The iPad mini 7 is rumored to be on the way – but might not arrive until 2024

The iPad mini (2021) being held in a hand
The 2021 iPad mini should get a successor... eventually (Image credit: Apple)

What with the iPad mini 6 launching in September 2021, it would be reasonable to expect a follow-up appearing in September 2022 – but of course we haven't seen any such tablet, and the rumor is that we might not get one until early in 2024.

This comes courtesy of reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who reckons that the next small slate that Apple releases is going to start shipping by the end of 2023 or in the first half of 2024 (though it's not clear what that's dependent on).

Kuo goes on to say that the "main selling point" of the iPad mini 7 is going to be a new processor. The current model carries the A15 Bionic chipset that also appeared in the iPhone 13 series that Apple unveiled at the same time as the iPad mini 6.

Folding iPads

This iPad mini claim was actually preceded by another bit of crystal ball gazing by Kuo: he says that a foldable iPad is  "unlikely" to replace the iPad mini in 2025, a move that has been "previously predicted" in some quarters of the industry.

The analyst points out that a foldable iPad is going to cost substantially more than the iPad mini – the model on sale now goes for $449 / £479 / AU$749 and up – and that suggests that the future of the iPad mini is safe for the time being.

We've heard plenty of talk about a foldable iPhone in recent years, but less so about a foldable iPad. They might in fact be one and the same device: an iPhone-sized gadget when it's folded, and an iPad-sized tablet when the screen is opened out.

Analysis: Apple evolves its product line

There's clearly one area where Apple lags behind Samsung at the moment: foldable devices. Apple doesn't have anything to match the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 or the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, and that's something of a problem.

Apple being Apple, it's not going to want to dive into the foldable device market until its sure that the technology has reached a satisfactory level – and we'd say that's definitely the case with the foldables on the market at the moment.

With that in mind, a prediction of 2025 for the launch of something foldable by Apple – whether it's marketed as an iPhone or an iPad – looks about right. We suspect the first Apple foldable will run iPadOS, so a folding iPad seems more likely right now.

Meanwhile the iPad mini lives on, apparently – at least for the time being. It doesn't appear to be one of Apple's top priorities (with no product refresh this year), but we imagine that there are still plenty of people out there who prefer the smaller form factor.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.