Apple’s smallest iPad was given a substantial facelift at the end of 2021. Sporting 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 increasing the display size for the first time since the model was first introduced all the way back in 2012. So, with the mini celebrating its ten-year anniversary in 2022, what will Apple do to make the occasion? Here’s all we know so far about the new iPad mini 7th generation (2022).
iPad mini 7 release date: When will the new iPad mini be released?
There’s been no official announcements from Apple 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:
As you can see, September is the traditional month in which the new iPad mini appears, although the release pattern in terms of years is a bit scattershot. The four-year gap between the 4th and 5th generation is unusual for Apple, and led many to speculate that the mini had been quietly retired before the 5th generation was released.
iPads generally don’t receive yearly updates consistently, as consumers don’t upgrade them at the same rate as say an iPhone, so it looks likely that the iPad mini 7 might not get an update until September 2023. This could be wrong, of course, in fact Gizchina suggests that we could see a new 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. No doubt, this is because of the more expensive construction and upgraded components. Here’s how they compared:
iPad mini 6th generation: £479/$499
iPad mini 5th generation: £379/$399
As Apple has already made the leap to the new styling and features in the 6th generation, we think it’s likely that the price stays the same for the 7th generation, although it is possible that due to currency fluctuations there will be price increases in the UK and at other locations around the world.
iPad mini 7 design and features
It’s been surprisingly quiet on the rumours front, with hardly any reports online from the usual leakers and insider sources which 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 South Korean site in November 2021 indicated Apple had ordered 8.3in 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 feature currently seen on the iPad Pro, iPhone 13 Pro models and 14- & 16-inch MacBook Pro and users could expect ultra-smooth scrolling. 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 sceptical of this though, as ‘jelly scrolling’ is pretty standard on LCD displays, were 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, those customers who require the feature will purchase a targeted model.
One of the most obvious changes to the iPad mini 6th generation was the new palette of colours that Apple made available.
While you can currently select between Space Grey, 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.
iPad mini 7 specs
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
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.
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 for the latest bargains on the current range.