Apple could release a fifth-generation iPad mini alongside a refreshed $329 entry-level iPad with a bigger ten-inch display at some point during the first half of 2019, rumor has it.
Sources who spoke with the China Times newspaper alleged that all-new iPad mini 5 models are coming in the first half of 2019 alongside a refreshed sixth-generation iPad that’s expected to feature a slightly larger 10-inch panel within a narrower frame. The report didn’t specify if the upcoming 10-incher might adopt edge-to-edge design akin to 2018 iPad Pros.
For what it’s worth, reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo did predict in October 2018 that the next iPad mini would come outfitted with an upgraded Apple processor and a lower-cost display panel.
Mass production is expected to start by the end of this month.
Apple could hold a media event to announce these new tablets which, if history is an indication, might be held some time in the spring 2019. iPad mini 4 was last updated in September 2015, receiving a slightly taller and wider body along with a much thinner design.
The tablet is powered by Apple’s dual-core A8 processor with 2GB of RAM.
Apple claims that the A8 chip is 1.3x faster at CPU tasks and 1.6x faster at graphics tasks over the A7 chip found in the previous iPad mini models. Other features include a fully laminated Retina display, Touch ID, Apple Pay in apps (but not in stores because there’s no NFC antenna), an eight megapixel rear camera with a ƒ/2.4 aperture, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2.
Originally available with the 16/32/64/128GB storage options, Apple in March 2017 killed off all storage SKUs, leaving only the $399 128GB iPad mini 4 on sale.
As for the $329 9.7-inch iPad, this is Apple’s most affordable tablet that supports the first-generation Apple Pencil which the mini does not. Clearly, given its $399 entry-level price, there is some wiggle room for Apple to update iPad mini with its latest technologies while bringing the price down because it doesn’t really make sense for a 7.9-inch tablet to cost more than a bigger 9.7-inch device that also happens to pack in more modern hardware.
Are you looking forward to the next iPad mini?
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