Even though Apple released two new iPad models this year, including the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3, only the 9.7-inch version received a significant upgrade, with the mini model only getting a Touch ID fingerprint sensor and an extra color option. A report from Chinese publication Economic Daily News suggests that starting next year, Apple will discontinue the iPad mini line and replace it with the bigger 12.2-inch iPad Pro model.
Apple is expected to sell fewer iPad models this year than it did in 2013, with iPad mini sales expected to drop by 33% according to the publication. Furthermore, the smaller iPads are also expected to see increased competition from phablets, including the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus Apple just released this past September.
Foxconn is expected to produce the iPad Pro alongside the iPad Air in the future, although it’s not clear when the iPad Pro will launch.
An earlier report suggested the iPad Pro will pack a 12.2-inch display rather the previously mentioned 12.9-inch screen, and it will supposedly feature a design similar to the iPad Air 2. The bigger tablet should be launched at some point in the third quarter of the year, according to some reports.
Currently, Apple has a variety of iPad mini versions in stores, from first-generation to third-generation models, with prices ranging from $249 all the way up to $729.