There are likely a number of reasons for this decision, with competition from other Apple products being a key factor. The iPad Mini was introduced two years before the iPhone 6 Plus, with its 5.5-inch display, burst onto the scene. Today, smartphones with displays measuring 5.5-inches or larger are common in the marketplace. In fact, Samsung’s recently released Galaxy S8+ features a 6.2-inch display and is expected to sell it smaller 5.8-inch Galaxy S8 counterpart. Why pay for a smallish tablet when a big-screen smartphone can get the job done?
Another knock against the iPad Mini is an overall decline in tablet sales. Apple has experienced a steady erosion in iPad sales for the past three years, and the iPad Mini is the least profitable of the bunch. The average selling price (ASP) of iPads started dropping when the iPad Mini was introduced and only began to turn the corner once the business-oriented (and more expensive) iPad Pro was introduced.
Back in March, Apple discontinued the iPad Mini 2, and dropped entry-level models of the iPad Mini 4, leaving only a 128GB SKU priced at $399. However, with the introduction of the “new” 9.7-inch iPad priced at just $329 with a faster A9 SoC (versus the A8 in the iPad Mini 2), the iPad Mini 4 doesn’t exactly represent a scintillating bargain.
According to BGR’s sources, the iPad Mini has simply been “sized out of its own category” and has been the victim of “fierce cannibalism of our own products”.