In a very quiet move, Apple has pulled the original iPad mini from its online store, meaning consumers can no longer purchase it new from Cupertino. The device was first introduced in October 2012, and it established the design parameters that were later used in the iPad mini 2 and iPad mini 3, as well as the larger iPad Air and iPad Air 2.
Apple kept selling the original 16GB iPad mini even after the two newer generations were released, reducing the price for the device first to $299 and then $249 a year later. Recently, falling street prices for other models have made the original iPad mini a tough sell.
Does this mean an iPad mini 4 will soon be released? When the iPad 2 was discontinued in March 2014, its removal from the Apple Store was quickly followed by the rerelease of the iPad 4. Might Apple be making a similar move with the iPad mini?
I could be wrong, but I don’t think this means anything other than Apple is pulling older models that still use the 32-bit A5 processor and non-Retina display. The remaining iPads are all 64-bit devices, using either Apple’s A7 or A8X processors with Retina displays and unified Wi-Fi + Cellular models. With the recent news that developers can choose not to support devices with 32-bit processors, it does make a lot of sense for Apple to stop selling a device that might already be obsolete.
If you really want an original iPad mini, they are still available from Apple’s refurbished store and third-party merchants.