Sometimes, Size Does Matter

Why the iPad Mini Just Won’t Die

May 27, 2019 Tech By Photo by Chase Pellerin
Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

More than a few eyebrows shot up when Apple announced the new iPad Mini ($400) last month. After all, it had been three and a half years since the device had received any sort of hardware update — not to mention the fact that overall tablet sales have been dwindling for years.

Video: iPad Mini (2019) Review

Watch more of This Week In Gear video reviews.

So why, then, would Apple release a new 7.9-inch iPad that looks identical to the last iPad Mini; only supports Apple’s first-gen stylus, not the newest Apple Pencil; and shares similar specs to the also-new, much-sexier iPad Air.

Easy. Businesses love it.

Take Southwest Airlines, for example, whose flight attendants carry iPad Minis to communicate with other crew members; or Home Depot, where the staff uses iPad Minis to train new employees and field customer service queries.

The medical field has also taken to the iPad Mini. “We provide iPad mini to our residents and hospitalists,” says Dr. Richard Milani, Chief Clinical Transformation Officer at Ochsner Health System in Jefferson, Louisiana. “It fits in a physicians’ coat pockets and we use it to authenticate into the Epic Canto app with TouchID within seconds.” (Canto is used doctors quickly access things like a patient’s health history, test results and other notes.)

If you’ve been in a Chilis in the past year or two, or any number of fast-casual restaurants, you’ve liked used an iPad Mini to order. “It provides a platform for table-side ordering and is also compact enough to fit in an apron pocket,” says Wade Allen, SVP Chief Digital Officer at Brinker International, Chili’s parent company.

Of course, Apple wouldn’t try to sell everyday consumers on the iPad Mini if it didn’t think people would buy the thing. The size puts it in that comfortable middle ground between a smartphone and a computer — a great travel companion, deft at answering emails or streaming shows on the road. It’s also the only iPad you can wield one-handed, an underrated trait.

It’s tough to say where the iPad mini goes from here. Apple could add wireless charging, kill the bezels or simply get rid of the home button like featured on the iPad Pro. Then again, some things are better left untouched.

Review: Should You Buy the New and Improved AirPods?

The look and feel are the same. With the new AirPods, the big differences are all on the inside. Read the Story

Tucker Bowe

Tucker Bowe has been on Gear Patrol's editorial team since 2014. As a Tech Staff Writer, he tracks everything in the consumer tech space, from headphones to smartphones, wearables to home theater systems. If it lights up or makes noise, he probably covers it.

More by Tucker Bowe | Follow on Instagram · Twitter · Contact via Email
Start Your Week
with Daybreak
Productivity hacks, coffee recommendations, workweek style inspiration and more.

By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy and to receive email correspondence from us.