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The end of a Mini adventure?

gadgets Updated: Nov 05, 2014 11:02 IST
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Taiwanese sources are claiming that Apple is getting ready to cease production of the iPad Mini.

Rumors about Apple's upcoming products and plans are 10 a penny but the report from Udn, which suggests the company will be killing off its 7-inch tablet in 2015, is gaining attention partly because it fits with current tablet sales figures.

In recent months tablet sales globally have been slowing, particularly in the 7-inch category as phablets continue to grow in popularity.

Four years after the initial Samsung Galaxy Note phablet becoming an unlikely hit, Apple finally has a phablet of its own in its product range -- the iPhone 6 Plus. Its 5.5-inch screen isn't as big as the 7.9-inch display sported by the iPad Mini but it is big enough to bridge the productivity gap that has traditionally existed between smartphones and tablets while still remaining small enough to slip into a pocket.

According to Udn, the other reason for halting production of the iPad Mini is to concentrate on pushing the iPad Pro -- a purported 12.2-inch tablet that Apple has been developing for nearly two years and is expected to officially launch next spring.

It's hard to validate the veracity of Udn's claims but a quick glance around manufacturers will show that the tablet landscape is changing and moving away from smaller screen sizes.

For example, instead of refreshing its own 7-inch tablet this year, Google has launched an 8.9-inch device, the Nexus 9. It officially went on sale in the US and EU on Monday. The new tablet was launched alongside the first Nexus phablet, the Nexus 6 which has an absolutely huge 5.9-inch display.

Microsoft had been gearing up to launch an 8-inch version of its Surface tablet cum notebook but decided to drop the product altogether weeks before its official launch in June, choosing to reveal only the third iteration of its 12.9-inch Surface Pro instead. However, it did launch its first premium and affordable Windows phone phablets this year.