APPLE could be preparing a brand new iPad at its secret design labs – and it might be just a few weeks away from launch.
We’ve rounded up the latest news about Apple’s long-rumoured iPad mini 5, including insight from a top industry expert.
iPad mini 5 release date – when is it out?
Apple keeps its gadgets top secret until the last minute, so we won’t know about any new devices until an official announcement.
The Californian tech giant typically unveils new gadgets in March, June or September, so an iPad mini 5 could turn up at any of those.
Apple is supposedly plotting a March 25 event, which is the next big opportunity for a launch – if the event even goes ahead.
However, industry expert Dan Ives, of Wedbush Securities, told The Sun he expects the gadget to “be released in the April/May timeframe”.
iPad mini 5 design and specs – what’s new?
The iPad mini is one of Apple’s most beloved gadgets: a downsized version of the main iPad that easily slots into bags and large pockets.
But Apple hasn’t updated the iPad mini since 2015, which means the series is long overdue a revamp.
A recent report from Japanese tech site MacOtakara said that the iPad mini 5 will look largely similar to the iPad mini 4, retaining the Touch ID fingerprint scanner and the 3.5mm headphone jack.
And a later rumour – based on iOS 12.2 code – suggested that the device might support the Apple Pencil stylus, and even Apple’s Smart Keyboard accessory.
It’s likely that the iPad mini 5 would receive a performance boost, likely in the form of a processor upgrade.
Rumours suggest that the device will carry either an Apple A10 (iPhone 7) or Apple A10X (iPad Pro) chip.
And industry expert Dan Ives told us that the device will “be a similar screen size” to the last model (7.9 inches), and “could potentially have Face ID technology, although that is still up in the air, we believe”.
Face ID is, of course, Apple’s widely praised facial recognition technology, which lets you securely unlock your iPhone or iPad by scanning your head.
How does Apple’s FaceID tech work?
Apple’s facial recognition system for the iPhone X isn’t massively complicated. Here are the steps your phone takes:
- The phone will use various sensors to work out how much light it needs to illuminate your face.
- It then floods your face with infrared light, which is outside the visible spectrum of light.
- A dot projector will produce more than 30,000 dots of this invisible light, creating a 3D map of your face.
- An infrared camera will then capture images of this dot pattern.
- Once your phone has all that info, it can use your face’s defining features – like your cheekbone shape, or the distance between your eyes – to verify your identity.
- It computes a score between 0 and 1, and the closer it is to 1, the more likely it is that your face is the same as the one stored on your iPhone.
- Apple says there’s a one-in-a-million chance of someone else getting into your iPhone with Face ID, although the system has been tricked with twins.
- Still, it’s arguably better than the alternative: Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner has a one-in-50,000 chance if being fooled.
iPad mini 5 price – how much will it cost?
We don’t know how much the iPad mini 5 will cost yet – and we’re not even certain if it exists.
However, we can look to previous iPad mini tablets for clues.
For instance, the iPad mini 4 costs £399 in the UK, which is actually costlier than the full-size entry-level iPad, at £319.
An iPad mini 5 would probably cost somewhere in the region of £299 to £449, although we can’t say for sure.
As always, take all rumours with due caution – we won’t know the truth until Apple hosts an official launch event.
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What would you like to see from a brand new iPad Mini? Let us know in the comments!
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