Speculation about the future of Apple’s iPad lineup has been swirling in recent weeks, as rumors suggest the company may be readying to release a long-anticipated refresh of its mighty, mini tablet — presumably called the iPad mini 5.
While very little is known about the device, it’s nonetheless been the subject of multiple reports including one spearheaded by the reliable TF International Securities analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, who in a research note last year first alluded to its imminence.
Last month, leak aggregation site, SlashLeaks, shared photos of an alleged iPad mini 5 case, which most notably exhibited a new camera cut-out design offering ample space for an LED-flash.
New iPad mini Leaks and Photos
Early Tuesday morning, a new batch of leaked images were published to Twitter courtesy of user @Mr.White, showing multiple angles of an iPad mini-like device boasting never before seen characteristics.
While the overall design of the unreleased device appears to largely mimic that of previous iPad mini models, it does feature Apple’s newer, thinner and prominently re-designed cellular antenna configuration, which first debuted on its 9.7-inch iPad Pro back in 2016 (nearly two years after the original iPad mini 4 dropped).
Mr. White, who’s previously shared accurate information about unreleased Apple products, did not explicitly indicate the photos are of the iPad mini 5. However he essentially implied as much by referring to the tablet in his post as the “iPad mini 4s, I think…” Beyond its new antenna design, nearly every other aspect about the alleged next-generation iPad mini pictured remains unchanged.
As you can see, the device in the photos sports a legacy 3.5mm headphone jack, a volume rocker on the upper right-hand side (just like the iPad mini 4), no additional speakers, and (presumably) a standard Lightning port on the bottom (not USB-C).
When Will the iPad mini 5 Launch?
While it’s still early on and these plans are always subject to change, current rumors suggest that Apple could release its iPad mini 5 within the first few months of 2019 — perhaps alongside its all-new 10-inch iPad expected this spring.
If these photos are of Apple’s unreleased iPad mini 5, we can presume the tablet will be marketed as a budget-minded offering — possibly even replacing the company’s current 9.7-inch iPad at the $329 level, thus pushing the rumored 10-inch model to a slightly higher price point.
It likely won’t feature any new or significant technologies like Face ID, but will more than likely drop with the usual slate of updated components like an A10X or A11X SoC, faster LTE chips, and an improved display, among other modest enhancements.
Apple currently sells the mid-2015 variant of the iPad mini 4, which originally launched back in October 2014, with 128 GB (Wi-Fi) for $399, and optional LTE connectivity for $529.