According to various leaks and a report from famed Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a new iPad mini will be upon us shortly. Apple introduced the iPad mini 4 way back in September 2015 and it has largely soldiered on unchanged since then. That means that the tablet uses an Apple A8 processor with 2GB of RAM and is available in up to 128GB storage capacities.
We’re learning today, however, that we shouldn’t expect a big design revamp for the iPad mini 5. Instead, the tablet is expected to retain its same design form-factor, which means big bezels above and below the display along with the retention of the Home button with Touch ID. Apple apparently isn’t ready to introduce its more modern Face ID authentication system to its budget tablet lineup.
The only real physical design change that’s alleged is the relocation of the microphone, which is now centered on the upper back panel. This means that the iPad mini 5 will also continue to use Lightning port for charging, while the pro-oriented iPad Pro family has already switched to USB-C.
Just got my hands on alleged #iPadMini5 CAD. If legit (can't vouch at 100%), there is indeed (just as rumored) no external design changes (except of relocated mic, centered on upper back panel). In short, it will very likely be a specs bump only update... pic.twitter.com/z5XuBKZVmN— Steve H.McFly (@OnLeaks) February 19, 2019
With that being said, it’s rumored that the iPad mini 5will support a new Apple Smart Keyboard along with the Apple Pencil (we’re assuming it will support the older, first-generation Apple Pencil instead of the second-generation variant used by the iPad Pro).
That leads us to internal specs. When the iPad mini 4 was introduced, it used the SoC from the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, which at that time was a year old. If Apple were to stick to the same mantra, it’s possible that the iPad mini may use the A11 processor that was used in 2017’s iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X.
At this point, we don’t have a firm timeline for when the iPad mini 5 will be announced/launched.