At this point, most Apple fans probably know that Cupertino has been planning to release three new tablets in 2017 — but there’s some admittedly conflicting evidence to suggest that a fourth tablet, specifically an iPad mini refresh with a Pro designation, is also in the works.
We first heard word of a possible iPad mini refresh in October of last year. Japanese publication Macotakara first reported that Apple was allegedly working on an iPad mini refresh, citing anonymous industry sources. Similarly, Greek site TechValue, speaking to a local retailer, suggested in March that an iPad Pro mini would be among the four tablets released this year. To add further fuel to that speculation, it was revealed early in March that Apple was testing four new iPad models in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to data pulled from Fiksu, a mobile marketing analysis company.
Of course, last month, Apple revealed the first of those tablets — the entry-level, 9.7-inch iPad — leaving many fans wondering when the other iPad models would finally drop. Those other models include a 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2 refresh, and a smaller iPad Pro rumored to be in a new 10.5-inch form factor. Rumors of those two iPads have been reported on many times, but we’ve heard much, much less about an iPad Pro mini.
While details are scarce, it’s been suggested that the new iPad Pro mini would come equipped with a True Tone display, 4GB of RAM, and a 12-megapixel camera.
It’s worth noting that an iPad Pro mini would conflict with some existing supply chain reports, such as from Taiwanese publication DigiTimes, that Apple will only release three iPads this year. Interestingly, while several Apple blogs have suggested that DigiTimes reported a release date for the iPad Pro mini, the publication actually made no mention of such a device. If Apple does have an iPad mini refresh in the works, it’s likely that it’ll be released alongside the other two iPad Pro models. Referring back to that DigiTimes article, that could be as late as the second half of 2017. Either way, the mini is certainly due for a refresh: the current-model iPad mini 4 was released in September 2015.