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Apple iPad Mini (7th generation): Everything we know and what we want to see
Update, May 9, 2023 (12:15 PM ET): We have updated this iPad Mini (7th generation) rumor hub with new info on possible specs.
Original article: Larger tablets are great, but they aren’t for everyone. Some of us prefer a smaller pad that can be easily carried but offers more screen real estate than the typical smartphone. While some good small Android tablets are out there, none are quite as convincing as Apple’s iPad Mini series. The next one we expect to see from the Cupertino giant is the iPad Mini (7th generation).
The latest iteration is the 6th generation iPad Mini. It is designed beautifully, has excellent performance, solid battery life, and you can add 5G connectivity. What could improve it, and what can we expect from the new iPad Mini? In this roundup, we’ll be gathering all the rumors and leaks, as well as our expectations on what the iPad Mini 7 could bring to the table. Let’s dig into what we know and what we want to see.
Will there be an iPad Mini (7th generation)?
The iPad Mini, as cool as it is, has never been seen as a staple in Apple’s portfolio. They tend to be a secondary addition to more significant announcements, and Apple is no longer constantly releasing one yearly. iPad Mini launches are kind of all over the place. We’ll get more into those details in the next section.
What matters is whether we will see an iPad Mini or not. If we had to bet on it, we would say Apple won’t be killing the iPad Mini series. It is the top dog in the small tablet market and still has plenty to offer. In fact, the iPad Mini (6th gen) was the second most sold tablet in Q1 2022, according to IDC. It was only second to the regular 2021 iPad.
Additionally, we’ve started to hear rumors of the next-gen iPad Mini 7, even if very few. Chances are it’s coming. It’s just a matter of when.
What is the iPad Mini (7th generation) release date?
- iPad Mini 1st generation: October 2012
- iPad Mini 2nd generation: October 2013
- iPad Mini 3rd generation: October 2014
- iPad Mini 4th generation: September 2015
- iPad Mini 5th generation: March 2019
- iPad Mini 6th generation: September 2021
You’ll quickly notice that most iPad Mini iterations were announced around October or September. The only exception was the iPad Mini (5th generation), which saw a March announcement. All iPad Minis were then released soon after their announcements. Usually, the same day, or some days after.
The iPad Mini (7th generation) should launch in September or October.
Given the iPad Mini’s launch history, we can assume the iPad Mini 7 will be announced sometime in September or October, but more likely in September, as that is the most common case in most recent launches. Of course, this is an assumption based on past history, and sometimes these dates change.
What we’re not sure of is if there will be a 2023 release, though. We might have to wait until 2024 to see the next iteration. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo tweeted in late 2022 that mass shipment of the new tablet won’t commence until either late 2023 or during the first half of 2024. This means that, while there is slight hope for a 2023 launch, 2024 is more likely.
What features and specs will the iPad Mini (7th generation) have?
We haven’t seen many iPad Mini (7th generation) leaks just yet, but the few around give us a good look at what could be coming. We can also make some assumptions about what could be coming.
While smaller, iPad Mini devices are not really budget tablets. We’ve become accustomed to seeing these little pads carrying powerful processors, usually the same as their iPhone counterparts.
The 2021 iPad Mini came with the same Apple A15 Bionic processor the iPhone 13 series carried in 2021 when both launched. Similarly, we expect Apple to put a next-gen chipset in its next iPad Mini. Especially considering Ming-Chi Kuo also mentioned in his tweet that it would have an upgraded processor and that it would be a “main selling point.”
Chances are the 7th-generation iPad Mini will have either an Apple A16 Bionic used in the iPhone 14 Pro series or an A17 Bionic. Some believe it might even be an M series processor, which is what powers the more powerful iPads — like the iPad Pro M2 and iPad Air M1 — and all modern Mac computers.
The current iPad Mini follows the same design that kicked off with the iPhone 12 and has continued through the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 series. Apple seems fond of this design language with squared edges and a streamlined body. This was a significant change in the current iPad Mini, so we expect the design to be more or less similar. Nothing is official yet, though, but Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman claims that Apple won’t do another major overhaul of the product.
