The iPad mini (6th generation) was the best small tablet when it launched in 2021, but technology never stops and it’s definitely due an upgrade. That upgrade could be coming sooner rather than later: a new leak suggests it’s going to enter mass production in very early 2024.
According to leaker ShrimpApplePro, who has a reasonable track record in leaking Apple kit, a new iPad is in development and it’s most likely the iPad mini 7. The leaker has also indicated that they have more details about Apple’s tiniest tablet, but those details haven’t been shared yet.
The most likely upgrade is the processor, but there could be some important other upgrades too.
iPad mini 7: what to expect
We’d expect the 2024 iPad mini to come with a chip upgrade. It’s currently running the A15 Bionic, the processor introduced for the iPhone 13, but Apple silicon has moved on: the iPad Air (2022) is packing Apple’s M1, which delivers a serious performance boost.
The cameras in the current mini are already pretty good, with support for features such as Centre Stage so your camera can track you as you move. But the mini tends to veer closer to the iPhone than to the larger iPads when it comes to cameras, so a spec bump to its camera assembly isn’t an impossible ask: its current camera is a 12MP wide, and the front selfie shooter is also 12MP with a wider field of view.
An upgrade to iPhone 14 Pro-spec cameras is unlikely, but an upgrade that delivers the same Photonic Engine as the iPhone 14 could be very welcome. That’s the computational photography system that uses a mix of hardware, software and machine learning to improve your photos, especially in low light, and it’s something I really love about my current iPhone. A similar system in the iPad mini would make it a seriously impressive shooter, not least because it’d also boost portrait mode and video recording too. If the iPad mini is going to remain as the portable iPad for pro users, those upgrades would keep it current.
Other upgrades are likely to be better Bluetooth – the latest iPad Pros have 5.3 – and Wi-Fi, which is now up to 6E in the top iPad models.
There’s still several months to go before this new iPad will launch, so as ever things could change – but you can expect a lot more information to leak this side of Christmas as Apple starts moving towards production.