iPad Mini 5 release date: device to be unveiled at Apple event in March 2017?

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Earlier this year, there were rumors that the iPad Mini 5 was going to be unveiled at Apple’s September event. However, only the iPhone 7 and Apple Watch 2 were announced at the Cupertino-based company’s Sept. 7 launch, and not even one single tablet made an appearance at the event. Now, rumors claim that the iPad Mini 5 could make an appearance next spring.

The new release date rumors were spurred by Apple itself as it discreetly slashed the prices of its current iPad models last week and the company has even done away with the basic 16 GB models. The iPad Mini’s latest iteration, the iPad Mini 4, has been simplified, getting rid of the 64 GB option, so now, consumers will only get to choose between the 32 GB and 128 GB versions. The 128 GB model also costs $100 less than it did before.

So far, there have been no leaks whatsoever with regard to the iPad Mini 5, but tech watchers and fans are convinced that Apple will release a follow-up to the best-selling device. The iPad Mini 4 was launched in September 2015, and this made fans hopeful that a September 2016 launch might be in the cards for tablet. However, recent reports point to a March 2017 release, as well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that three new iPads will appear next year.

The 7.9-inch tablet became popular due to its portability, though some have complained that it’s difficult to be productive when using a device with such a small screen. There were claims that Apple might scrap the Mini line and release a smaller version of its supersized iPad Pro model instead, but many tech fans are convinced that the Mini series won’t be going away anytime soon.

The iPad Mini 5 is rumored to retain its 7.9-inch Retina display, though it is expected that it will have a 7000-series aluminum chassis, which will make it more durable. It is also said to be thinner than its predecessor at only 5 mm thick. Apple is also expected to release the device in more color options such as Rose Gold.

The iPad Mini 5 is expected to have improved cameras compared to its predecessor’s 8-megapixel iSight shooter and 1.2-megapixel FaceTime camera. It is said to have most of the features found in Apple’s current devices, including 3D Touch, IP68 protection, and an Apple Pencil.

It is estimated that the iPad Mini 5 will be available starting at $420 for the 32 GB Wi-Fi only model to $760 for the 128 GB Wi-Fi plus 4G model.