In reality, the iPad was a victim of its own success. The combination of a very popular iPad 2 (decent weight, okay screen, and good battery) and the launch of a smaller iPad mini (with a low price) led to a boom in sales that resulted in iPad sales growth peaking only three months after the iPad mini went on sale.
In retrospect, the iPad mini served as a great precursor to the phenomenon known as larger screen iPhones. There was likely significant demand for an iOS device larger than the current iPhone at the time (iPhone 5’s 4-inch screen) but a bit less bulky than the 9.7-inch screen iPad. Soon, all of these reasons began to be wiped away with new, larger iPhones and thinner iPads. While the iPad mini’s low price meant the device was the more popular iPad for gifting around the holidays, which is likely still true today, the need for an iPad mini was increasingly being met by the iPhone and larger iPads.
The most important aspect on how to look at iOS (and tablets in general in a smartphone world):
The iPad mini’s declining sales provides clues as to iOS form factor trends. Instead of looking at the iPhone and iPad as separate product categories, I like to think of them as existing on the same iOS spectrum but occupying different screen size segments. The fact that iPhone and iPad rely on the same mobile operating system makes this view reasonable.