critics felt the newest iPad Mini wasn’t enough of a change from its predecessor to justify the higher price. If Apple doesn’t see new ways to innovate the iPad Mini, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see the company kill it off.
We’ve reached out to Apple for comment and will update this post according when we hear back.