Apple's iPad mini last got a major update in September 2021. While it's a great device, two years is a long time for an iPad to go without any love, which is why we're hoping for a new iPad mini 7 in pretty short order.
The 2021 upgrade was, by all accounts, substantial. It got a completely new design to bring it up to Apple's current iPad language, the A15 Bionic chip, Center Stage, and more. With USB-C and 5G already on deck, potential upgrades for the next model are less obvious, but we're hearing enough rumblings to get excited about a new device on the horizon.
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. Following that timeline, we're about due a new iPad mini 7.
However, it's a little trickier to predict the next iPad mini compared to other iPads in the lineup. While the iPad Pro models gain yearly updates, the iPad mini is typically much less certain.
The most reliable update we have about the iPad mini 7 is from renowned analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In December 2022, Kuo reported that Apple was working on an iPad mini and that it would be coming at the end of 2023 or start of 2024. That would fit into the general timespan between iPad minis as well as being 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 didn't bring any mention of a new iPad mini 7 but we're hopeful for an iPad event around October which could also feature new rumored iMac devices. By now, it's incredibly unlikely we'll see any news before the iPhone 15 announcement in September.
One glimmer of hope comes from @ShrimpApplePro who believes a new iPad is coming soon. The leaker tweeted at the beginning of August to say "I’m seeing at least one new iPad coming. Probably mini 7." Details remain scant, but Shrimp told iMore that this is unlikely to be a September launch and that mass production has not started yet.
iPad mini 7: New rumored features
The last update for the iPad mini was a big one so it's unlikely the iPad mini 7 will be quite as seismic. Instead, it's likely to be a more iterative update. However, there are a couple of features we're hopeful about. Here's what we're thinking.
The iPad mini lacks a smart connector like the bigger iPad models. 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. Count on seeing special attachments to expand your options too if this happens.
There are a couple of different ways that the iPad mini might go with the processor. We have some idea that the processor is going to be the biggest part of the update if the Ming-Chi Kuo report is anything to go by. It could go in a couple of different directions.
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. That would make it much more powerful than some might expect.
There is another option too. 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
Whatever happens, we're confident the processor is going to be the biggest upgrade for 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. More likely is a selection of new colors. The latest iPad 10th gen comes in cool shades like yellow so we might see that with the new iPad mini. Leaks regarding the iPhone 15 Pro suggest a new deep, wine-like red color so we could see the iPad mini 7 available in this color scheme too.
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.
The potential issue here is that it would mean the iPad mini has a feature the Air lacks. It could confuse the product lineup and make it tricky to know what you should buy.
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. Iterative updates generally costing similar sums to the previous model.
If that happens, the iPad mini 7 would retail from around $499, with increases for the cellular version and more storage.
What we’d like to see from the iPad mini 7
There are other things we'd like to see from the iPad mini 7. Slimmer bezels would be great as the old device has bezels that make it feel bigger than it should. It would be good to see the large black border around the screen trimmed down so we truly gain an 'edge-to-edge display'.
As mentioned, a new smart connector would be hugely convenient too. Just being able to use a smart keyboard like the one you see for the iPad Pro would be great, 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, easily deserving its place among the best iPads. 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. At least for a couple more months in case of an event in October.
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.
Will the iPad mini 7 have wireless charging?
With almost every piece of new tech Apple has put out having wireless charging, it's likely the iPad mini 7 will follow suit
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As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy 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.