When Apple last October introduced an update to its full-size iPad, nobody expected a name change but that’s exactly what transpired as the fifth-generation iPad became known as the iPad Air.

The rebranding conveys the device’s thin appearance and sleek design. With Fall fast approaching, Apple is about to refresh its tablet lineup.

A fresh report from China now hints at the possibility of a dramatically thinner appearance for the third-generation iPad mini, suggesting the device might even borrow the “Air” moniker from its bigger brother…

GforGames passes along a new supply chain report from the Chinese site UDN [Google translate] which claims that the device will be called the iPad mini Air due to its 30 percent thinner appearance compared to the current model.

The current iPad mini with Retina display is 7.5mm thin (pictured below) so a third thinner design would yield a device a little more than five millimeters thin.

iPad mini with Retina Display Smart Case 05

And how’s Apple going to shave more than two millimeters off the iPad mini’s enclosure? According to the report, a new manufacturing technique based around nanometer processing technology will make this possible. The device is said to run Apple’s A8 processor, which is currently manufactured by TSMC.

Citing a DisplaySearch estimate that Apple’s tablet shipments for year 2014 will be roughly the same as last year, Chinese sources added that Apple is still looking to address oversized tablets with a rumored 12.9-inch iPad model.

According to DisplaySearch analyst David Hsieh, the larger iPad will not be released before year 2015, contradictingTaiwan’s United Daily News which said the device would make its debut at the end of the third quarter of 2014.

Assuming the third-generation iPad mini will in fact sport noticeably thinner appearance, should Apple rebrand it as the iPad mini Air?

  • abdullah575

    I was expected a name change! before they realsed iPad Air !!

  • Naegi

    the mini is the giant of all tablets ….

  • John Tremendol

    It sounds pathetic, really. Apple is going all HTC with names.

    • SkyFall

      Apple always used names for its products, (for example Time Machine, Time Capsule, even Mac OS X has names) so its not pathetic to use names. If you like the number naming thats fine, but at a certain point it will sound ridiculous (iPhone 10/10s for example).

      • John Tremendol

        Whoa calm down, i just said the name “apple ipad mini air” sounds pathetic, nothing else

      • OreoMuncher

        how about, iPad Air Mini

      • Matt

        iPhone 6s sounds ridiculous. Sounds like a success

      • a beto e merik

        wait for iPhone 8s.
        It sounds like “ate ass”.

      • Matt

        Hahaha I never realized that.

    • daniel mccarthy

      iPad nano

  • jack

    I want new features like bad-ass battery, not a thickness war.

    • OreoMuncher

      Don’t we all, but it’s not going to happen. For some reason they’re obsessed with making their devices thinner and thinner. Quite frankly, i don’t think they’ll be able to make their devices thinner after these iterations without it wing uncomfortable to hold.

      • Adam

        Agreed and I really don’t understand the need to make it even thinner I feel like at this point most people just want a better battery. Get rid of all these stupid extendable battery options and just give the phone a better battery.

      • Completely agree. I own an iPad 3 and it’s nowhere near the thinness of the current Apple product line but it’s still easy to hold and not at all uncomfortable. There has to come a point when somebody at Apple says “Stop messing around making thinner devices and make something great”…

      • OreoMuncher

        I’d have to disagree with you there. The shape thats used and the weight means I can’t hold my iPad 3 comfortably for any period of time. I think they made the right decision moving to a more iPod touch style shape with the air.

      • I’m not saying it’s bad I’m just saying there’s nothing wrong with the form factor of the iPad 3. If you disagree with this then fair enough, to each his own I guess…

      • OreoMuncher

        Don’t you find the corners dig in to your hand? I have mind in the smart case and hardly ever hold the iPad one handed. So that eradicates the issue for me.

      • I did notice this at first but now it doesn’t even bother me. Perhaps it’s because I’m so used to it now? I very rarely hold my iPad with one hand though I just don’t think iPads are made to be used with one hand and doing so is not easy at all…

      • Andy

        One thing that I find annoying is how they intentionally nerf (leave out) features in any iOS device that’s not the latest iPhone. For example, iPad Air has a 5 megapixel camera with no slo-mo video capture or LED flash, and there’s still no Weather, Passbook or Calculator apps like on the iPhone. I find it odd that the iPod touch 5th gen has flash, yet the significantly more advanced and newer iPad Air doesn’t have something that basic.

        While on the other hand, this year’s iPod touch will most likely use the A7 chip from last year instead of A8 (probably so they can keep costs lower for themselves). Touch ID is expected on all devices this year though.

        I understand that Apple wants to market their iPhone as their latest and greatest device with the most up-to-date technology, but how long are they going to keep that 5 megapixel camera on other (non-iPhone) iOS devices?

      • OreoMuncher

        From what I understand from manufacturing. When Apple uses last generation hardware it doesn’t really save them money since they are using different hardware thus requiring them to have separate manufacturing lines for those processors.

    • Rowan09

      Every manufacturer is making their devices thinner the purpose to have a device you won’t have an issue bringing with you everywhere. Look at the Surface Pro they went thinner and lighter because people do care about those things.

