iPad mini 7: find out what’s next for Apple’s tiny tablet
Apple’s smallest iPad was given a substantial facelift at the end of 2021. The 6th generation iPad mini sports a complete redesign incorporating a edge-to-edge display with no Home button, Touch ID on the power button, the addition of USB C instead of Lightning, and an increased display size. This was perhaps the biggest change to the design since the iPad mini was first introduced back in 2012. The mini celebrated its ten-year anniversary in 2022 without an update, but a new iPad mini 7th generation appears to be certain for 2023.
iPad mini 7 release date: When will the new iPad mini be released?
There hasn’t been much in the way of rumors regarding the next version of the iPad mini, so at the moment it remains mere speculation when it might arrive. To give us some insight, here’s when the last few models made their debuts:
- iPad mini 6th generation: September 2021
- iPad mini 5th generation: September 2019
- iPad mini 4th generation: September 2015
As you can see, September is the traditional month in which the new iPad mini appears. Based on the gap between the last two generations we could be due a new iPad mini in September 2023.
But we might not have to wait that long. According to LeaksApplePro (via Gizchina), we could see a new iPad mini in the first half of 2023, so a spring launch is possible.
iPad mini 7 price: How much will the new iPad mini cost?
The arrival of the redesigned iPad mini 6th generation saw an increase in price over the previous model. Then, when Apple introduced new iPad and iPad Pro models in October 2022, the price (outside the U.S.) rose further.
Here’s how the price of the 6th and 5th generations compared:
- iPad mini 6th generation: £479/$499 (Now: £569 in the U.K. See: Is Apple ripping off the rest of the world?)
- iPad mini 5th generation: £379/$399
As Apple has already made the leap to the new styling and features in the 6th generation, and pushed up the price again outside the U.S. we think it’s likely that the price will stays the same for the 7th generation, although it is still possible that the U.S. could see price increases.
iPad mini 7 design and display: Will the iPad mini have a new look?
It’s been surprisingly quiet on the rumor front, with hardly any reports online from the usual leakers and insider sources that have proven rich pickings in past years. Here’s what we’ve managed to uncover.
Display with 120Hz refresh rate and ProMotion
The screen isn’t expected to change from the current 8.3-inch, but there may be new screen technology. A post on the South Korean site 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 somewhat skeptical of this though, as “jelly scrolling” is pretty standard on LCD displays, where text appears to wobble as you scroll up and down pages, as it’s the nature of the way displays refresh images. Also, ProMotion is one of the 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 4th generation which also received a new look in fall 2021. These include Silver, Rose Gold, Green, and Sky Blue. It would therefore seem reasonable to assume that some of these make it to the mini format, giving an instant boost to the options for customers.
Now that the iPad 10th generation is here with a bold selection of colors to choose from the iPad mini may need to up its game.
iPad mini 7 specs: What features will the iPad mini have?
In a Twitter post in November 2021 FronTron suggested that a “Pro” iPad mini could feature the following specifications:
- 8.3-inch ProMotion display with refresh rates up to 120Hz
- A15 Bionic chip clocked at 3.23GHz
- 4GB memory
- Storage starting at 128GB
As per the FronTron post above, we could see some of the capabilities from the iPad Pro models trickling down to its more diminutive cousin. It’s even been suggested that Apple could launch an iPad mini Pro model. In which case we could see the iPad mini feature a LiDAR Scanner, Face ID, M1 processors, additional cameras, Audio zoom and brighter displays.
However, we think it’s more likely that Apple will retain these for the Pros, but even if one or two make it to the mini, that would make the new model a very tempting proposition.
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 for 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.
The iPad mini 6 offers the A15 Bionic chip as found in the iPhone 13, however, this chip is down-clocked compared to the one inside the iPhone 13. It’s possible that the next iPad mini model could offer an enhanced A15 (perhaps an A15 bionic) or the new model launches could offer the same chip as the iPhone 14 series (A16 we assume). As FronTron suggested, perhaps a 3.23GHz chip can be expected.
We don’t expect that the iPad mini will feature an M1 chip, like that found in the iPad Pro, but perhaps it’s something Apple might consider down the line.
Better battery life
It’s been suggested that If the new iPad mini uses ProMotion it will reduce battery consumption, however, it doesn’t look like ProMotion will be coming to the iPad mini any time soon, so Apple will have to look elsewhere to improve battery life. However, Apple has stuck with 10 hours of battery life for every iPad ever released, so don’t expect much in the way of a breakthrough.
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 deals and iPad mini deals for the latest bargains on the current range.