Pre-orders for the iPad mini have gone live moments ago in a number of countries but most people are still bewildered about Apple’s move of discontinuing the ‘new’ iPad that was launched only earlier this year in favor of another ‘new’ iPad but has retained the iPad 2, which is already more than a year old. The fourth-generation iPad has minor changes over the model it replaces and will be casually called the iPad 4 in the market just like the previous generation iPad was called the iPad 3. So it is likely to be a bit weird at retail stores where one can buy the iPad 2 and iPad 4 but not the iPad 3. But this is likely to change early next year, if we are reading the hints that Apple is dropping correctly. Also Read - Apple shines in June quarter, posts record sales for iPhones, Macs and iPads
Rather than calling the fourth-generation iPad the ‘new iPad’, Apple is now calling it iPad with Retina Display. Essentially, the line-up now has the iPad mini, iPad 2 and iPad with Retina Display. What we believe is likely to happen is the next iPad refresh sometime in March-end or early-April next year would majorly involve the iPad 2, which could also get the new iPad mini like design and some hardware bump in terms of camera, processor and Lightning cable. The crucial change over here would be that Apple would call it just iPad. So the iPad line-up will be the iPad mini, iPad and iPad with Retina Display. Also Read - Apple now offers free AirPods with these MacBook, iPad models in India: How to avail the deal
Apple would most probably let go of its annual practice where the last-generation iPad gets a price cut and remains in the market. Instead, it would develop the three SKUs as separate products with the iPad mini and iPad sharing most of the specifications and differing only in size. This is evident from Tim Cook’s statement during yesterday’s earnings call where he said that the iPad mini is a smaller but full-featured iPad. Also Read - iPadOS 15 release date: Check if your Apple iPad will get iPadOS 15 and when
The iPad with Retina Display is likely to get the top-of-the-line hardware, while the iPad and iPad mini could get hand-me-down chipsets from the previous generation Retina iPad.
Hat tip to Prasad Naik!