When will Apple launch the iPad mini 5, you ask. The 7.9in tablet, which could even be called the iPad Pro mini, could be launched in September with the iPhone 7. Here we round up all the rumours about the fifth-gen iPad mini, including UK release date, price, new feature and specification rumours. Plus: How to watch iPad mini 5 live stream, iPad mini 5 live blog. Also see: Best new tablets coming in 2016.
Latest update: Although there have been no leaks in the form of prototypes, components or documents, many people remain convinced that Apple will launch a new iPad mini alongside the iPhone 7 in on 7 September. We’re not so sure, especially after well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that three new iPads will appear in 2017, with no mention of a 7.9in model.
That doesn’t mean there won’t be one, and Apple has barely given the small tablet any stage time in recent years anyway. The iPad mini 4 has appeared in the Apple Refurbished Storeand it has been almost a year since its launch – which might point to the fact that the iPad mini 5 will make an appearance soon. It’s looking more likely we’ll see an iPad launch event in March 2017 but let’s see what happens on 7 September first.
iPad mini 5 release date rumours: When is the new iPad mini coming out?
On 9 September 2015 Apple unveiled its iPad mini 4. This was a month earlier than usual, and with no separate iPad launch event scheduled for October it appeared alongside theiPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.
Rather than cancelling this second launch event, Apple has simply spread out its events calendar more evenly: it had one launch event in March, the WWDC developers conference in June, and a second launch event in September.
We expect Apple to follow that pattern this year. In March, it launched the iPhone SE and iPad Pro 9.7; and WWDC was dedicated to announcing software updates.
In the past we’ve had to wait a week or so following the launch event for the iPad mini to go on sale, but Apple began selling the iPad mini 4 immediately after its announcement in September 2015.The main problem with predicting the same to happen this year is that while there have been rumours, there hasn’t been any leaked specs or photos of chassis and components as we’ve seen with the iPhone 7.
If Apple does sneak in an iPad mini 5 announcement on 9 September after it unveils the iPhones, the release date should be on or around 16 September. See also: iPad Air 3 rumours and iPad Pro 2 rumours
iPad mini 5: How to watch iPad mini 5 live stream
Apple will hold a live stream of its special event on its website on Wednesday 7 September, during which time the iPad mini 5 launch is a distinct possibility, though not confirmed. The stream will begin at 10am in the US, which is 6pm here in the UK.
You can tune into the live stream on Apple’s site, but you will need certain hardware. Live streaming uses Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) technology. HLS requires an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with Safari on iOS 7.0 or later, a Mac with Safari 6.0.5 or later on OS X v10.8.5 or later, or a PC with Microsoft Edge on Windows 10. Streaming via Apple TV requires an Apple TV (2nd or 3rd generation) with software 6.2 or later or an Apple TV (4th generation).
If you can’t follow the live stream, or even if you can, follow our live blog below for real-time announcements and expert commentary.
iPad mini 5 UK price rumours: How much will the new iPad mini cost?
Apple tends to keep the price of its iPad mini line-up the same, reducing the price of its previous-generation mini when the new model goes on sale.
Based on 2015’s iPad mini 4 pricing, we can expect the iPad mini 5 to be priced as follows (32GB replaces 16GB – hopefully):
• 32GB Wi-Fi only: £319
• 32GB Wi-Fi + 4G: £419
• 64GB Wi-Fi: £399
• 64GB Wi-Fi + 4G: £499
• 128GB Wi-Fi: £479
• 128GB Wi-Fi + 4G: £579
iPad mini 5 or iPad Pro mini?
The jury’s still out on whether Apple will introduce a mini model in its Pro iPad line-up. It’s entirely possible – after all, in March we were hopeful for a new iPad Air 3 (the iPad Air 2 was not refreshed last September alongside the iPad mini), and instead we got the iPad Pro 9.7. Perhaps Apple will update its standard and Pro iPads on a biennial basis.
On the other hand, you could argue that the 7.9in screen is too small for productivity (or an even smaller keyboard cover) so it’s just as feasible that Apple will keep the ‘Pro’ suffix for the 9.7in and 12.9in models. Plus, to bolster this train of thought, a new 10.5in iPad is predicted for 2017, and this is much more likely to be added to the Pro lineup rather than a dinky iPad mini.
iPad mini 5 design rumours: What will the new iPad mini look like?
Apple is rumoured to be using Series 7000 aluminium for the new iPad mini. This is the same stuff it uses for the iPhone 6S, which is stiffer and lighter than the lower grade aluminium used in other products.
The iPad mini 5 is more than likely going to look very familiar to the iPad mini 4, with the same 7.9in Retina display. However, it’s tipped to feature a 7000-series aluminium chassis, which will make it more durable. That’s handy, since it’s also rumoured to be thinner than its predecessor: just 5mm thick.
Also expect Apple to introduce a Rose Gold colour option, as it has done elsewhere in its hardware line-up.
iPad mini 5 new feature rumours: What’s new in the new iPad mini?
• 3D Touch: Apple introduced 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, and it’s expected to make its way to the iPad mini line in 2016. 3D Touch is able to register how much pressure is applied to the screen and offer differing options as a result.
• IP68 protection: None of Apple’s hardware is waterproof, but it is a soughtafter feature in the Android world, with Sony leading the pack and Samsung reintroducing water- and dust protection in its S7 series. We’d love to see IP68 certification in an iPad, but we can’t avoid the feeling this tip may be just wishful thinking.
• Apple Pencil: Should Apple decide to introduce an iPad Pro mini rather than an iPad mini 5, the new iPad mini will more than likely feature Apple’s posh new stylus.
iPad mini 5 specification rumours: What to expect from the new iPad mini
• Processor: The iPad mini 4 features the Apple A8 processor and M8 motion co-processor, so expect to see the A9 and M9 in the iPad mini 5.
• 32GB storage as standard: The iPad mini 4 is currently offered in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB versions. We’d love to see Apple ditch the 16GB iPad mini, which we feel just isn’t enough storage for most users’ needs. An iPad mini with 32GB of storage as standard would be brilliant, and is exactly what is offered with the new iPad Pro, so certainly a possibility.
• Screen: We doubt Apple will upgrade the screen resolution, because doing so would go against all it said previously about the Retina display. As before expect a 7.9in Retina IPS display, but here with the possible addition of 3D Touch.
• Battery: According to Cult of Mac the iPad mini 5 will feature a smaller-capacity battery in order to fit into 5mm frame, but using improved technology so it doesn’t negatively impact runtime. The iPad mini 4 features a 5,124mAh battery.
• Cameras: No changes are expected here. The new iPad mini will likely feature an 8Mp camera at the rear and 1.2Mp at the front.
• No headphone port: The iPhone 7 is widely tipped to ditch the standard 3.5mm headphone jack in favour of a new D-jack. And if the iPhone loses the headphone connector, you can guarantee the new iPad mini will do so also.
• NFC: Although it is possible to use Apple Pay on the iPad mini, doing so isn’t seamless because it doesn’t support NFC. Apple has bitten the bullet with the iPhone; expect it to do the same with the iPad mini.
• Aluminium chassis: We anticipate the new iPad mini 5 to be protected with an aluminium body. More specifically, the 7000-series aluminium chassis allowing the iPad to be thinner and more durable.
Other specs, such as the TouchID fingerprint scanner, are likely to remain the same.