This is the one feature I want most from the iPad mini 7

iPad mini 6
(Image credit: Future/ iMore)

I've been living with my iPad mini 6 for *checks watch* for two and a half years now, and I honestly can't think of anything more the tiny iPad could do for me. Well, except maybe one thing.

Rumors of an iPad mini 7 have been growing lately since the current generation is nearing three years on the market without an update. While that might actually seem short for an iPad mini renewal, think about this — even the 5th generation iPad mini jumped to the sixth generation in two years and I remember that feeling like an eternity.

Of course, that was also due to the fact that the iPad mini was still rocking the old design of the 5th generation while the iPad Air and iPad Pro forged ahead with the updated industrial design. But regardless, the iPad mini seems ripe for an update.

There's only one feature I want from the iPad mini 7

While there are plenty of other things Apple could and will probably do for the seventh-generation iPad mini, there's only one thing I care about: an OLED display.

I should provide some context for why that is. I have an OLED problem. I realized that when the iPhone moved to an OLED display with the iPhone X back in 2017, I would never buy an iPhone without an OLED display again. See you, iPhone 8 and iPhone SE.

Then, I bought my first OLED television a few years later. That made me realize that I have been missing out on a level of visual fidelity for my entire life. Rewatching every television show and movie I love was an elevated experience — just because of that OLED screen.

Ipad Mini Multitasking App Switcher

(Image credit: Future)

Then, I bought my first Nintendo Switch last year and, you guessed it, I got the OLED model and realized I've been missing out on a better gaming experience. That led me to abandon my LED gaming monitor and hook my PS5 and Xbox Series X up to my OLED television instead and man, was that the right move.

Needless to say, if OLED is an option, it's going to be the option I choose every time, and the same goes for the iPad mini. I would love to see Apple release an iPad mini with an OLED display. It makes sense too since the iPad mini, like the other iPads, is an entertainment device for a lot of people. Watching movies, television shows, and even YouTube would look a heck of a lot better with an OLED display.

Even reading a book in Dark Mode on the Apple Books app would be a superior experience. And for anyone who tries to tell me that mini-LED would accomplish the same thing — sorry, dude. I've looked at every mini-LED television I could find and none of them compared to the black levels and contrast that OLED is capable of. 

I'm sure there are people that would look at a mini-LED television and think it was perfectly fine, but every time I looked at a mini-LED television next to an OLED one, the difference was obvious. Mini-LED can look great...until you look at it next to OLED.

There's everything to be gained and nothing to lose with such a move. Okay, maybe cost, but I'd be willing to pay it to enjoy those inky blacks and deep colors.

What's else is coming to the iPad mini 7?

In addition to my very hopeful upgrade to an OLED display, what else is expected with the iPad mini 7? Well, the rumor mill has its usual menagerie of ideas.

The obvious answer with a new generation of any Apple product is a new processor, and that's the same for the iPad mini. Since the updated tablet is currently anticipated to be released before the end of 2024, that would likely mean that the iPad mini 7 will come with the A17 chip — the same chip that is currently powering the iPhone 15

While some rumors said the iPad mini could get an M-Series chip like the iPad Air and iPad Pro, I don't really see the point. The iPad mini doesn't need to be a "pro" machine and running something like Stage Manager on iPad mini would be quite useless on such a small screen, so I'd expect the iPad mini to stick with Apple's iPhone chip to power it. It's already more than enough for the iPad mini's use cases unless Apple has something shocking up its sleeve.

iPad mini 6 versus iPad Pro 2021

(Image credit: iMore / Future)

Of course, any new iPad like a new iPad mini will likely come in a range of new colors and also get some camera upgrades. I hope that the company moves the front-facing camera to the landscape position and forever fixes the weird angle we all deal with on FaceTime calls.

While there are no rumors of an OLED screen like my heart desires, there are rumors that the company will rotate the screen assembly to fix the jelly-scrolling issue that many users have reported when using the iPad mini in portrait orientation. I personally haven't noticed the issue, but I'm sure that'll make a lot of people happy.

When could we get a new iPad mini?

Of course, none of this matters if Apple kills off the iPad mini. I don't think that's going to happen, but I also loved the iPhone 13 mini and Apple killed off that line of mini products after just two years.

Thankfully, the iPad mini has been around for six generations now so I think there's a better chance of it actually sticking around, especially since Apple put in the effort to give it a redesign with the current generation. 

Right now, all of the rumors are pointing to a 2024 release for the seventh generation, but it's not expected to come out until the second half of the year. iPads have come out in October before, so perhaps we'll have a packed fall ahead between new iPhones, Apple Watches, AirPods, and iPads.

I for one will be crossing my fingers for that iPad mini 7 and the OLED screen that should obviously grace it.

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Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.