I’m sitting here anxiously awaiting the fruit symboled overlords at Cupertino to launch the new iPhones, but that’s not even the product I’m most excited to see, that honor belongs to the rumored iPad mini 7. Besides my undeniable addiction to the 7 and 8-inch smaller form factor tablets, which are easier to carry and hold in order to devour boatloads of books. I know pilots who use aviation apps on the iPad mini while enjoying the size and potency of the device.
When our team reviewed the current iPad mini 6 back in 2021, we fell in love with its powerful A15 Bionic CPU, size, and USB-C charging. However, we were disappointed by its inability to take advantage of the Magic Keyboard. According to leakers and analysts like Ming-Chi Kuo, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, and ShrimpApplePro, we could see a new iPad Mini anytime in the next 2 weeks to 18 months. ShrimpApplePro estimated the release to be later this year, back on August 1, 2023, and to me, September is later in the year, hence my anxiety and hope.
However, Kuo and Gurman feel the timeline will be closer to mid-2024. It wouldn’t be the first time Apple made us wait; it was four years between the iPad mini 4 and 5, so I may have to deal with it. The issue I’m having isn’t with the possible specs. On the contrary, they excite me. But, if the pricing remains the same, it will be ridiculous compared to other tablets of the same size. This is where, once again, I take umbrage with the nibbled-upon Apple from Cupertino.
How much is too much?
(Image credit: Future)
In my opinion, $500 for a 7 to 8-inch tablet is a stretch. Although Apple will pack it with either an A17 Bionic or possibly an M2 CPU, I need help to justify the expense. When you’re a dad, spending money on things you fancy takes a backseat to your kid needing stuff so that they’re not social pariahs. Also, none of my kids fit into my 1980s hand-me-downs.
Currently, $500 only gets you an iPad Mini with 64GB of storage, which is nothing, especially when you can buy a Samsung Galaxy Tab A8 with 128GB of storage for just $269. If you want 128GB of storage on your iPad Mini, it will cost you $650, which, oh well, kids, guess who isn’t getting anything for Christmas. Now, imagine if Apple decides to increase the display size to the rumored 8.3 inches; that will almost certainly bump up the price, and if they start with 128GB of storage because it’s 2023, as you can imagine, it will add up.
Although our super-talented editor, Jason England, beautifully expressed how ridiculous it is that the iPad Mini is more expensive than the iPad Gen 10. He’s hoping for a $399 starting price, which might make the Pope of Cupertino giggle. Jason is right; $399 would be a far more rational starting price for the mini. Apple’s defense is that the newest Mini will be loaded with high-end specs and can run DaVinci Resolve and Final Cut Pro while helping pilots find their way in the sky. Meanwhile, I will be left to read books on my 8-inch Amazon Fire HD, and 99% of iPad mini users will be making use of 1/20th of its horsepower.
The bottom line is that Android tablets are far more affordable but less capable from a software standpoint. The Google Play Store remains a morass of malware, and despite Google’s best efforts, the Android tablet app ecosystem is only showing feeble signs of life. I’m left with the same dilemma I started with. I want and could use an Apple iPad Mini, but I can’t justify the expense while also having to look my daughter in the face while she does her best Tiny Tim “A Christmas Carol” impression and asks me for things like shoes and food.
Seriously, Apple, let $399 roll around in your heads a bit before you launch the next iPad Mini. Heck, consider a base price of $299.99; it would be greatly appreciated.