Farewell iPad Air, iPad mini 2

Apple discontinues iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 2

Apple introduced the new 9.7-inch iPad on Tuesday, and quietly discontinued the iPad Air 2 along with the iPad mini 2. The new iPad replaces the Air 2 and offers a newer processor along with lower pricing.

Apple discontinues iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 2
Apple axes iPad Air 2, iPad mini 2

The iPad Air 2 shipped with an A8 processor starting at US$399, where the new 9.7-inch iPad comes with an A9 processor starting at $329. The new model doesn’t include Apple Pencil support or a Smart Connector, so it’s still distinctly different from the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Apple seems to be targeting more budget conscious iPad buyers with this model.

Apple streamlined the iPad mini lineup by dropping the iPad mini 2 and the 32 GB iPad mini 4. Your only mini option now is the 128 GB model with an A8 processor priced at $399. Based on Apple’s track record, that’s probably a pretty good indication the iPad mini line is slowly phasing out and may quietly disappear soon-ish.

That makes Apple’s iPad line up as of today the iPad mini 4, 9.7-inch iPad, and 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Getting into a 9.7-inch iPad is more affordable than it was yesterday, and unless you really need the smaller size, buying an iPad mini doesn’t make sense anymore.

If you want a new 9.7-inch iPad, they go on sale this Friday, March 24th, and ship next week.

2 thoughts on “Farewell iPad Air, iPad mini 2

  • Marcus, I agree with you. Apple is too clever by half with incremental upgrades, dropping options, and undermining themselves.

    If they would release a new Mini with an upgraded camera including better low light performance, a flash, and better zooming, we’d buy 2 of them in a heartbeat! It’s the ideal camera-tablet format. The regular iPad is too big. Adding more RAM to improve performance– multiple tabs and multiple apps — would be helpful as well.

    They needed to upgrade the iPhone SE, too, with a better processor, more RAM, and a Smart Cover, flip case option.

    Gee! So, I can now get one with more storage space, but nothing else improved!

    Apple is missing out big time. No wonder its tablet sales are in the doldrums,

  • I can understand Apple discontinuing the iPad mini 2, but not updating the iPad mini 4 is just silly in my opinion. Sure the 128GB of space in the iPad mini 4 at $399 (US) is nice, but it still has all the same old internals from September 2015 when the iPad mini 4 originally launched.

    I also noticed that the iPad mini 4, the iPod touch, and the Apple TV 4 all have the A8 processor. The iPad mini 4 and iPod touch seem to share many of the same tech specs. Both iPad mini 4 and iPod touch with 128GB are the same price at $399 (US).

    To me, this is the maddening self-fulfilling prophecy fallacy Apple seems to keep tripping over. First, Apple makes minor or no changes to old hardware; which leads to mediocre or flat sales for that product. Second, Apple points to the mediocre sales as justification for ignoring or neglecting that product; which further marginalizes that product or leads to it being discontinued.

    As for the iPad mini, the only thing I can think of is that maybe there is an iPad mini Pro that will be released later this year when the iPad Pro lineup is released. I can imagine the Pro line-up looking like: iPad mini Pro, iPad Pro 10.5, and iPad Pro 12.9, that all have the smart connector and Apple Pencil 2 support.

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