19 June 20159to5Mac:
The original iPad mini has quietly disappeared from Apple’s web site, and is no longer available to purchase new from the Apple Store. Introduced in October 2012, the first iPad mini established the industrial design that was subsequently used in the iPad mini 2 and iPad mini 3, as well as the larger but otherwise nearly identical iPad Air and iPad Air 2. Apple notably continued to sell the 16GB iPad mini as an entry-level model alongside two of its sequels, dropping its price to $299 in October 2013, then $249 in October 2014.
It took five years but finally every device in the currently sold iOS lineup have Retina displays. It also signals the end of the A5 chip but developers can’t get too excited to end support as iOS 9 will run on the original iPad mini. The fifth-generation iPod touch also includes an A5 … I think that will disappear soon. My guess is that it will be replaced — in contrast to the line just being killed — by a new non-cellular iPhone variant with a 4.7 inch display.
The Touch is a nice gateway drug into the iOS world so I don’t think Apple can drop the product entirely. The only way it could get completely axed, I believe, is if Apple can sell an iPhone at iPod touch price points. We aren’t there yet.