Rumor: Thinner iPad mini 4 will resemble iPad Air 2 hardware

iPad mini 3 21 ratio

Japanese blog Macotakara, which often publishes accurate information about unreleased Apple products and company news, today claims to have some reliable information on the yet-to-be-announced, upcoming iPad mini 4. Today’s report claims that the iPad mini 4 will look a lot like a smaller version of the current iPad Air 2.

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That’s not saying a whole lot considering the current version also looks a lot like a smaller iPad Air 2 in its design, but the report adds that the fourth-gen will adopt the iPad Air 2’s 6.1mm thickness, down from the current 7.5 mm, as well as its improved 8MP front-facing camera. In addition, the report speculates that the iPad mini 4 could also receive the iPad Air’s fully laminated display tech and antireflective coating for an improved viewing experience.

The report follows others claiming that an iPad mini 4 could be launched alongside a much anticipated 12-inch “iPad Pro” model. Less reliable reports claimed that Apple could push the launch of a next-generation iPad Air into next year to make room for the new iPad Pro and iPad mini 4 lineup this year, while the iPad mini could possibly be the last in the line for the smaller tablet line. The rumor also follows a claim by the reliable Ming-Chi Kuo earlier this month describing the same hardware update in store for the iPad mini.

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  1. DarkMx2000 - 8 years ago

    Now what I have been waiting for :), I was just in the Apple store yesterday and was wishing the same thing when I was comparing the iPad mini 3 to the iPad Air. Just hope it gets the same screen cause for some reason I could tell the difference between the both. I actually prefer the screen on the Air 2 over the mini 3

  2. Mark - 8 years ago

    It would be nice if they have the latest CPU in there as well, rather than last year’s.

    • That depends on whether the A9 is a stronger chip than the A8X.

      • dcj001 - 8 years ago

        I am sure that the A9 will be more powerful than the A8X.

      • cdm283813 - 8 years ago

        All Apple has to do is add a 4th core and call it a day.

      • Inaba-kun (@Inaba_kun) - 8 years ago

        Then Apple should use the A9X in all the iPads.

    • applegetridofsimandjack - 8 years ago

      I think the reason Apple did’t upgrade the CPU in the iPad Mini last year is because they realised the difference between iPad Mini 2 and iPad Air 1 was too small to convice people to pay 100$ extra for the bigger display.

      So I think Apple didn’t upgrade the CPU in the iPad Mini 3 so the iPad Air 2 would have more advantages compared to the Mini 3 except the display size.

      If you buy an iPad Air 2 over a Mini 3, you are paying 100$ for a larger screen, a faster processor and a better rear facing camera. While in 2013, the only upgrade you got from buying the Air over the Mini 2 was the display size…

      • Mark - 8 years ago

        Your rationale is probably right, and the A7 is fast enough for the Mini 3, but we’ve already seen iOS9 features that won’t be supported by the A7. In years down the road, A7 support might be even more constraining.

        It’s possible to spend $730 on a Mini 3 right now, which is more than 3 models of iPad Air 3 (without cellular) and yet support and features could potentially end sooner and be fewer respectively, and in some cases someone prefers a smaller screen, they’re not choosing it for budget purposes.

  3. MattR - 8 years ago

    They are going to keep all three iPads in the lineup for a while. Come on, they just refreshed the iPod…

  4. PMZanetti - 8 years ago

    Makes a lot of sense.

    7.9″ iPad mini 4 (w/ the thinness and specs of an iPad Air 2) for $299
    9.7″ iPad Air 3 (w/ new A9X processor) for $399
    12.9″ iPad Pro (w/ new A9X processor) for $499

    • jacosta45 - 8 years ago

      I think you meant to add $100 to each tier. I don’t see Apple reducing each iPad $100 (even though they should…)

      • dcj001 - 8 years ago

        Apple should not reduce iPad prices.

    • dcj001 - 8 years ago

      Your prices make zero sense.

    • rogifan - 8 years ago

      No way is a 12.9″ iPad going to sell for $499. One would hope if an iPad “pro” exists it’s going to be more unique than just a bigger screen.

    • mikhailt - 8 years ago

      No way is that happening.

      It’ll be iPad mini 4 for 399$ and iPad Air 3 for $499 like it has in the past.

      For iPad Pro, I expect it to go for 699$ assuming it includes a new stylus, keyboard, and so on.

    • taoprophet420 - 8 years ago

      More like $699 or $799 for the iPad Pro. The iPad mini 3 might drop to $299 but no way for 4 will be $299.

      Your prices don’t make any sense. If Apple is going to keep the 16 GB models they should be the prices you listed and not sell the previous generation models.

      Apple should also adopt the s naming scheme for iPads. iPad mini 3 should be 2s. If they update the 9.7″ model with just a A9 processor this fall is should be called Air 2s

      • nightskysurfer - 8 years ago

        Well, they could sell the lowest end model at an incredibly low price… even $599… for 16gb! Then $699 for 64gb and $799 for 128gb. Add in the cell service for another $100 and you’d be looking at a range of $599 to $899.

        Not sure that naming scheme works, though. Calling a new iPad an Air 2, when we already have an Air 2, or calling what would be the iPad Mini 4, an iPad Mini 2, would sow confusion and hurt sales.

      • taoprophet420 - 8 years ago

        Could go to IPad Mini, IPad, and IPad Pro for names.

