iPad Mini 5 Release Date Update: iPad Pro Mini Rolling Out In 3 Variants In March?

iPad Mini 4apple.com

Fans are eagerly waiting for the reveal and eventual release of Apple's successor to the 2015 iPad Mini 4, the iPad Mini 5. So far, only rumors and speculations about the new device are available for public consumption, as the Cupertino tech giant hasn't released any official information yet.

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, famous for his Apple "predictions," said Apple will be releasing iPads in three different sizes – a 9.7-inch model, a 10.5-inch model, and a 12.9-inch model – this 2017. Although he made no mention of a 7.9-inch iPad model, fans believe the company will release a device of that size because the earlier iPad is old enough to get a refresh.

Many, however, are making the assumption that Apple has decided to phase out the iPad Mini because recent iPhone Plus models with a 5.5-inch screen have taken over the demand for the small tablet, MacRumors reported.

For those who remain hopeful for a new iPad Mini, though, the hoping still continues. It is believed that Apple might do away with the old naming system and introduce the new "iPad Pro mini" as an entry-level model for the iPad Pro line of devices, Tech Times reported.

It is also believed that the new iPad Mini will have a 7.9-inch Retina display, powered by either an A9 or newer A10 processor that's backed by an M9 co-processor for motion tracking support, and an upgraded 3GB of RAM.

Apple is also expected to give more portability to the already highly-portable tablet by slimming it down to 5mm, 1mm thinner than its predecessor. It will also have a durable aluminum chassis, and will feature IP68 water resistance.

It is also rumored to have 3D Touch support, possible support for the Apple Pencil, and use a D-Jack instead of the traditional 3.5mm headphone jack. 

Rumors suggest that the new iPad Mini 5 or iPad Pro mini will be released in March this year, possibly launching along with the iPad Pro 2 and the new iMac. It is expected to cost at around $399 for the 32GB model, with prices going higher corresponding to storage capacity options.

Still, Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple will be making "radical" changes to the iPad come 2018, and so fans should take the rumors and the news with a grain of salt and wait until Apple releases official information.