"Even if you change the processor, you don't want to use a full screen." Xiaozhi, an old iPad mini user who has been around for many years, said the truth.
▲ iPad mini fifth generation (2019 model)
In fact, he is using the "newest" iPad mini fifth generation (hereinafter referred to as "iPad mini 5"), but what is the "old"? Just because the iPad mini 5 is a product released in 2019, it's almost three years now.
If you are an iPad mini 4 user, you can call it a 7-year veteran user.
▲ The last update of the iPad mini was 855 days ago. Picture from: Macrumors
It is hard to imagine that in this era where electronic products are considered as a "pendulum" update cycle in one year, the iPad mini has only been updated for two generations in seven years.
During this period, Apple continued to push the iPad to the high-end, constantly emphasizing productivity, and the iPad continued to evolve towards large-screen high-performance. The representative iPad Pro series has been updated almost every year, and there are new technologies, new surprises, and new trends from generation to generation.
Before such temptation, Xiaozhi, a three-year old iPad mini 5 user, decided not to wait for the iPad mini, but started with the iPad Pro 12.9 with the M1 chip.
Just as Xiaozhi was immersed in the joy of the new iPad Pro, the news of the new iPad mini became intensive.
The new iPad mini may really be coming
After several rounds of updates by various great gods, the outline of the new generation of iPad mini (hereinafter referred to as iPad mini 6) has become more and more clear.
▲ Rendering of iPad mini 6.
To put it simply, the design of the iPad mini 6 is similar to that of the iPad Air 4, with full performance (use A15), and it will also be equipped with USB-C and Smart Connector, making it a "performance steel cannon".
Such equipment and design even have the meaning of competing with Pro.
▲ Rendering of iPad mini 6.
According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple is also testing traditional designs and has a "normal version" of the Home button. It is not excluded that Apple will unfold the iPad mini and release two small screen products with different designs and different positioning in a row. This is not impossible for Apple now.
▲ iPad mini 6 rendering, an iPad that can be controlled by one hand
But no matter what form it is, the iPad mini 6 is very likely to be launched this fall or this year, and it is likely to arrive with the new iPhone.
Jon Prosser made corresponding renderings based on the CAD drawings of iPad mini 6. The new generation of iPad design elements such as multi-color, aluminum alloy, full screen, and right-angle edges are used on the new iPad mini, which is quite exciting.
▲ iPad mini 5 to full screen iPad mini 6. Picture from: Appleinsider
For old iPad mini users, it is obvious that the full-screen iPad mini 6 seems to be what they want, and it also meets market expectations. Of course, if Apple further reduces the price of the traditionally designed iPad mini 6, it will still be acceptable.
Apple finally remembered the iPad mini?
Judging from the current iPad product line, there are three series, namely the entry-oriented iPad, the mid-range iPad Air, and the high-end iPad Pro.
They respectively monopolize the market at around RMB 2,000, RMB 4,000, and RMB 6,000. The new iPad mini update is likely to make up for the 3000 yuan gap in the iPad series, and the positioning will be slightly higher than that of the iPad.
In this way, the entire product line of the iPad is similar to that of the iPhone, and the four major positioning products correspond one-to-one. The renewal of the iPad mini is essentially the behavior of market segments, and it is geared to the huge demand of the current tablet computer market.
▲ iPad mini 5 and 11-inch iPad Pro
As for the feelings of old users, it is not a reason for Apple to resurrect the iPad mini, and the renewal is more like a smooth sailing.
With the increase in the number of iOS users, for today's Apple, every hardware device can be considered a "content distribution platform." The emergence of new equipment and the upgrading of old equipment basically revolve around "services."
Whenever the iPad mini is mentioned, whether it is the main website of Aifaner or the backstage of WeChat, people often put the label of "game console" on it.
The 8~10 inches of handy size, A series of chips, iOS system and Apple's ecological bundling are all reasons why iPad mini has become a mobile arcade machine.
These features of the iPad mini can also pave the way for the promotion of Apple Arcade game services. It may be one of the services Apple will focus on next, or it may be a new growth point.
