Apple’s smallest iPad was given a substantial facelift at the end of 2021. The 6th-generation iPad mini sports a complete redesign with a bigger display, Touch ID on the power button, USB C instead of Lightning, and an upgraded front camera. This represented the first major change to the design since the iPad mini was first introduced back in 2012. The mini celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2022 without an update, but a new iPad mini 7th generation is rumored to be in the works. Here’s what we know.
iPad mini 7 release date: When will the new iPad mini arrive?
In December 2022 respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the new iPad mini won’t arrive until late 2023 or early 2024, so we may have to wait until next year.
As you can see, new iPad mini models generally launch in either September or October. Based on the gap between the last two generations we could be due a new iPad mini as soon as Apple’s event in September.
iPad mini 7 price: How much will the new iPad mini cost?
The arrival of the redesigned iPad mini 6th generation saw a $100 increase in price over the previous model to $499. That price increased even further outside the U.S. including in the U.K. where the price increased another £90. Here’s how the price of the 6th and 5th generations compared:
iPad mini 6th generation: $499/£479 (Now £569 in the U.K)
iPad mini 5th generation: $399/£379
As the iPad mini 7 will be similar to the iPad mini 6 we think it’s likely that the price will stay the same for the 7th generation.
iPad mini 7 specs: What features will the iPad mini have?
You’ll have noticed from Kuo’s tweet above that there is an expectation the new iPad mini will feature a more impressive processor than it does currently. We are also hoping for some small internal improvements.
The iPad mini 6 offers the A15 Bionic chip as found in the iPhone 13, mini, Pro and Max, however, this chip is down-clocked compared to the one inside the iPhone 13 series. Here’s how that chip compares to the rest of the range:
iPad Pro: M2
iPad Air: M1
iPad min 6th gen: A15 chip (also found in iPhone 13 and 13 Mini, iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro)
iPad 10th gen: A14 chip (also found in iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max)
Kuo reported in December that the iPad mini’s “main selling point” would be the new processor. He elaborates no further, but it is feasible that this could indicate that the new mini could offer the A17, which is expected to arrive in the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max this September.
However, we think it is more likely that the iPad mini 7th gen will offer the A16 chip found in the iPhone 14 Pro and Max, and expected to appear in this year’s iPhone 15 and 15 Plus. Possibly the iPad mini could launch alongside these new iPhones.
You may be looking at the iPad Air and wondering if the iPad mini might get an M1 chip like that found in the iPad Air. Perhaps it’s something Apple might consider down the line, but the rumors around the launch of the iPad Air indicated that Apple’s reason for using the M1 was actually the reduced of availability of the A16 at the time, as per this tweet from Mark Gurman.
There is also a possibility that the next iPad mini model will offer an enhanced A15 like the iPhone 14, but we don’t think that this would be the main selling point Kuo refers to.
On the current iPad mini 6th generation, the base model starts off with a rather paltry 64GB of storage. For a device like an iPad, where you can store movies, TV shows, books, comics, magazines, games, and a wide range of apps, that amount can often become a problem, especially if you want to take your iPad away on holiday or use it for your commute without needing to manage the storage.
Although Apple has something of a history of giving base-models low storage capacities, we think it would be a wise move to upgrade the entry-level iPad mini 7th generation to at least 128GB. File sizes are growing all the time, due to higher-quality cameras and software, so doubling the existing 64GB would be a very consumer-friendly solution.
Along these lines, there’s also the possibility that the upper limit of the storage could be increased. At the time of writing, the most storage available on the iPad mini 6th generation is 256GB. Moving up to 512GB would be the logical step, especially if the baseline storage moves to 128GB.
iPad mini 7 design: Will the iPad mini have a new look?
It’s been surprisingly quiet on the rumor front, which probably means the iPad mini 7 design will be largely the same as the 6th-gen model. Here’s what we’ve managed to uncover.
The iPad mini screen was 7.9-inches up until the current iPad mini 6th generation launched in 2021. The iPad mini 6th generation screen is 8.3-inch thanks to the removal of the Home button, and this isn’t expected to change for the 7th generation iPad mini.
Apple has been rumored to be working on an iPad with a folding display, but it’s unlikely to come to this model. In December 2022, Ming-Chi Kuo said that reports of a folding iPad mini in development were wrong “because a foldable iPad will have a markedly higher price than an iPad mini, so such a replacement is not reasonable.” (See tweet above).
The screen isn’t expected to change from the current 8.3-inch, but there may be new screen technology. A post on a South Korean forum in November 2021 indicated Apple had ordered 8.3-inch displays from Samsung that support 120Hz maximum refresh rates. If true, the post on Clien (translated here) could mean the next mini offers the ProMotion ultra-smooth scrolling feature currently seen on the iPad Pro, iPhone 13 Pro models, and 14- & 16-inch MacBook Pro. This would address the minor issue of “jelly scrolling” that some users have complained about with the current iPad mini.
However, it’s not looking that this particular rumor is accurate. Analyst Ross Young, CEO of Display Supply Chain Consultants, doesn’t believe that Apple will be giving the iPad mini a ProMotion display yet. He indicates that doing so would require significant hardware changes. This would require a “whole new level of engineering,” according to Young.
We remain skeptical of a ProMotion updgrade as it’s one of the main differentiators between the standard and Pro devices Apple sells.
One of the most obvious changes to the iPad mini 6th generation was the new palette of colors that Apple made available.
While you can currently select between space gray, pink, purple, and starlight, there are several interesting hues available on the iPad Air when it received its new look in fall 2021, including silver, rose gold, green, and sky blue. It would therefore seem reasonable to assume that some of these make it to the mini. Plus now that the iPad 10th generation brought a bold selection of colors, the iPad mini may get a completely new palette.
We’ll update this article as more details become available, but until then, be sure to read our iPad buying guide to see which models we’d recommend if you want to buy one of Apple’s tablets today. And check our roundup of the best iPad mini deals for the latest bargains on the current range.
Martyn has been involved with tech ever since the arrival of his ZX Spectrum back in the early 80s. He covers iOS, Android, Windows and macOS, writing tutorials, buying guides and reviews for Macworld and its sister site Tech Advisor.