  • VictorMartino

    Apple STOP MAKING DEVICES THINNER! When they manage to make all the components thinner make the PUT A BIGGER BATTERY IN IT FOR GOD’S SAKE!

    • Jason Baroni

      iPad has a great battery life, bro. I would agree more if you were talking about the iPhone.

      • VictorMartino

        iPad can get 10 hours of heavy usage, now imagine if it had 20. The more the better! The iPad mini is thin enough!

      • Chindavon

        Then people with start b!tching about how much heavier it is with the bigger battery. People will complain no matter what.

      • VictorMartino

        That’s a good point. I wish they released two versions, one that’s thin and light and one that’s thick and heavy with a much better battery.

      • Chindavon

        That would be Samsung’s strategy. They Would probably make 4 models. Thin and Light 8 inch screen. Thin and Light 8.1 inch screen, Thick and Heavy 8.3 inch screen, Thick and Heavy 8.4 inch Screen.

      • Rowan09

        No one really wants a heavy device to carry around. Battery tech needs to advance and that’s outside of Apple.

      • Jason Baroni

        I can’t dream on something that Apple can’t even change on a smaller device.

      • PhoneTechJay

        You are correct. Inside of the iPads the Logic/mother board is not much bigger than the iPhones so the batteries are huge.

      • Jonathan

        Do I hear 30? 40? 50?

        It’s not going to happen. I am quite happy with the battery life in the iPad. If it were to happen, it wouldn’t be for quite some time yet. No matter how much battery Apple gave us, we’d still want more. We’d get used to x amount of time of battery life, then we’d want more.

      • Andy

        Do you know if any portable chargers work with iPad Air? I actually haven’t noticed any that specifically mentions iPad.

      • Jonathan

        They should, but it will be less voltage (since it’s made for iPhone), so it will charge much slower. Everything needs to be Apple made kinda.

        What I mean by that, is I used my provided charging cable, and a USB to outlet converter, but it was for my phone (an LG Cosmos 2) and it took all day to charge. Yet using the USB to outlet made by Apple, it charges in a couple hours.

  • Jason Baroni

    I am ready for the next iPad mini, whatever the name it brings. Regarding names, I want to see what Apple is planning to the MacBook line, because I expect them to mess its name a bit, since the “air” line of products on iOS are set to be the best ones, taking a look at the rumors of the new iPhone 6 with 5.5″, to be named the iPhone Air.

    • Chindavon

      I had to (forced) to work on a Windows machine last night, and felt ill to my stomach. Once you go Mac..

      • Jason Baroni

        I had a personal Windows PC and had the opportunity to work on a Mac for two weeks. Just sold my PC in order to buy an iPad. The experience is better, as well. Of course I am talking about light usage, but still.

      • Chindavon

        Make the jump man. You can ALWAYS have a Virtual Windows machine loaded in the Mac, but I bet you will never use it (I ended up uninstalling cuz I never used it) unless you have to.

      • Jason Baroni

        Point is, in my country, the most basic MacBook Air goes for US$2k. I don’t have the money for it, but I would love to get a Mac.

      • Chindavon

        Yikes! That’s is REALLY expensive.

      • Jason Baroni

        Welcome to Brazil.

  • Matta Fakt

    The current model literally IS the mini iPad Air

  • Nic

    With the new iPad Mini coming out I better sell my old iPad before the value of it drops. I usually search 8-13 different sites to find the best offer, but I just found this company that compares all the buyback companies in one spot, it’s called RecomHub.

    It’s like Kayak but for electronic devices that show you all the offers in one spot.

  • Krystian Łazowski

    There’s a possibility they want to create three product lines: Pro for pro’s, Mini for those who want the smallest size, and between them Air for everyone else. Of course there’s no point in releasing Macbook mini, but I’d like to see iPhone mini, same size as the current one.
    Otherwise I don’t see any reason for naming Air two completely opposite products (Macbook Air as the casual one and iPad Air, which is the closest pro tablet they have in portfolio since they don’t really have one).

    • GoMAD4

      I’m expecting the new (larger) iPhones, then next year the “brand new iPhone mini” (same size as what is standard now)
      “Blah blah, one handed use…”

  • babiloe

    Make it faster Or make it life longer.
    IPad mini isvery comfort for everyone now. Thinner makes device hard to repair and easily broken when fall.
    Merging touchscreen with LCD/LED made price broken glass skyrocketed than iPad 2

    • Gary LE


    • babiloe

      Now samsung has tab S. it has more marvelous screen ever. and it has responsive touch / latency touch faster than ipad mini2/air, has phone call capability too and it also had ordinary microsd slot. Beat that apple.

  • Brian 


  • Chris

    It don’t matter how thin it goes time you put a case on it it going to be usual size

  • James Gunaca


  • Jerk Face

    So, I found the opportunity to get an IPad Mini retina 16gb for $329 new. Should I do it?

  • RaviS13

    This name isn’t even confirmed yet everyone relax

  • a beto e merik

    No way iPad mini Air.

    iPad Air mini. Or for the worst, iPad Air 7.9