The long awaited successor to Apple’s iPad Mini 4 could be released in early 2017. The iPad Mini has consistently been a key performer for Apple in their tablet range, largely helped by its portable form factor and cheap price point. But will the iPad Mini 5 provide a significant improvement over its predecessor? In this article, we’ll take a look at everything we know so far about the iPad Mini 5 ahead of the new tablet release in 2017.
Apple’s previous iPad Mini was released in September 2015, making the tablet well overdue for an upgrade. With that in mind, it’d be easy to assume that the iPad Mini 5 will release in the third quarter of 2016. However, according to Macworld, there’s been no suggestion that will be the case. With Apple’s final event of the year expected to be largely focused on their Mac line-up, news of a new iPad Mini model is expected to be pushed to next year.
In fact, Apple appears to be shifting their focus on the iPad into their March events. This year’s March appearance saw apple releasing a new iteration of the iPad Pro, suggesting that March 2017 could be dedicated to iPad releases, with the iPad Air 2’s long overdue successor, the iPad Air 3 also expected to be revealed.
The news will disappoint those looking to upgrade their iPad Mini this year. However, as aforementioned, Apple are expected to use their final event of 2016 to give their Mac lineup a much-needed refresh instead. At the event, Apple is expected to show off new models of the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, alongside a revised iMac. With such a Mac-focused event planned, it’s easy to see why Apple would want to push the announcement of a new iPad Mini into next year, which would also fall in line with the announcement of a new iPad Air variant.
Apple’s iPad Mini line-up has always been an attractive offer, largely helped by an affordable price point. Whilst Apple’s iPad Air and Pro models come in at the upper price range of the tablet market, the iPad Mini has always offered a smaller form factor at a much more affordable price. According to PC Advisor, that will likely continue to be the case with the fifth generation of the iPad Mini, with Apple not expected to later the price point much.
When the iPad Mini 4 was released in September last year, pricing started at $399 for the 16 GB Wi-Fi only model, with pricing increasing with added storage and cellular capability. Whilst pricing for the iPad Mini 5 isn’t expected to change all that much, Apple has seemingly been dropping the 16 GB variants of their products lately. We’d more than expect for Apple to continue that trend with the iPad Mini 5, with the new tablet starting at 64 GB storage. Of course, that doesn’t mean Apple can’t buck their own trend with the iPad Mini 5 and include a 16 GB option.
Given its cheap price point, the iPad Mini hasn’t served as all that much of a platform for Apple’s newest features and functionality over the years. However, that doesn’t mean Apple isn’t planning to bring some design changes to the iPad Mini 5. A thinner design closer to that of the iPad Air 2 is expected to be included as part of the new tablet’s offering, whilst it’s also expected to take advantage of Apple’s 7000-series aluminium chassis that their iPhone line-up has already adopted. Of course, it’s all purely speculation at this stage.