If the thinking is more divergent and bolder, and the screen size of 8 to 10 inches is close to the current popular "folding screen" form, perhaps the full-screen iPad mini 6 will be a small "layout" for Apple's incoming folding screen.
The re-start of the iPad mini is to reorganize the iPad product line for the market, and the second is the advance layout of new services, but it is by no means a decision made by Apple.
Is the iPad mini positioned correctly this time?
Or to be precise, have the iPads been positioned correctly?
▲ The original iPad. Picture from: Wired
When the iPad was born, it used a 9.7-inch screen, a size between notebooks (13 inches) and mobile phones (4.7 inches), to make up for the gap.
After hitting the market with a hit, the 7.9-inch iPad mini appeared, making up for the gap between 9.7 inches and 4.7 inches.
The effect of this simple "dichotomy" segmentation of the market is quite effective. With the well-positioned iPad and iPad mini, Apple captured 81% of the global tablet market in 2013.
However, two variables appeared subsequently, which changed the more stable iPad positioning. One is the emergence of the large-screen iPhone, squeezing part of the iPad mini's space. The other is that the iPad has a long life cycle, a relatively single demand, and insufficient growth in the later period.
▲ iPad mini 5 and iPad mini 4. Pictures from: trustedreviews
In this way, Apple first lowered the positioning of the iPad mini. As an entry-level iOS device, the upgrade of each generation is too toothpaste. The iPad mini 2 and iPad mini 3 use the same A7 processor, while the iPad mini 4 uses the previous generation A8. Processor, lack of sincerity to upgrade.
In addition, in order to break the game, Apple began to improve the positioning of the iPad series. In the same year that the iPad mini 4 was released, the iPad Pro series for high-end and productivity was born, and the screen size also piled up to 12.9 inches.
▲ iPad Pro 12.9 (M1 version)
In the future, Apple started to build the iPad Pro into the next-generation personal work center. The previous iPad mini and iPad began to be similar to the iPhone SE, with the old design and the new configuration, with a lower price to focus on the low-end market.
However, there is no performance requirement, and the demand for tablet upgrades that are positioned for entertainment is not high, which also allows Apple to slow down the update cycle of non-Pro iPads.
▲ Replace the designed iPad Air 4
However, starting from the iPad Air 4 replacement design, Apple has also begun to reshape the accurate positioning of the entire iPad series. The price of the changed design of the iPad Air 4 has jumped to 4799 yuan from the previous 3,999 yuan sale. The price of the entry-level iPad has remained the same, thus making room for 3,000 yuan.
▲ The replacement design of the iPad mini 6 is expected to increase its starting price by a few hundred yuan.
Therefore, the 3,000 yuan file left blank is supplemented by the iPad mini 6. With reference to the iPad Air 4, the replacement design of the iPad mini is expected to rise from 2,999 yuan to about 3,500 yuan.
After the appearance of the iPad mini 6, Apple's entire iPad product line will become clearer, and the target audience will be more segmented.
The big screen once and the small screen now
When the iPad mini was born, it was a large-screen device facing the 4-inch iPhone.
Now, iPad mini is a small screen device in front of mainstream mobile phone screens.
In this way, iPad mini 6 and iPhone 12 mini are actually somewhat similar. They all have clear shortcomings, and they also face precise requirements. In addition, the voice of users is very high.
▲ Using iPhone 12 mini with iPad Air 4 is a solution to solve the problem of playing with small screen devices
But in reality, the iPhone 12 mini market has not performed as expected, and the iPad mini 6 is expected to be difficult to reach the sales of the iPad Air 4.
It's just that under the outbreak of the tablet market demand this year, the hard-to-fight rival Apple, the reissued iPad mini 6 may be able to sweep away the haze of poor sales of the mini suffix.
Of course, there is a prerequisite, that is, friends who used to leave a message to buy, buy and buy in the WeChat background should not change their mouths and call out the next time after the iPad mini 6 is released.
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