Unlike the iPhone 5 or the iPad 4, Apple isn't replacing iPad minis with the new iPad mini 2. Instead, there's a new Space Grey iPad mini too.
The point however is – the iPad mini doesn't have a retina display and it costs about $100 less than the new iPad mini which features much more than a retina display. Would you still buy it? Is it still worth buying?
Apple has this crazy ability to kill its own products even when they're doing good. The iPads for instance. Or the iPhone 5 too. It's just a year since the iPhone 5 was released and when the sales peaked, Apple decided to replace it with iPhone 5s and 5c.
The iPad mini 2 kind of leap-frogs when it comes to features: you have a retina display now, the all-new A7 and M7 processors and most importantly, the same battery life despite all changes.
All that and more for $399.
It might not sound very unlikely that someone would want to shell out $299 (or lesser if you're purchasing your iPad mini from other than Apple) for what appears to be an outdated gadget already. Why is Apple still selling these original iPad minis and why would people still prefer buying this instead of spending a little more to grab a gadget that's definitely more advanced?
One of the most persistent argument against buying the original iPad mini anymore is the iOS upgrade. The iPad mini features the A5 processor which powers iPhone 4s and the iPad 2. By industry standards, it's a good processor for the iOS ecosystem but it certainly is not going to scale when you have other upgrades in the future.
iOS 7, for instance, runs smoother on A6 and later. Although the iPad mini is supported/compatible and definitely works good for iOS 7, it won't last long. There will be considerable lags in the future as the device ages.
Apple's strategy has been very clear in the past but there are occasional slip ups. The marketing doesn't put the iPad mini even in the background anymore but that the product is still by and large available on the marketplace is in itself a kind of non-Steve Jobs style of functioning. Not that we're being judgmental but it's clear that they want to “offer options” and make money.
If an iPad mini is an absolute must but you cannot spend a penny above $300, the iPad mini original is for you. But you'll most likely regret it a few months down the line when you have a hundred-dollar bill to spare.