Apple iPad mini 5: Rumours, release date and more on the next iPad mini
It’s more than a year since the launch of the iPad mini 4, and although that device seems overdue for an update, rumours about the iPad mini 5 are surprisingly thin on the ground. Plus, with the recent release of the 2017 iPad Pro, Apple may either ditch the mini version completely, or be saving it for a shock entrance. What do we know?
iPad mini 5 release date
If Apple is to release an iPad mini 5 at all, it’s likely it will come at the same time as another iPad update. It wasn’t announced with the launch of iPad Pro, unveiled earlier this year, but it may be announced as part of the launch of iPhone 8, scheduled for September. The size of the iPad mini puts it more in line with the iPhone than traditional iPad range, so may sway Apple’s release decision.
A report by IDC suggests tablets are nowhere near as popular as they once were. In the first quarter of 2017, sales dropped by 8.5 percent while the second quarter performed slightly better, with a decline of 3.4%, or 37.9 million tablet units. Apple, on the other hand, saw sales of its iPads rise as part of its latest quarterly earnings and this may be an opportunity for Apple to refresh the market and take a larger part of the share as other companies ditch the format.
iPad mini 5 design and specifications
We don’t expect any radical changes to the design of the iPad mini. Given Apple’s obsession with thinness for its devices, we certainly wouldn’t bet against it shaving a millimetre or two from the thickness of anything it makes, but we don’t otherwise expect any significant new features.
Why? Mainly cost. The iPad mini remains the lowest-cost iPad in the range, and up to relatively recently, it was the best-selling model, driving a lot of sales for the company. Given that Apple would love unit sales of the iPad to return to growth, we wouldn’t expect too much of a price bump – something that would be required if the company was to introduce any major new features.
This probably means ruling out one of the major features of the iPad Pro 9.7in, its True Tone display. And don’t expect Force Touch either: we’d be very surprised if that makes its way to the iPad range this year.
iPad mini 5 colours
The iPad mini has always been the most personal iPad, and the closest in character to the iPhone. The people we know who bought them love them.
That’s why we expect Apple to introduce more colours to the iPad mini 5. Already available in Space Grey, silver and gold, we would expect Rose Gold and black to bring the iPad mini 5 in line with the iPhone. Jet Black, though, is unlikely: this finish is more difficult and expensive to manufacture than the regular black, and wouldn’t make economic sense given the much lower volumes of iPad sales compared to iPhone.
iPad mini 5 camera
One key component that definitely will see a significant update is the camera. The iPad Pro 9.7in got a 12-megapixel rear and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, which made it almost the equal of the iPhone 6s for photography. This clearly indicates that Apple believes iPad owners shouldn’t get second-rate cameras, and so we’d expect even an iPad mini to get a major update here.
iPad mini 5 price
The general rule with a new Apple product is that you won’t see a price cut (duh). We would expect Apple to hold the iPad mini 5’s price at around the same level of the iPad mini 4: between £379 and £499 depending on storage capacity and whether you choose LTE support or just go with Wi-Fi.
Images: iPad mini 4