What to Expect from the Next iPad Mini and Air
Rumors surrounding the next lineup of Apple’s iPads have been buzzing, with speculation about updates to the iPad mini, iPad Air, and entry-level iPad models. While there is much anticipation for the release of new iPad Pro models with OLED displays and an M3 chip next year, details about the other models have been relatively scarce. In this article, we will recap the rumors and make some educated guesses about their potential launch timing.
According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the next iPad mini is expected to enter mass production in the first quarter of 2024. This means that we could see a release sometime around the same period. It is worth noting that Kuo also suggested there might be no new iPad releases in the following 9-12 months, so there is some uncertainty about the timing.
The upcoming update to the iPad mini is expected to be a spec bump rather than a major redesign. One possibility is an upgrade from the A15 Bionic chip to the A16 Bionic chip. Additionally, like other recent Apple devices, the next iPad mini might come with support for Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3. As of now, there have been no explicit rumors about any significant design changes.
In July, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported that Apple is working on a new iPad Air with improved specifications. However, no specific release timeframe was provided. Following in the footsteps of the iPad Pro, the next iPad Air is likely to be equipped with the M2 chip. Similar to the iPad mini, it may also receive support for Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3. Again, the focus here seems to be on a minor spec bump rather than a major design overhaul.
Apple last updated the iPad Air in March 2022 with the M1 chip, 5G connectivity on cellular models, an upgraded front camera, and a faster USB-C port for data transfer. If Apple follows a similar pattern as in the past, it could release the new iPad Air with the M2 chip one year after the iPad Pro update, pointing to an October 2023 launch. However, there is some ambiguity regarding new iPad releases this year, so a 2024 launch is also a possibility.
The entry-level iPad has seen updates on an annual basis since 2017. If Apple continues this trend, we can expect to see an 11th-generation iPad released later this year. However, there have been no definitive rumors as of now. The previous iteration, the 10th-generation iPad, was released in October 2022, so it would make sense for the next model to launch around the same time.
Similar to the iPad Air and iPad mini, the new entry-level iPad is expected to receive a minor spec bump, potentially featuring the A15 Bionic chip. Additionally, there have been murmurs suggesting a possible price cut, allowing it to replace the 9th-generation iPad in Apple’s lineup.
In summary, the next iPad mini, iPad Air, and entry-level iPad are all due for spec bumps in the near future. While it seems likely that one or two of these models could be updated in October 2023, we cannot rule out the possibility of launches in 2024. As with all rumors, it’s important to take them with a grain of salt and wait for official announcements from Apple.