The iPad mini hasn't been officially discontinued but the future of the 7.9-inch tablet remains a mystery. Apple still offers a 128GB version of the smaller tablet on its website for $399, but a new model hasn't been released since September 2015. This has lead many to speculate that the mini will eventually be discontinued as it ages in technology while newer fresher products are released.
iPad mini 4
It is quite possible that the iPad mini 4 will be the last 7.9-inch tablet released by Apple. iPad mini sales have not only been cannibalized by the larger iPhone models, but it is also no longer the most affordable iPad on the market, except for today. Staples is offering a $100 discount on the 128GB WiFi model, bringing the price down from $399 to $299. This makes the fourth-generation iPad mini cheaper than the current 9.7-inch model at $329.
Best Buy today has kicked off early access to its Black Friday in July sale for My Best Buy members only. Members can take advantage of all the Black Friday deals, including discounts on older iPad Pro models, MacBooks and Beats accessories.
Several 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models have been discounted up to $200. All capacities, including 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB, and colors are available. For example, a 32GB Wifi-only 9.7-inch model in Gold is available for $399, compared to the normal price of $599. Members can also save up to $125 on select iPad mini models.
In a quiet iPad refresh this week Apple removed the iPad mini 2 from its website in favor of a more affordable 9.7-inch model. The newly released iPad replaced not only the iPad Air 2, but it is also now the cheapest available model starting at $329. The iPad mini 4 remains as Apple's last remaining 7.9-inch tablet.
There have been all kinds of rumors about the future of Apple ever since the company posted its first decline is sales in 2016. Apple saw a slump across all product lines, but the iPad has seen the biggest slide as interest in tablets has slowly declined over the years. This and the introduction of larger handsets have made many ponder about the fate of Apple's 7.9-inch tablet, the iPad mini.
The last iPad mini model was released over a year ago on September 5th. Apple has since released two iPad Pro models, but there hasn't been much chatter about a fifth-generation mini in the rumor mill. Some analysts believe that Apple plans to discontinue the smaller tablet since its sales are being cannibalized by the larger iPhone Plus models.
Amongst a flurry of announcements at CES 2016, Incipio today announced five new iPad keyboards from their ClamCase label. The new lineup of ClamCase keyboards include the ClamCase+ for the iPad Pro and iPad Air 2, ClamCase Prompt for iPad Air 2, ClamCase+ Power for iPad Air 2 and ClamCase Pro for iPad mini 4.
The first two days of CES are reserved for press releases and invite only press conferences before the convention officially kicks off in Las Vegas on January 6. LG already has the tech world talking with the announcment of its "18-inch rollable display that can be rolled-up like a newspaper,"
and 55-inch double-sided display. All eyes are also on Fitbit who will hold the first CES press conference at 7:30 a.m. on January 5. The fitness tracking company is expected to get the jump on the Apple Watch 2 by announcing its new line of wearable devices with upgraded features.
The iPad mini 4 does not support Always-on Siri. Only Apple devices with an A9 chip support this feature. They include the iPad Pro, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. All iOS 8 devices do support the "Hey Siri" feature, but they need to be connected to a power source to work. This includes the iPod touch fifth- and sixth generation, iPhone 4s and later, iPad 2 and later. Users who install iOS 9 will need to set up the "Hey Siri" feature even if they had it enabled before. Click here to set up "Hey Siri" in iOS 9.
Should you upgrade to the iPad mini 4 from the iPad mini 3? That depends on what you're looking for. The fourth-generation iPad mini is a significant upgrade from its predecessor, and it is being referred to as a mini version of the iPad Air 2. It is Apple's most powerful 7.9-inch tablet with speeds that match the powerful iPhone 6. It is around 20% faster than the iPad mini 2 and 3.