iPad mini 7 rumors: Everything you need to know
Is a new iPad mini on the horizon?
The iPad mini line received a big shakeup with the last release, the iPad mini 6. There was a new chassis that looked like a shrunk-down iPad Air, a new processor inside, and a larger 8.3-inch screen. The bezels shrank, the speakers grew, and the audience cheered. Since that day in 2021, however, there’s only been a little in murmurings from Apple about a replacement iPad mini.
It’s now starting to look a little long in the tooth. In fact, if you discount the iPad 9th gen that Apple still (for some reason) sells, then the iPad mini 6 is the oldest iPad you can buy. We’re definitely due an upgrade, although what that could look like remains to be seen.
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 revealed to us on 24 September 2021, around two and a half years after the announcement of the iPad mini 5. We are getting to that point now with the iPad mini 6, so we could be due some news this year.
Unfortunately, however, the iPad mini isn’t released in the same manner as the rest of the iPad line, so it becomes a little harder to predict when we might see a new one. While the iPad Pro models receive yearly updates, the iPad mini has a release schedule that’s best described as “a little all over the place”.
The most reliable update we’ve had 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. For the sharp-eyed amongst us, that’s this year and fits comfortably within the bi-yearly update schedule from the last two models.
(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
The long and short of it is this: We might see an iPad mini by the end of the year. We also might have to wait a little longer before we see an upgrade to Apple’s smallest tablet. This could mean that we see an iPad event at some point around October, which could also have the new rumored iMac devices. In any case, it is unlikely to be before WWDC 2023 at least and likely after iPhone 15 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 looking more like an iterative update. There are a couple of things worth looking at, however, and we’ll detail them here.
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. That would let you hook up a keyboard as you can with the iPad Pro or the new iPad 10th gen. If there is a new smart connector on the iPad mini 7, expect Apple to make special attachments to make use of the 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 to stick the equivalent phone chip of the time inside the tablet. Given the previous was the A15 from the then-new iPhone 13, if we are indeed looking at a late 2023 release window then that could be an A17 from the as-yet-unannounced and unreleased iPhone 15. The more likely thing is that we may get an M1 chip in the iPad mini. The iPad mini would then become, in essence, a shrunk-down version of the iPad Air, allowing for more features to be used on the small tablet. It would allow for more support for features like Stage Manager, for example, something at the moment 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 bit to watch out for with the iPad mini.
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, it would be nice to see some new colors that match the iPad 10th gen. The latest iPad came in cool shades like yellow, so perhaps we’ll see an enhanced color range with a new iPad mini.
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.
What would fix this? A 120Hz ProMotion display. This was another part of the Korean forum post and one that would make some sense. It would fix the Jelly Scrolling issue, after all.
It would also not make sense for other reasons. It would bring a feature to the iPad mini that the Air does not have, and confuse the product lineup perhaps 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 brought with it a hefty price increase over the iPad mini 5 to go with its new design, so it’s unlikely there’ll be too much of a price increase here. Apple tends to bring bigger prices when it revamps something like the iPad 10th gen, but then iterative updates tend to cost similar sums to the previous model.
That would mean that the iPad mini 7 would retail from around $499, going up 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 nice to see this trimmed down so that we can really call it an ‘edge-to-edge display’.
With the new smart connector, we can also think of some cool accessories that we’d like to see for the iPad mini. A smart keyboard like that you might find for the iPad Pro would be very useful, for starters. A keyboard like that could again help make the iPad mini into a very portable mini laptop, for when you just don’t have space for something new.
The iPad mini remains one of our favorite tablets in the iPad lineup, and the rumors around what might be coming only make us more excited for its release. Of course, if you’re looking for one of the currently released iPads, then we know where to find the best iPad deals.
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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.