There won’t be any resurrections for old Apple products. The company is moving into the Retina Age. With Apple discontinuing the original iPad Mini, it no longer sells an iOS device without the high-resolution display.
The move also puts iPads in a category of not having hardware older than two years. It makes it easier for developers who have worked to make apps work on the various product versions. Every new iPad has a 64-bit processor and a retina display.
Apple hasn’t confirmed the move, but you can no longer buy a brand new iPad Mini 1. Refurbished units are still available, but if you’re in the market for a new device, the iPad Mini 2 and 3, along with the iPad Air and Air 2 are your options.
Its original iPad Mini was the final device to not have the display. On the Mac side, there are a few products with non-retina displays, but successors already exist. Those product lines are quickly being phased out.
The move from Apple is smart. At this point, the original iPad Mini runs about as well the clunker desktop you have buried in the closet.
What Does it Mean for Apple?
It keeps the high-resolution display standard across all iOS devices. The Mac side of the company will get there, but it’s less important to earnings than iOS. For developers, it’s one less headache. Knowing the new tablets have 64-bit architecture and high-resolution displays is a bonus.
Consumers are getting pushed to better devices. Removing the option to buy old hardware lessens the impact of complaints about performance. It also keeps the experience as uniform as possible across product lines – tablets, phones and newer Macs.
And maybe we are getting some additional circumstantial evidence of the iPad Pro. It’s not as convincing as the scalable keyboard element, but tightening product lines in advance of traditional fall announcements can be seen as a signal a new product is coming.
The iPad Pro is as close to certain as you can get from Apple. Bigger screen, more power and the ability to use it for ‘real work.’ Does me streaming Netflix on it count as real work? I’m going to say it’s for science and count it as such.