Could there be an iPad mini 7 you wonder? We live in hope. The iPad mini line has been a little quiet since the release of the iPad mini 6. The last update made the smaller tablet look like an iPad Air, with a sleek new chassis and a new screen with slimmer bezels. There was also a new processor inside in the shape of an A15 Bionic, along with more RAM and a better GPU. It was a lovely upgrade that many appreciated.
However, it's showing its age a little now. The iPad mini 6, besides the iPad 9th gen that Apple still sells (for who knows why), remains the oldest iPad model that you can buy brand new today. Surely an update is in the works? Online whisperings could paint a picture of what we might see from it.
This is what we think you can expect from a new iPad mini, from new features to specs and even colors.
iPad mini 7: Release date rumors
The iPad mini 6 was announced back on 24 September 2021, around two and a half years after the iPad mini 5 was announced. That makes now the perfect time for some news about the iPad mini 7 if a set timeline is being followed.
However, the iPad mini isn't released in the same manner as the rest of the iPad lineup which makes it trickier to predict. While the iPad Pro models receive yearly updates, the iPad mini has a much less certain schedule.
The most reliable update we have about the iPad mini 7 is from renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In December 2021 Kuo reported that Apple was working on an iPad mini and that it would be coming at the end of 2023. That would fit into the general timespan between iPad minis as well as be fairly soon.
(2/3)I think it's unlikely Apple will replace the iPad mini with a foldable iPad in 2025, which may be contrary to what some media previously predicted. It's because a foldable iPad will have a markedly higher price than an iPad mini, so such a replacement is not reasonable.December 27, 2022
That could mean we see an iPad mini by the end of the year, but we may also have to wait a bit longer before we see an upgrade to Apple's smallest tablet. WWDC 2023 passed by with no mention of a new iPad mini 7, but we could see an iPad event around October, which may also feature the new rumored iMac devices. Either way, it's unlikely we'll; see anything before the iPhone 15 announcement in September.
iPad mini 7: New rumored features
Given that the last update the iPad mini received was a big shakeup, it’s unlikely that the next one is going to be a groundbreaking release. Instead, it's likely to be more of an iterative update. There are a couple of features worth paying attention to though. Here's what we're thinking.
The iPad mini lacks a smart connector like the bigger iPad models, and if Apple were to add one to the next iPad mini, it would bring its feature set in line. Such a connector would mean you could hook up a keyboard like you can with the iPad Pro or the iPad 10th gen. You could also count on Apple making special attachments to make use of the potential new functionality.
There are a couple of different ways that the iPad mini might go with the processor. While we have some inkling that the processor is going to be the biggest part of the update according to the Ming-Chi Kuo report, it seems like there are two key directions that Apple could go.
The first is the easiest option -- sticking the equivalent phone chip of the time inside the tablet. The previous iPad mini had the A15 from the then-new iPhone 13, so if we're looking at a late 2023 release window, that could be an A17 chip likely to be seen on the iPhone 15.
Alternatively, we could see an M1 chip in the iPad mini. That way, it would become a shrunk-down version of the iPad Air, allowing for more features to be used. It could make Stage Manager possible, for instance, which is currently only really seen on the iPad Pro and Air.
There is another option, however. Twitter user @frontron shared a discussion from a Korean forum that the chip in the iPad mini 7 could be a beefed-up A15 chip rather than something new. That would mean that instead of the slightly-depowered iPhone chip like in the iPad mini 6, it would have a boosted clock speed of 3.23GHz. As a cost-saving measure, this would make sense, although it's worth taking this rumor with a grain of salt, as while FrontTron is reliable, his source might not be.
iPad mini 6 Pro (tentative name)Samsung Display has shipped an 8.3x" 120Hz display sample to Apple.The model starts from a 128GB variant with 4GB of RAM, and a 3.23GHz A15.The price is slightly higher than the mini 6, however, it isn't that burdening.https://t.co/SjtlLESeJqNovember 4, 2021
Either way, the processor will be the thing to watch out for with the iPad mini 7.
Given that the iPad mini 6 was a big design shake-up, it's unlikely that the outward appearance of the tablet is going to change at all. However, we could see new colors that match the iPad 10th gen or the rumored color choices for the iPhone 15. The latest iPad came in cool shades like yellow, so perhaps we’ll see an enhanced color range with a new iPad mini. Leaks regarding the iPhone 15 Pro suggest a new deep, wine-like red color that we reckon the iPad mini 7 would look great in.
One of the biggest problems with the previous iPad mini 6 was the Jelly Scrolling that came with its screen. Users found that when scrolling on the iPad mini 6, there was a small delay on the screen that created a wobbling effect akin to Jelly. It’s due to the refresh rate of the LED screen.
The solution would be a 120Hz ProMotion display. This was another part of the aforementioned Korean forum post, and one that would make sense. It'd fix the Jelly Scrolling issue if nothing else.
On the other hand, it would bring a feature to the iPad mini that the Air lacks. It could confuse the product lineup more than necessary. Again, while FrontTron is reliable, the source is relatively unknown so this screen update could be empty rumors. In fact, Ross Young weighed in on rumors in 2022, saying that he’d be ‘surprised’ if the iPad mini 7 has a ProMotion display due to the display tech.
I would be surprised since it is currently an a-Si LCD which isn't compatible with ProMotion. Only their Pro models support ProMotion as they use an Oxide LCD.June 28, 2022
iPad Mini 7: Price
The iPad mini 6 cost a lot more than the iPad mini 5, so it's unlikely we'll see much of a price increase with the iPad mini 7. Apple tends to increase prices substantially when it's revamped something like with the iPad 10th gen, with iterative updates generally costing similar sums to the previous model.
If that remains the case, the iPad mini 7 would retail from around $499, increasing for greater storage options and the cellular versions.
What we’d like to see from the iPad mini 7
Of course, there are other things we’d like to see from the new iPad mini. For one, we’d like slimmer bezels. The bezels on the old device make the tablet feel bigger than it should, with a large black border around the screen. It would be good to see this trimmed down so we truly gain an 'edge-to-edge display'.
A new smart connector would be convenient too, as we can also think of cool accessories we'd like to use with the iPad mini 7. A smart keyboard like one you see for the iPad Pro would be useful, and could turn the iPad mini into a highly portable mini laptop.
The iPad mini continues to be one of our favorite tablets in the iPad lineup. Rumors around what might happen next only make us more excited for an update. In the meantime, if you're looking for a currently released iPad, the best iPad deals can help.
Should I wait to upgrade my iPad mini?
We still don't know when the next iPad mini will come out, but it might still be worth waiting. The timeline makes sense to hold fire. Alternatively, you could opt for an iPad Air, although you'll miss out on the smaller form factor. The iPad Pro provides more processing power, but again it's big. If you're desperate for a small tablet, waiting could be worth it.
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As the Buying Guides and Deals writer for iMore, Tammy puts over a decade of experience in finding the best prices of Apple products to work, helping you save money on the equipment that you want. An audiophile at heart, she loves all things audio and visual, but you’ll also find her drooling over the latest Macs and MacBooks. With a Masters in screenwriting, Tammy likes to spend her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays or driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.