Ap­ple says good­bye to the orig­i­nal iPad mini

Los Angeles Times - - TECHNOLOGY - By Daina Beth Solomon daina.solomon@latimes.com Twit­ter: @dain­a­bethcita

The orig­i­nal iPad mini is no more.

Ap­ple fans woke up Fri­day to dis­cover that the firste­di­tion iPad mini had van­ished from the com­pany’s online store.

It was an un­cer­e­mo­ni­ous good­bye to the de­vice that was re­leased in 2012 as a smaller, less-ex­pen­sive al­ter­na­tive to the iPad, Ap­ple’s ground­break­ing tablet. More re­cent ver­sions of the mini are still avail­able.

Its de­par­ture, con­firmed by an Ap­ple spokesman, means that the gad­get maker will man­u­fac­ture only its latest-model iOS de­vices — iPad Air, iPhones, iPod Touch and Ap­ple Watch — with the high-res­o­lu­tion screens it calls Retina dis­plays.

Ap­ple in­tro­duced Retina sev­eral years ago, giv­ing its phones, tablets and com­put­ers a su­per-sharp screen that made in­di­vid­ual pix­els vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble to dis­tin­guish.

The iPad mini had started selling at $399, but dropped to $249, ac­cord­ing to Ap­ple. Its newer sis­ter, the iPad mini 2, sells for $229 and has a Retina screen. The iPad mini 3 is $399.

“At more than two and a half years old, the orig­i­nal iPad mini is hardly worth rec­om­mend­ing at this point any­way,” wrote Jared New­man for Mac­world.

Some Ap­ple observers are won­der­ing if the dis­con­tin­ued line means that a new iPad mini model could be on the way.

Kevork Djansezian Getty Im­ages

AP­PLE EX­EC­U­TIVE Phil Schiller in­tro­duces the iPad mini, a smaller, les­s­ex­pen­sive al­ter­na­tive to the iPad tablet, at a San Jose event in Oc­to­ber 2012.

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