Kuo predicts Apple to launch new iPad mini early next year

Apple may have a new iPad mini in the works, according to well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In addition to his expectations for new iPad Pro models at next week’s Apple event, 9to5Mac reports that Kuo expects Apple to release a new version of the iPad mini with “an upgraded processor and a lower-cost panel” that probably isn’t coming next week, but could debut at Apple’s next spring event. This would be a particularly interesting development, since the iPad mini was last updated in 2015, leading many to reasonably assume Apple has abandoned the device in favour of the traditional iPad and iPad Pro models. However, many also made the same assumption that Apple had moved away from the lower-priced iPad in favour of the iPad Pro until the company introduced the fifth-generation iPad in early 2017, replacing the 2014 iPad Air 2. A spring release would also fit with Apple’s more typical schedule for the entry-level iPad models

Apple still sells the fourth-generation iPad mini, but only in a 128 GB version that sells for $399 — a price that’s $70 more than Apple’s entry-level but much more capable 9.7-inch iPad, the latter of which sports Apple’s A10 processor, versus the 2015 era A8. While Kuo didn’t say what price the new iPad mini is expected to be sold for, his research note suggests that it will likely retain the current design, likely featuring Touch ID and simply including a more current CPU and possibly display improvements and Apple Pencil support.