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Apple halts new iPad mini 2 sales, raising entry price barrier on iPads

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As a part of its iPad refresh on Tuesday, Apple also halted new sales of the iPad mini 2, a move that raises the price of entering the iPad ecosystem by $60.

The iPad mini 2 originally launched in Nov. 2013 for $399, featuring an A7 processor and the first Retina display on a 7.9-inch tablet. In fact, Apple began by labeling it the "iPad mini with Retina Display," only switching to "iPad mini 2" when the third-generation model arrived a year later.

In keeping the tablet around that year, Apple ensured a low-cost alternative to the 9.7-inch iPad Air line. The company in fact kept the product around through 2015 and 2016, despite it lacking Touch ID and performing increasingly slow relative to newer hardware.

With the iPad mini 4 debut in 2015, the second-generaiton model's price fell to $269 for a 32-gigabyte Wi-Fi model. That made it an ideal first iPad for children, or simply people who wanted a barebones iPad for things like reading, movies, music, or home automation.

Since the iPad mini 4 now starts at $399 for a 128-gigabyte model, the cheapest new iPad is Apple's budget 9.7-inch model, available for $329.

There are still refurbished iPad mini 2 units on Apple's online store, priced as low as $209 for 16-gigabyte Wi-Fi models — 32, 64, and 128-gigabyte configurations are also available, as are cellular versions. Stocks, however, will likely run out later this year.

Apple authorized resellers B&H and Adorama also have limited quantities of iPad mini 2 configurations in stock (new in box) with free shipping and no tax collected outside NY and NJ.