    • bhayes444 - 8 years ago

      Honestly I think if the Pro gets the A9X then they might just give the Air 3 and Mini 4 the A9 to differentiate by more than screen size. Unless, the Air 3 is delayed until spring. Then, it would most likely have the A9X

    • Jim Phong - 8 years ago

      An iPad Pro 128GB should sell at $999 and have both iOS 9 and OS X with an Intel CPU and A9X Apple SoC.
      That would sell like hotcakes

  5. applegetridofsimandjack - 8 years ago

    What I really want from the new iPads is more ram and a higher ppi. Believe you mee i can sometimes see the pixels on my iPad. Especially when I’m in my bed watching a movie. I think 326ppi would be awesome.

    I am now using an iPad Air 2 which has 2gb pf ram which is awesome but Safari tabs refreshing and apps re-opening due to lack of memory still occurs.
    iPad Air 3 should feature 4gb of ram, iPad Mini 4 should have 2gb of ram at least.

    • mikhailt - 8 years ago

      Hardware isn’t the problem, it’s the software. Adding more RAM will not fix Mobile Safari’s refreshing issue, it will never fix it. Mobile Safari on iOS is horribly unoptimized for iOS, it eats up more memory than it should be and leaks too often.

      As for app relaunching, that’s going to be improved with iOS 9 as Apple is retuning the OS to be more multi-tasking friendly but it still has a strict background limit of 3 minutes. It is not the issue of memory size, just a horribly unoptimized OS.

      • applegetridofsimandjack - 8 years ago

        Hardware I think is a problem, because on my iPad 4, I could only have 3-4 tabs open without any of them refreshing when switching tabs. On my iPad Air 2, I can have like 10 tabs open without having one refresh when I open it. And that is because of the extra 1GB ram.

      • mikhailt - 8 years ago

        And I had Windows 8 (now upgraded to W10) 8″ tablet with 1GB of RAM that can open 20 tabs without refreshing a single one of them.

        Correlation != causation. You are seeing less of the problem because there’s a wider amount of available RAM. That does not mean the problem is fixed by the RAM size nor does it mean that it will be fixed by adding more RAM, you’re just going to see 15-20 tabs opened without any refreshes with 3GB and adding one more tab would start causing tabs to refresh. By adding more RAM instead of improving Safari, Apple is just being lazy and will let it leak more, meaning that it will happen that Safari will eat up more memory on 3GB and react the same as it is 1GB. It already happened several times during the first few iOS 7 updates.

        Heck, my old Mac with 1GB of ram can still open 20-30 tabs without any issues.

        It’s a pure software issue, there’s nothing more than that.

        Oh by the way, try one of the third party browsers on iOS, I’ve tried Chrome that did not refresh as bad as Safari, despite the fact they both have the same rendering engine with the same amount of RAM.

      • bhayes444 - 8 years ago

        Grantedhe memory issues in safari do need to be fixed, but the Mac and Windows tablet you describe als use desktop class software which allows paging out to the drive to act as RAM. It is a different situation, where the only apt comparison is to an Android device, but that isn’t even a good comparison.

      • mikhailt - 8 years ago

        And that’s also a software limitation, not a hardware issue. Apple intentionally disabled paging on the iOS platform. Although, they are using the same memory compression system from OS X in iOS as well.

        I do QA, I have a lot of devices to test software on. I saw in Xcode how often the iOS apps are taking up memory (less than 100-200MB each) and Safari eating up more than 800-1GB each time on my iPad Air with just 5-6 tabs alone. Kill Safari and you can keep several apps going without them reloading for a while. If you have Xcode, use Instruments > Activity Monitor to watch your memory consumption.

        The slightly good news is that iOS 9 is showing Safari using less memory per tab compared to previous versions. Plus with a content blocker, it will save more per tab. I tried one recently (Block Party on github) and I don’t know how much savings exactly as I only looked at it for a few minutes but I think it is saving about 20-30mb per tab but it will be more for other users because I got a proxy already filtering the most common ones.

  6. Toro Volt (@torovolt) - 8 years ago

    The Mini needs to be more mini. 7″ and will make a HUGE difference because it would fit in a pants back pocket just like my Android 7″ Tablet. Releasing the same form factor for a declining iPad market won’t change things around. I guess I’ll be keeping my 7″ LTE Tablet for a long time.

  7. rashmosh - 8 years ago

    This news story broke days ago on – when are we going to see some more 9to5Mac exclusive reveals? Also, saying that this year’s iPad mini will feature last year’s iPad Air upgrades, when the two devices seem firmly locked in a “one year technical drag” for the smaller sibling, isn’t really breakthrough news anywhere.

  8. rettun1 - 8 years ago

    Im pretty sure the air 2 has an 8 mp *rear* sensor, with the front camera being something like 1.2 mp

  9. kjl3000 - 8 years ago

    I hope they won’t kill the silent/screen rotation lock switch on the mini, like they did with the iPad Air 2. I just don’t get why it had to be removed, I loved it… Hope it’s coming back again!

  10. guillaumebougard - 8 years ago

    how about boosting the storage to 1TB on these devices??? 128gb is not enough and wifi isnt available everywhere everytime

  11. Overlord - 8 years ago

    Put USB-C in the Mini, Apple… and in the rest.

  12. adelesamantha2015 - 8 years ago

    Hey! Just a suggestion, Netflix app, Hulu, and BBC is great on iPad. If live outside USA, you can use tools like UnoTelly to get Netflix app, Hulu, and BBC on your iPad.


Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.