Apple is building a new model of its diminutive iPad Mini, according to the latest whispers from the supply chain. Sources speaking to reliable analyst Ming-Chi Quo claim the new 7.9-inch tablet will benefit from the latest Apple chipset, as well as a lower starting price.
The so-called iPad Mini 5 will follow in the footsteps of the 9.7-inch iPad unveiled by Apple back in March, which differentiates itself from the Pro models with its lower price tag, chunkier bezels, and lack of support for the Smart Keyboard.
While the next-generation 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro are widely-tipped to boast the Face ID facial recognition seen on the iPhone XS, the fifth iteration of the iPad Mini will purportedly stick with Touch ID.
Unlike the new iPad Pro models, the iPad Mini 5 will not be launched at the Apple Event scheduled for October 30, 2018. According to TF International Securities analyst Kuo, the new iPad Mini is scheduled to launch in early 2019.
That would fit with previous release patterns. Over the last few of years, Apple has typically debuted its new lower-cost iPad models in March, with its flagship iPad Pro models launched at an event in the months before Christmas.
With the iPhone XS Max sporting a thumb-stretching 6.5-inch display, some had questioned whether Apple would even bother to keep its 7.9-inch iPad model around. However, the latest supply chain reports suggest Apple still believes customers are still looking for a tablet with the slightly smaller form-factor.
It's unclear what price point Apple will be targeting with its revamped iPad Mini 5, however, it's likely to be cheaper than the £319 ($329) 9.7-inch iPad which launched in March.
Shockingly, that's not the case at the moment, with the iPad Mini 4, which is powered by the A8 chipset that debuted with the iPhone 6 in September 2014, still starting at £399 ($399) in the Apple Store.