Apple putting the A15 into an iPad mini would be a statement of intent

Ipad Mini 6 Power Button Render
Ipad Mini 6 Power Button Render (Image credit: Jon Prosser / FrontPageTech)

A new report from earlier today claims that the next iPad mini will pack the same A15 processor as the upcoming iPhone 13 — something that would be quite the turn up for Apple. The current iPad mini uses the A12 processor.

If the new report is accurate, and 9to5Mac seems to think that it is, the new iPad mini will be quite the processing powerhouse. Not only will it instantly become the best iPad for gaming thanks to its small size and that A15 chip, but it will also be one of the best values as well. Assuming Apple isn't tempted to bump the price, of course.

Here's what the original report has to say about that processor:

According to the sources, Apple is planning to use the A15 chip inside the new iPad mini, just like the new iPhones expected to be released later this year. The A15 chip will use the same 5-nanometer fabrication process as the A14, and our sources indicate Apple is also working on a more powerful A15X variant that could be used in other iPads down the line.

Traditionally, Apple's iPhones get the latest and greatest silicon before it trickles down to other devices. We don't yet know when the new iPad mini could go on sale, but even if it's after iPhone 13 it is unlikely to be by much — assuming a 2021 release is in the cards, of course. The thought of an iPad mini shipping with the hot new processor is an intriguing one — and it will be a statement of intent for Apple. No longer will iPad mini be the also-ran. A tablet that exists just because it can. It'll be a genuinely good iPad, especially for taking notes and whatnot as I suggested a week ago.

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman recently suggested the new iPad mini will get an iPad Air-like redesign, something today's report also alludes to. USB-C and a Smart Connector seem to be a go for this year's refresh, while we're already expecting the Home button to be killed off as well. It's all shaping up for 2021 to be the year of iPad mini and I, as I've said once before, am absolutely here for it.

There's little doubt in my mind that an iPad mini with this new design and an A15 chip would be the best iPad for the majority of people.

I can't wait to see how this thing benchmarks beside the bajillion small Android tablets that litter the marketplace, too!

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

1 Comment
  • "The thought of an iPad mini shipping with the hot new processor is an intriguing one" Why? That happened with the current Mini 5. The Mini 5 has the A12. That was the newest CPU at the time of release (March 2019). So it is just over 2 years old. Not exactly ancient or outdated. "Bloomberg's Mark Gurman recently suggested the new iPad mini will get an iPad Air-like redesign" It does not take a genius to guess this. The Mini 5 had EXACTLY the same specs as the Air 3, released on the same day. Other than screen size, they were identical. A new Mini would naturally be the same as the latest Air. Which is currently the Air 4, which has the A14. What a new Mini REALLY needs is better cameras. But then, the entire iPhone/iPad lineup is WAY overdue for better cameras. The camera hardware has not improved for 6 years, since the iPhone 6S. STILL a pathetic 12 MP at best. The Mini 5 is STILL an absurdly useless 8MP, with no flash.