There is apparently a rumor going around that Apple is set to launch a new iPad mini, and a revised form factor entry-level iPad, according to the China Times. This iPad mini has not received an update ever since the 4th generation model which debuted in 2015, which Apple continues to sell in 128GB models.
For the revision of 2018, Apple’s $329 iPad features no physical appearance changes at all, though with the focus on a new CPU and with more support for the Apple Pencil stylus. For 2019, it will for sure be receiving industrial design updates to accommodate a slightly bigger 10-inch display…
The iPad mini 5 was previously mentioned to be imminent in a report from Ming-Chi Kuo, who had said it would be released in late 2018 or sometime in the early 2019 year.
Today’s latest from Chinese media’s report states the device could go into mass production before the very end of December, which suggests a release date within the first couple months of 2019.
For any fans of the iPad mini’s form factor, it’s not totally clear yet what to expect from the iPad mini 5. Kuo had previously downplayed the update by stating it would come with a lower-cost screen and CPU bump. The Chinese report concurs, as referring to the device as “lower priced”.
As Apple currently only sells an iPad mini in 128GB models from $399, there’s actually plenty of headroom for the company to bring the price down for us.
The 10-inch iPad would also seemingly replace the 9.7 inch model in the lineup of iPads, featuring a much thinner frame (a slim bezel most likely), and it is expected to be debuting in the second quarter of 2019. This report also suggests that the pricing of the 10-inch iPad should not be that different to the $329 iPad today. It’s still aimed at as an entry level iPad.
The total iPad shipments for the entire year of 2018 are expected to be slightly down as compared to 2017. The later release date of the iPad Pro in 2018 as compared to 2017, where the Pro line was updated in June instead of November, and this contributes to the form factor to the annual sales decline.