Sources from Taiwan have suggested that the iPad Mini series of Apple tablets will be phased out in favour of the iPad Pro series in the near future.
The report was posted by Economic Daily News, citing sources close to the Taiwanese supply chain of Apple. At first glance, it may seem rather strange for Apple to replace a 7.9-inch ultra-portable tablet with a rumored 12.2-inch powerhouse. To put things into perspective, we need to first acknowledge the lack of improvement seen in the latest iPad Mini 3 compared to its predecessor. The iPad Mini 3 bears similar hardware to the Mini 2, with the addition of Touch ID support. The lack of effort to improve the Mini series is apparent and it almost seems that Apple is just finding a way to get rid of excess inventory. Furthermore, the recent release of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus with their larger screen sizes may reduce the appeal of having a mini tablet.
The iPad Pro seems a better prospect for the future of Apple tablets, if the rumors surrounding it are true. The iPad Pro is expected to be a premium, spec-intensive tablet, a direct anti-thesis to the iPad Mini series. The rumored specifications include a 12.2 to 12.9 inch display with a Retina display thinner than the iPhone 6 Plus. Another interesting rumor is that Apple may bring side-by-side app multitasking in this device, making the most of its specs and larger screen. It is also expected to feature the latest bells and whistles from Apple including Touch ID support and a Lightning port.
As with all rumors, it is always better to be taken with a pinch of salt. There were rumors from Taiwanese sources such as Digitimes that completely missed the mark, for example when they predicted that the iPhone 6 Plus would not be called an iPhone, so it may not be the most reliable. At the same time, several rumors from Economical Daily News themselves have been on point such as the rumored dimensions and release date of the Apple Watch. Since it may not be set in stone yet, fans of the iPad Mini series may want to voice out your concerns to the brains behind Apple.