While the majority of us are laser-focused on the upcoming release of Apple’s ‘iPhone 7’, there likely remains at least a certain sense of curiosity in the air about what the Cupertino-company’s plans entail for the iPad this year. With the exception of this past March, when Apple took the wraps off an impressively upgraded 9.7-inch iPad Pro, the company has maintained a relative consistency with its annual iPad refresh cycle. For instance, last September Apple unveiled the iPad mini 4 alongside the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus; and, at a special media event in late October, 2015, the company introduced its all-new 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
And therefore, it’s only reasonable to assume that a similar schedule will be adhered to this year, right?
Well sure, but, as of this afternoon, we’ve uncovered very little, if anything, in the way of future iPad news and/or release dates. However, according to TechInsider, it’s quite possible that Apple is, indeed, planning for a similar release of the ‘iPad mini 5’ — which could, in an unsurprising plot twist, be dubbed the ‘iPad mini Pro’, much akin to its larger-screened brothers.
As TechInsider reports, the forthcoming ‘iPad mini 5’, ‘iPad mini Pro’ — whatever the device is ultimately called, is widely expected to shake things up a bit — at least in comparison to its soon-to-be predecessor, the iPad mini 4.
Much like all the iPad minis before it, the upcoming 7.9-inch iPad is expected to maintain the similar one-handed form factor — although it will reportedly boast a materially enhanced 7000-series aluminum outer shell, much like the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. What’s more, TechInsider is reporting that the pint-sized iPad will shed as much as one whole millimeter off its already impossibly thin waist. This would mean, in other words, that the forthcoming iPad mini could potentially boast a shell that measures just 5.1 (or less) mm thin. And that’s quite thin, indeed.
TechInsider is also reporting that the ‘iPad mini 5’ will likely run on Apple’s A9 SoC (a la the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus), coupled with the Cupertino-company’s M9 motion co-processor for good measure. Best of all, though: it’s been reported that Apple is expected to incorporate 3D Touch functionality into the 7.9-incher — rendering the forthcoming iPad a first-of-its-kind contender in the large-screened 3D Touch realm. Yes, just for the record, Apple’s iPhone 6s and 6s Plus both feature 3D Touch functionality; however, those devices are, above all else, phones, and this is an iPad we’re talking about. So, if the rumors ultimately turn out to be true, that would be a rather big step up for Apple’s iPad line.
Strangely enough (though we hope this rumor turns out to be false), Apple has been reported to employ the same 8 MP iSight and 1.2 MP FaceTime Cameras as the previous generation iPad mini. However, we think such a move would be a most unfortunate one on Apple’s part — especially seeing as how the 9.7-inch iPad Pro is equipped with substantially upgraded 12 MP iSight and 5 MP FaceTime snappers.
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens there.
In any event, as far as potential colors and a release date are pertinent, TechInsider is reporting that the 7.9-inch iPad will likely be released in the same Silver, Gold, Space Gray, and all-new Rose Gold colors — and that the device could potentially touch down alongside the ‘iPhone 7’ later on this September. However, if that ends up not being the case, Apple could always have another event scheduled for sometime in October — whereat the company could also release a new Apple Watch, or other highly-anticipated goodies.
We’ll definitely keep you posted when new information arises, but, needless to say, it’s already shaping up to be quite the year for Apple fans — so we’ll just keep on hoping that the trend continues through the holiday season.
Are you holding out for a 3D Touch-capable iPad mini? Let us know in the comments!