The iPad mini 3 isn’t much of an update over last year’s model, and now we may finally know why. Apple apparently plans to replace its smaller tablet lineup with the rumored 12.2-inch iPad Pro starting next year, at least according to a new report out of Taiwan.
The news, which comes from Economic Daily News and its supply chain sources, isn’t the most reliable rumor, but it’s still plausible. The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are big enough that a 7.9-inch Apple tablet may not be as attractive to consumers as it once was. So, instead of offering three iPad sizes to choose from, Apple will apparently shift upwards towards a more expensive iPad Pro while it phases out the iPad mini.
It sounds like an outlandish rumor, but Apple did include last year’s parts in the iPad mini 3, instead of newer ones, so maybe it’s just trying to rid extra parts inventory while it builds a more powerful and larger iPad. The device is said to launch in March, which means Apple could potentially continue to sell the iPad mini family for several months after that point until officially retiring it later in the year. The iPad Pro, too, could spark new interest in Apple’s iPad family which is still noting declining tablet sales as consumers find fewer reasons to upgrade models they already own.
Recent reports suggest the device could sport a 12.2-inch Retina display and a design that’s even thinner than the iPhone 6 Plus. It’s also expected to offer Touch ID, a Lightning port and the same front and rear cameras found on the iPad Air 2. Rumors also suggest Apple may finally introduce side-by-side app multitasking in iOS for its new iPad Pro, which would be a great use of the added screen real estate.