Rumor: iPad Mini to spell the end of the iPad 2

Apple is expected to unveil a bite-sized version of its iPad tablet on October 23. The company has sent out invites, and given the sheer number of leaks, that seems pretty much certain. What we hadn't heard yet is that, according to an analyst quoted by AppleInsider, the iPad Mini's arrival may spell the end of the iPad 2.

When the new iPad came out, Apple bumped the iPad 2 down to $399 and continued to offer it. Both devices remain available, and the latter is a nice option for folks who don't mind sacrificing the Retina display to save a few bucks. But according to Evercore Partners' Rob Cihra, the iPad 2 will be discontinued upon the iPad Mini's arrival "because Apple's overall vision calls for 'clearer product tiers.'"

I suppose that does seem likely. Apple has kept its product offerings almost obsessively tidy these past few years, and a $399, previous-gen iPad co-existing with a cheaper, smaller device and a larger, higher-PPI offering doesn't seem to fit the company's model. That's too bad, though. It means users who can't quite afford the new iPad will be stuck having to buy a smaller deviceā€”or, I suppose, one of the Android- or Windows 8-powered alternatives.

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