iPad mini 7: what we want to see

iPad mini 2021
The iPad mini (2021) (Image credit: TechRadar)

For a long time we thought the iPad mini 7 might land in 2023, with numerous leaks saying as much, but that obviously didn't happen, and now all signs point to a launch in 2024.

Exactly when in 2024 remains unclear, but the latest leaks suggest it won't launch until sometime after March, so there could be a little while to wait yet.

Despite the long wait, this successor to the iPad mini (2021) might just be a mini upgrade, because current leaks suggest the iPad mini 7 will have a more powerful chipset, but probably few other changes. There is talk of some more ambitious upgrades, such as an OLED screen and a larger size, but it sounds like these might not land until the iPad mini 8, if they happen at all.

Still, we’re not certain of anything yet, and even just a faster chipset would be a welcome improvement. For full details on all the leaks and rumors so far, read on. Then, further down you’ll find our wish list of what we want from the iPad mini 7.

Latest news

According to Mark Gurman writing for Bloomberg, the iPad mini 7 will land sometime after March, with an upgraded chipset.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next small iPad
  • When is it out? March at the earliest but probably later
  • How much will it cost? Maybe slightly over $499 / £479 / AU$749

iPad mini 7: expected release date and price

While many iPad mini 7 leaks pointed to a release in 2023, that didn't happen, so now it's presumably landing sometime in 2024.

One of the more recent iPad mini 7 release date leaks points to March, so that could be when we'll see it, especially as a regulatory filing hints that we could see the iPad mini 7 soon.

That said, reputable leaker Mark Gurman writing for Bloomberg said in December that while the iPad Pro 2024 and iPad Air 6 will likely land in March, the iPad mini 7 will apparently land sometime later.

Another recent iPad mini 7 release date rumor points to a launch somewhere between now (that being February 2024), and July 2024.

Prior to that, reputable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed the iPad mini 7 would land in late 2023 or in the first half of 2024, following that up later with a claim that early 2024 was most likely, and that it might land alongside a foldable iPad.

There's also been a claim that Apple might launch an iPad mini with a larger screen in 2026, but we'd be very surprised if we're waiting until then for the iPad mini 7, so this would probably be the iPad mini 8.

As for the price, one source claims that the iPad mini 7 will be slightly more expensive than the iPad mini (2021), which starts at $499 / £479 / AU$749. But we wouldn’t think Apple would push the price up by much.

The iPad mini 7 might cost slightly more than the iPad mini (2021) (Image credit: TechRadar)

iPad mini 7: news and leaks

One very early iPad mini (2024) leak detailed many of the possible specs. Apparently, the tablet will have an 8.3-inch 120Hz screen, an A15 Bionic chipset (like the current model, though with a slightly higher 3.23GHz clock speed), 4GB of RAM, and a starting capacity of 128GB, up from 64GB on the current model.

However, as the source doesn’t yet have a track record and as this is now quite an old leak, we’d take this with a pinch of salt.

More recently we've heard that the iPad mini 7 might have a new chipset but a similar design to the current model, so it may not be a huge upgrade. We've also heard talk of a new chipset from Mark Gurman in his newsletter for Bloomberg.

Reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo previously made a similar claim about the iPad mini (2024), and we've also heard elsewhere that the iPad mini 7 will simply have a spec bump.

And one source claims that the 'jelly scrolling' effect that's sometimes present when scrolling the current iPad mini's screen won't be as noticeable on the next model.

Finally, we've also heard that Apple might be working on a larger 8.7-inch iPad mini with an OLED screen. However this reportedly won't land until 2026, so it's probably the iPad mini 8.

iPad mini 7: what we want to see

The iPad mini (2021) is a great slate, but with the following changes the iPad mini 7 would be far better still.

1. Better battery life

In our review we found that the iPad mini (2021)’s battery life was solid but not special. It would last around 8 hours with intensive use, and potentially even less when the Apple Pencil was added to the equation.

The size of the slate may be a limiting factor here as there might simply not be space for a much bigger battery, but the fact is that the likes of the iPad Pro 11 (2021) offer better life, so we’d like Apple to try and make some improvements here for the iPad mini (2024).

2. More power

The iPad mini (2021) isn’t exactly lacking in power. After all, it has the same chipset as the iPhone 13. But it only has 4GB of RAM, and while its chipset is good, it’s no match for the M1 in the latest iPad Pro models.

This is of course a balance for Apple – supercharge the iPad mini too much and the price will inevitably go up, but we imagine there must be a market for a powerful slate with a small screen, so we’d like to see Apple lean into that for the next model, even if it also launches a less powerful version.

3. A stylus in the box

iPad mini 2021

We'd like the next iPad mini to come with an Apple Pencil (Image credit: TechRadar)

The Apple Pencil is an important accessory for the iPad mini, with the 2021 model even having a connector and charger for it on the right edge of the slate, yet the Apple Pencil doesn’t actually come with the tablet.

Instead, you have to buy it separately, and at quite a high cost. This isn’t so surprising when you consider that none of Apple’s tablets come with a stylus in the box, but the need to buy one makes the overall price of the iPad mini (2021) much less appealing.

Plus, some rival slates such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 do come with a stylus included, so we’d love to see Apple do the same for the iPad mini 7.

4. Face ID

Despite sporting a reasonably modern design (with no home button) the iPad mini (2021) still relies on a fingerprint scanner – one built into the power button on the top edge.

This isn’t a terrible option, but we’d love to see Apple add Face ID for the iPad mini 7. If it can keep the fingerprint scanner as well so users have options then all the better, but that’s unlikely to happen.

5. mmWave support

The iPad mini (2021) optionally comes with 5G support, but what it doesn’t have is mmWave support. This is a high frequency form of 5G that offers far higher download speeds, and it’s perhaps not that surprising that it isn’t supported, as most countries have little to no mmWave infrastructure, and even in the US it’s very limited.

But support for it would be handy for those areas that do have it, and it would help future-proof the slate, as mmWave coverage is likely to improve over time. So we want to see this offered by the iPad mini (2024).

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.