Maybe you just found an old iPad Mini lying around and you’re wondering what uses it might have, or if it’s completely obsolete.
Or maybe you’re shopping around for iPads and you’ve come across some older models and you’re wondering how old is too old.
How Do I Know If My iPad Mini Is Obsolete?
Third-generation iPad Minis and older models are no longer supported by Apple and can’t receive updates. Without iOS updates, third-generation iPad Minis and older iPad Minis aren’t compatible with most apps, making them almost completely obsolete to any user.
Your iPad Mini may be old, but if it’s the fourth generation and newer, it may still have something to give.
Learn what you can do with your old or obsolete iPad Mini below.
iPad Mini models that are unsupported
The following iPad Mini models are no longer supported by Apple:
- iPad Mini 1st Generation
- iPad Mini 2nd Generation
- iPad Mini 3rd Generation
The models above have been discontinued and are no longer supported.
Being unsupported means that they can no longer receive updates which means that they can’t be brought to the new operating system.
Because their operating system is outdated, most apps won’t be compatible with the old software.
This means that if you have an iPad Mini that is unsupported, you can’t really do much with it.
iPad Mini models that are discontinued but still supported
- iPad Mini 4th Generation
- iPad Mini 5th Generation
The iPad Mini 4th generation is still supported up to iOS15, the current operating system from Apple but is not currently being sold by Apple.
The 4th generation iPad Mini will soon fall out of support, as the third and older generations have.
The iPad Mini 5th Generation has also been discontinued.
However, because the 5th generation is so much newer than the fourth, it will continue to be supported for several years more.
The iPad Mini 5th generation is still a great tool and can be used in a multitude of ways.
Once a device comes to be about eight or nine years old, it starts to become obsolete, and generally, Apple stops supporting updates for it.
Apple is still producing the new iPad Mini sixth generation and has even introduced a new iOS designed specifically for iPad, the iPadOS 15.
This iOS is more attuned to iPad function, so the device itself is better equipped to handle the tasks it was built for.
Uses for an Unsupported iPad Mini
An unsupported iPad Mini doesn’t have a lot of capability as it isn’t compatible with most apps on the app store.
It can’t receive any new updates to existing apps because the iOS is out of date, so any current apps will likely stop working as well.
While it can’t access apps, the iPad Mini may still be able to store information on it.
If you have some downloaded e-books or other materials, it can be used as a light reader on a coffee table.
You could also download recipes and kitchen tips and set it on a stand while you cook for easy reference.
Because you may not have access to the internet or email on your device, you may need some help from a computer when you wish to download your information.
Plug your device into a computer and handle all of the information transferring and downloading through your computer.
Remember that your iPad Mini is very old and will likely lose all of the information put on it after it completely gives out, so save all of your information elsewhere in addition to on the iPad.
While most obsolete iPads can no longer access the internet because the browser apps are unsupported, you may still be able to access the internet for a while after the iPad is unsupported.
You may also be able to download a new web browser that is more compatible with older devices. This web browser is called Alook.
You will have to check your specific model for compatibility, but there is a higher likelihood of being compatible with the Alook browser than the regular Safari or Google Chrome.
Your device may not die out right away, but the older your iPad Mini, the less life it has and the less speed and functionality it may possess.
Because of this, you might be better off giving your device up for recycling and relying on other technology you have, purchasing newer technology, or even going without.
The Generation four iPad Mini is on its way out the door as well and soon it won’t be supported or allow for new app installation.
You may keep using your iPad until the device completely dies out, but soon it won’t have a lot of the functions it once had.
Currently, the fourth-generation iPad Mini is still supported, so it still has the capability to download and update apps.
After Apple discontinues the support for generation four, it will still likely have app capability for a while after.
Usually, apps will continue working in their old outdated versions for a while before they are completely unusable.
How to Dispose of an Obsolete iPad Mini
Your obsolete iPad Mini shouldn’t be disposed of with regular household waste.
Because of its battery, it can be hazardous to dispose of it in a regular garbage system.
There are collection points in various places that you may take your iPad to.
Recycling and disposing of the materials in electronic devices separately protects the environment and the health of humanity.
To recycle your old iPad Mini, just bring it to an Apple store, where they can collect it for you.
Apple has a trade-in program that allows you to trade in old devices for credit toward new devices.
While this sounds nice, your iPad probably won’t qualify for any type of trade-in, but Apple will still collect it for recycling at no cost.
It doesn’t matter what model or condition your device is in, Apple will take it and recycle it, which is better for the environment.
While Apple does guarantee their recycling of old devices, this still doesn’t eliminate all of the waste.
There are still parts that will be sent to a landfill.