With the iPad mini previously pronounced by some as a dead line, it’s a pleasant surprise to hear about Apple’s 7.9 inch tablet form factor again. I’ve never sought a Mini myself but it serves a nice niche for people who just want an eBook reader, as well as a cheaper tablet for children. Or at least, that’s what the Mini used to serve.
This rumour by Macotakara is intriguing because it speaks of a ‘pro’ iPad mini with high-end features, effectively describing an iPad Pro with a 7.9 inch display. Naming and pricing is unknown but if it is called an iPad Pro 7.9 inch, I doubt it will be targeting the budget price points that the Mini currently does. It’s like how Apple offered 13 inch, 15 inch and 17 inch MacBook Pros at one time. Three flavours of the same basic product.
The alternative is that the new Mini is still positioned in the range as a cheaper option with the refresh bringing many of the Pro-tier features to the lower-end price points now that components are cheaper. My hesitation with this, though, is that a cheap iPad Air is also rumoured. It would be weird to have both hanging around, I think.
Not sure what to make of this whole thing just yet. I still like the outcome that KGI had implied before, where the Mini is removed from sale and a cheaper iPad Air is substituted in as the new lower price iPad.