iPad Mini 5 release date, news and leaks

The iPad mini 5 release date is expected in 2019, and Apple may launch it in the next month or two, according to the latest leaks regarding the long-awaited tablet.

It couldn't come sooner for those clamoring for an upgrade to the 7.9-inch iPad mini – it launched back in 2015. It's really been that long since we got the old iPad Mini 4.

We're also anticipating an entry-level iPad 9.7 in March or April, so Apple could unveil both new iPads at the same time. How Apple prices them is a big mystery today.

The iPad mini 5 will have to come cheap due to its smaller screen size, but it's said to be new features, including Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil support.

Intrigued? Here are all of the major iPad mini 5 rumors so far.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Apple's next mini tablet
  • When is it out? March or April 2019 expected
  • What will it cost? Probably under $329 / £319 / AU$469

iPad Mini 5 release date

Hottest leaks:

  • March or April anticipated

All of the recent iPad mini 5 leaks point to a first-half 2019 iPad mini 5 release date, with T3 suggesting that the new tablet could launch in early 2019.

Our prediction is for a March or April release date. Why? Well, Apple introduced new iPads in March over the course of the last two years. It could happen again in 2019.

Mid-April is when we expect Apple's video streaming service to go live. The company could tie the iPad Mini 5 and video service into one big launch event.

Even if the video platform goes live in April, the all-in-one iPad event can still happen in March because Apple doesn't have a video streaming service it's replacing. It can afford a longer lead time vs products in which people will stop buying the old one.

Simply knowing that the iPad mini 5 is coming, according to respected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is good enough for most people who have been waiting for four years.

iPad Mini 5 price

Hottest leaks:

  • A starting price of under $329 / £319 / AU$469

The iPad mini 5 price leaves Apple is an interesting quandary. The iPad 9.7 (2018) is already exceptionally cheap (for an iPad) and has a fairly big screen to boot. 

In fact, the iPad 9.7 is cheaper right now, starting at $329 / £319 / AU$469, while the iPad mini 4 starts at a premium $399 / £399 / AU$579 (albeit that's for a hefty 128GB of storage, which is the only size it's currently sold in).

We're left wondering if the iPad mini 5 will cost more than the iPad 2018 (and maybe the iPad 2019), despite the fact that it has a smaller screen size.

iPad Mini 5 design

Hottest leaks:

  • A similar design to the iPad Mini 4
  • A redesigned antenna

There aren’t many iPad Mini 5 design rumors, but we have now seen photos that might show it from the rear.

Pictured below, you can see that the main difference to the iPad Mini 4 is that rather than having a big antenna block on the cellular model, there's just a slim line. That improves the look, but might be the only change on the back.

Everything else looks similar, including a headphone port on the top edge, speakers on the bottom, and volume buttons on the right. The images also suggest you'll be able to buy it in gold. We would however take these images with a pinch of salt, as this is our first sighting of the slate.

Beyond that, there’s a good chance that it will have a lot in common with the iPad Mini 4, which basically means you can expect a slim metal shell.

Apple may aim to make it even slimmer and lighter than the 6.1mm thick and 299g iPad Mini 4 though, based on past form. There’s been some suggestion that Apple could even slim it down to just 5mm thick – though the source of this rumor is unclear, and the rumor itself is old, so we’d take it with a huge helping of salt.

The iPad Mini 5 is also likely to retain the home button, large bezels and Touch ID, even though the iPad Pro 11 ditched those things. That's because reports suggest this will be positioned as a fairly affordable option, so we'd expect it to have more in line with the iPad 9.7 (2018) and indeed the iPad Mini 4.

Having said that, there has been some talk of a 7.9-inch iPad Pro model, perhaps set to be called the iPad Pro Mini, in which case it might get a redesign, but this rumor is very old, so we doubt it.

iPad Mini 5 screen

Hottest leaks:

  • A lower-cost 7.9-inch panel

The only screen rumor so far comes from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who says the slate will have a “lower-cost panel.” That likely means an LCD one rather than the OLED panels found on the likes of the iPhone XS, and it also probably won't have fancy features like the 120Hz refresh rate found on Apple's latest iPad Pro slates.

One thing we can be fairly confident of is that the iPad Mini 5 will have a 7.9-inch screen. Apple’s stuck with that size on all its mini slates and there’s no room for it to change much without encroaching on either the 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max or the 9.7-inch iPad 9.7 (2018).

It’s also likely to stay at a 1536 x 2048 resolution, given that this amounts to a pixel density roughly the same as the iPhone XR and higher than Apple's other slates.

Some things might change though, with True Tone for example being a likely addition. This automatically adjusts the color temperature of the screen depending on the ambient light and it’s a feature we’ve seen on other Apple devices.

iPad Mini 5 camera and battery

  • A single lens rear camera
  • It may or may not have a flash

The main camera rumor so far comes from the photos above, which show a single lens camera with no flash.

However, a case supposedly for the slate has also been photographed and shared by SlashLeaks and ITHome. You can see this below, and note that the case has a cut-out big enough for a flash. We wouldn't count on a flash, as the iPad 9.7 (2018) doesn't have one, but the iPad Pro 11 does, so it's possible.

Credit: SlashLeaks / ITHome

Our best guess is that it will have the same cameras as Apple's latest budget 9.7-inch iPad, which itself has the same ones as the iPad Mini 4, namely an 8MP f/2.4 rear camera and a 1.2MP f/2.2 front-facing camera.

However, there's an outside chance that it will instead get the same cameras as the iPad Pro 11 (a 12MP f/1.8 rear camera with a flash and a 7MP f/2.2 front-facing one), or something even better.

There’s no news on what size the battery will be. There’s a 5,124mAh one in the iPad Mini 4 and there’s a good chance Apple will stick with something similar, though if it further slims the slate down some battery size may be sacrificed.

iPad Mini 5 OS and power

Hottest leaks:

  • An upgraded processor

Apple’s iPad Mini range doesn’t always have the most cutting edge chipsets, so while the iPad Pro 11 is using Apple's brand-new A12X Bionic chipset, the iPad Mini 5 may well stick with something slightly older, like the A10 Fusion from the iPhone 7 and new iPad (2018), or the A11 Bionic from the iPhone X.

The only news on that front comes from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who says the iPad Mini 5 will have “an upgraded processor”, which doesn't tell us much, since we'd be very surprised if it didn't.

And it may not get any improvement in RAM at all, as the iPad Mini 4 already has 2GB of the stuff – the same amount as the iPad 9.7 (2018). That's less than some Apple devices, but this isn't likely to be a top-end device.

Assuming the iPad Mini 5 launches fairly soon it's also sure to run iOS 12.

iPad Mini 5 other features

We're not expecting many new features from the iPad Mini 5, but it might support the Apple Pencil, given that the iPad 9.7 (2018) does, despite not being a top-end slate. Of course, that's if Apple doesn't decide the Mini 5 is too small to work well with a stylus.

There's also a chance that we could get more and better speakers for improved sound, much like the Pro range has, and a Smart Connector for attaching a keyboard, though these additions are probably less likely than Apple Pencil support.

It's a real long shot but there's also an outside chance that the iPad Mini 5 will get Face ID. This has been included on the iPad Pro 11, but we expect Apple will keep the feature for its more expensive range of slates.

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