Apple Reportedly Prepping New iPad Mini 5 To Blanket Low End Tablet Market

Apple iPad Mini
Remember when analysts went bonkers over tablets and predicted they would take over the world, shoving PCs aside as we all scrambled to replace our desktops and laptops with slates? Yeah, that didn't happen (though tablets did help spur a thriving 2-in-1 market). Not surprisingly, even Apple is seeing relatively soft tablet shipments. In an effort to spur more tablet sales, Apple may be readying a new iPad mini device.

A report in China cites sources within Apple's supply as saying Apple will unveil a fifth generation iPad mini in the first half of next year. Then after that, the same sources say Apple will launch a couple of larger, entry-level iPad devices.

This is interesting from a couple of different angles. As it pertains to the upcoming iPad mini 5 (or whatever Apple ends up calling it), the pint-sized tablet has not seen a major refresh in over three years. It did receive a price cut in March 2017, but there have not been any major new iPad mini tablets since September 2015.

At this point, it seemed like the iPad mini had reached the end of the road and would eventually fade into obscurity. After all, Apple now sells larger size iPhone handsets, and the iPad mini isn't significantly bigger than, say, an iPhone XS Max.

The other thing that's interesting is that Apple is pushing its iPad Pro as a PC replacement. That's a topic in and of itself, but one of the effects of this is that the regular 9.7-inch iPad models have come down in price. At present, you can score the latest generation iPad with 128GB of onboard storage for $359 on Amazon in Space Gray or Silver, or $329 for the Gold color option. The 32GB models are even cheaper, at $249.99. These are sale prices.

According to the aforementioned supply chain sources, Apple will replace its latest generation iPad with a new 10-inch model that has a narrower frame. Pricing is said to be the same, though it's not clear if that refers to current sale prices. Either way, the recent markdowns lend some credibility to the rumor that a new iPad is coming.