iPad Mini 7: Key Upgrades to Expect
Apple launched the sixth-generation iPad mini in September 2021, bringing the first major redesign to the device in its entire history, so what can customers expect from the seventh-generation version?
There have been few concrete rumors about the features the next iPad mini will offer as yet. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman recently said that an update this year with a minor "spec bump" is not out of the question, suggesting that the upgrade will be fairly iterative, targeting several small but significant areas.
Like the 11th-generation iPad, a chip upgrade is the most certain feature coming to the next iPad mini – an aspect supported by recent reports. The iPad mini currently contains the A15 Bionic. There have been no reports about what chip the next-generation iPad mini will feature, but by early 2024, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro are expected to be on sale touting the A16 Bionic and A17 Bionic chips.
Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes that the seventh-generation iPad will begin mass shipments towards the end of 2023 or in the first half of 2024 ahead of a launch in early 2024. It seems likely that the A16 Bionic is the chip Apple will choose for the iPad mini if it is released before the launch new iPhones in 2024, as rumors suggest.
A minor spec bump is also likely to include upgrades to the front and rear cameras, potentially bringing features like Photonic Engine to the iPad for the first time. ProRes video recording, Audio zoom, stereo audio recording, Portrait mode, and Portrait Lighting support are all plausible upgrades in this area.
The latest iPad Pro models brought connectivity upgrades like Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 to the iPad for the first time. By 2024, it seems inevitable that these capabilities will make their way to the iPad mini. Similarly, Apple Pencil hover, another iPad Pro-exclusive feature, could finally trickle down to the iPad mini in 2024.
2023 appears to be shaping up to be a quiet year for iPad hardware refreshes, and while it is possible we could see some new models, the current picture suggests that new iPads this year are unlikely on the whole. 2024, on the other hand, is looking like it will be a much more significant year for the iPad lineup.