We also expect the display size to stick to 8.3 inches. And since the iPad Mini (6th gen) already uses USB-C, and Apple is being forced to move away from Lightning, we assume the new iPad Mini (7th gen) will also stick to USB-C.
We might see more color options for the iPad Mini (7th generation).
Something we do think could happen is the addition of more color options. You can already get the current iPad Mini in four colors; Space Gray, Pink, Purple, and Starlight. But Apple has been getting more adventurous in this department lately. The iPhone 14 can be had in Midnight, Starlight, Red, Blue, Purple, and Yellow. Additionally, the standard iPad (10th generation) has much funkier colors; Blue, Pink, Yellow, and Silver. We wouldn’t be surprised if the new iPad Mini (7th generation) got more options too, or at least more exciting ones.
A better display would be nice
The iPad Mini (6th generation) Liquid Retina IPS LCD display is pretty good, but it could be better. We’re happy with the 1,488 x 2,266 resolution and 327ppi density, but one of the main complaints in our review was that it only had a 60Hz refresh rate. The current standard for higher-end products is 120Hz.
A 120Hz panel might happen for the next iPad Mini. Popular tech Twitter user @FromTron shared a Korean forum post in late 2021, in which it was rumored that Samsung Display shipped an 8.3-inch screen with a 120Hz refresh rate for testing. Current Apple devices with 120Hz refresh rates label this feature as “ProMotion.”
It would be nice to see 120Hz on the iPad Mini (7th generation) display, but it seems unlikely.
While we’re hoping for higher refresh rates like what ProMotion offers in other products, analyst Ross Young mentioned on Twitter that this isn’t likely the case. The iPad Mini uses an a-Si LCD, which isn’t compatible with ProMotion. Apple would need to switch the panel to an Oxide LCD.
Apple has been bringing higher-end panels to higher-end iPads. The iPad Pro 12.9 from 2022 has a Mini-LED screen, for example. We don’t expect to see this technology reaching the iPad Mini, but it’s sure nice to hope.
What will the iPad Mini (7th generation) price be?
Rumors and leaks are too few right now, and we haven’t heard anything half-convincing about the upcoming iPad Mini’s pricing. The iPad Mini already saw a $100 price increase with the 6th generation upgrade, though. It starts at $499, whereas the 5th generation iPad Mini was $399.
Given that we’re expecting a less drastic upgrade in the iPad Mini (7th generation), we can expect pricing to stay identical, or very similar to the current $499 MSRP.
Apple iPad Mini (7th generation): What we want to see
Can we get a Smart Connector?
Modern iPads now feature what Apple calls the Smart Connector. The iPad Mini is the only one missing it. This is a three-pin connection that attaches to accessories magnetically. Apple uses them to connect iPads to accessories such as keyboards. This connector can transfer both data and power, making it a very convenient addition we wish to see in the next iPad Mini.
Even the more affordable iPad (10th generation) has it, so we see no reason why it wouldn’t make it to the next iPad Mini. And if it does get the Smart Connector, chances are Apple will release other compatible accessories to go with it.
While the 7th gen iPad Mini manages to get much thinner bottom and top bezels, largely thanks to the removal of the home button, these are still pretty significant. The 2021 iPad Mini has a 77.4% screen-to-body ratio. That isn’t much compared to most other high-end devices.
That said, the bezels aren’t absolutely horrible, either. And many of you like that you have a nice area to hold the tablet without the risk of accidental touches.
In our iPad Mini (6th generation) review we mention that the included 20W charger doesn’t do much to juice up the device quickly. It took us about half an hour to reach from 10% to 50%, but going from 10% to 100% extended that time to about 90 minutes.
We know Apple has never been at the forefront of fast charging, but a boost sure would be nice. Since this device is actually pretty small, maybe even wireless charging would be a welcome addition.
Other smaller upgrades
Apple is likely to bring incremental upgrades throughout the iPad Mini experience. We might see improved cameras, more base storage, an upgrade to Wi-Fi 6E, and more. Of course, these are just assumptions, though. We will update this article with more spec details as they emerge.