iPad Mini 5: Release date, price, specs and all the latest leaks

iPad Mini 5 – Price, release date and features

The iPad Mini 4 has been on the market for well over three years now, and the word on the street is that Apple is planning to replace it with the iPad Mini 5. Well, it’s either that or retiring the range completely.

Thankfully, it seems likely that Apple will exercise the former option. A new compact iOS tablet has been strongly rumoured for a while now, and we’re expecting to see it sometime in 2019. Here’s everything we think we know about the iPad Mini 5.

Related: Samsung Galaxy S10

iPad Mini 5 release date – When will it come out?

Here’s when previous iPad Minis have been announced:

  • iPad Mini − October 2012
  • iPad Mini 2 − October 2013
  • iPad Mini 3 − October 2014
  • iPad Mini 4 − September 2015

At first glance, this would appear to be quite instructive, with all four iPad Mini models to date landing around autumn. Sure enough, one well-informed analyst predicted that we’ll see a new iPad Mini model at Apple’s October 2018 press event. In the end though, we got two brand new iPad Pro models.

Of course, the fact that the last iPad Mini launched well over three years ago kind of suggested that all bets were off. With the yearly release rhythm blown to smithereens, history really doesn’t offer much guidance as to an iPad Mini 5 release date.

We’re extremely hopeful that this new smaller model is imminent, though. A report from The China Times claimed that the iPad Mini 5 was going to go into production in December, with a possible launch planned for early 2019.

An Apple filing with the Eurasian Economic Commission dated to January 23 (via MacRumors) mentions seven new iOS tablet models in the pipeline.

Given that the Pro family was refreshed fairly recently, this surely suggests that a new iPad Mini is coming very soon indeed, alongside a new regular iPad. Perhaps at Apple’s annual Spring event, which often includes fresh iPad news.

iPad Mini 4

iPad Mini 5 price – How much will the iPad Mini 5 cost?

The current bog standard 9.7-inch iPad, which launched last March, starts at £319/$329. We’d expect the likely 2019 refresh from Apple to meet a similar price point.

This would suggest to us that a new iPad Mini would need to come in at well under £319. Apple still sells the creaky iPad Mini 4 on its website for £399, though it should be noted that this includes 128GB of storage as standard.

We would expect an iPad Mini 5 to come with a lower storage option, and to hopefully cost less than £300. Fingers crossed.

iPad Mini 5 – Design and display

All of the iPad Mini 5 rumours we’ve seen point to an iterative, low-cost update on the iPad Mini 4. It might not wow, but if it stands as the cheapest iPad yet, we suspect that it’ll be a huge hit.

According to Macotakara, accessory manufacturers say that the product looks pretty much identical to the previous generation, with the same ports and dimensions too.

That means it’ll maintain the 7.9-inch display, along with thickish bezels, a lightning port and a 3.5mm headphone jack. It’ll also keep the home button, which suggests Touch ID will be the order of the day, with no fancy Face ID on display here.

In fact, the only thing proving this isn’t a whole new batch of iPad mini 4 accessories is the location of the microphone, which moves to the centre, like on the 9.7-inch iPad.

And a recent post from known Twitter leaker Mr White allegedly shows off the iPad Mini 5. If accurate, it suggests that the iPad Mini 5 designation is less accurate than iPad Mini 4S.

The tablet featured in these snaps looks an awful lot like the iPad Mini 4 before it. Which, let’s face it, looks an awful lot like the three preceding iPad Mini models.

Simply put, those hoping for an iPad Pro-style makeover with straight edges and slimmed down bezels might be in for a disappointment, though we’re definitely keeping our fingers crossed.

As for the display, in his October 2018 iPad prediction, Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that the new iPad Mini would come packed with a “lower-cost panel”. Does this mean that it’ll skip the full HDR majesty and ProMotion technology of the latest iPad Pro models, then? It seems likely.

There was no mention of the iPad Mini 5’s display in Kuo’s February research note (via MacRumors), detailing what he believes to be Apple’s plans for 2019, which suggests his previous prediction was accurate.

iPad Mini 5 – Performance

Kuo, however, has predicted an “upgraded processor” for the iPad Mini 5.

Of course, with the iPad Mini 4 likely to be three-and-a-half years old by the time it’s replaced, an upgrade on its creaky A8 CPU is virtually a given. The iPad 2018 runs on an Apple A10 Fusion CPU, so you might expect at least that level of performance in the iPad Mini 5.

The aforementioned Macotakara report adds that it’ll have some form of Apple’s A10 chip running the show. Which form, of course, matters a great deal. It could be the A10 Fusion chip that powers the iPhone 7 and 2018 iPad, or the A10X processor found in the 10.5-inch iPad Pro.

As you can see from the benchmarks in the respective reviews, that makes quite a difference to performance, which could matter quite a great deal if Apple decides to leave it another four years before updating again.

However, the progressive pick would be the Apple A11 chip. This chip drives the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, but we haven’t seen it in an iPad yet.

There’s also the chance that Apple will embrace the iPad Mini’s budget tablet status and fit the 2019 model with an A9 CPU. It would still be a performance upgrade on the iPad Mini 4, after all.

iPad Mini 5 – Apple Pencil support

One Pro-level feature that could make its way into the iPad Mini 5 is Apple Pencil support.

There has been the suggestion that the reason Apple has all but dumped the Mini line is because of the crossover effect with its larger iPhones. When you have a smartphone with a 6.5-inch display, do you really need a tablet with a 7.9-inch screen?

We’d still say yes, but bundling in a display feature that has yet to come to the iPhone − Apple Pencil support − would go a long way to distinguishing a new iPad Mini.

Besides, the cheap and cheerful 2018 iPad has Apple Pencil support, so it would make a lot of sense to bring consistency across the range.

What’s your favourite affordable tablet? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews.