Rumor: Apple may soon update iPad mini with A8 CPU, 802.11ac Wi-Fi

Posted:
in iPad edited April 2015
With last year's iPad mini 3 upgrade largely viewed as a disappointment, sporting the same processor and form factor as its predecessor, a new report says Apple may be looking to soon rectify that with a fourth-generation model featuring upgraded internal specifications.




Citing an unnamed source, Macotakara reported on Friday that a so-called "iPad mini 4" may arrive soon, featuring an A8 processor and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Those would be the same specifications found in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but a step down from the beefier A8X chip found in the iPad Air 2.

If Apple were to do a mid-cycle refresh of the iPad mini, it would address what many viewed as a shortsighted decision by the company last year. The iPad mini 3 gained a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, but featured the same A7 processor and overall design as the previous-generation iPad mini 2.

With the iPad mini 2 still available for $299, and the iPad mini 3 selling for $399, that means Apple is effectively charging a $100 premium for nothing other than Touch ID, as well as a new gold color option.

The iPad Air 2, meanwhile, was upgraded with a slightly thinner and lighter design over the original iPad Air. And it's also the only device in Apple's lineup to feature the A8X chip, which features an industry-leading 8-core graphics processor.

Friday's report made note that Apple is currently guiding delivery times for authorized resellers of between two and three weeks for its MacBooks, as well as iPads. Excluded are said to be desktop Macs and the 15-inch MacBook Pro.




Apple typically allows resellers more flexibility on pricing when it's interested in clearing out inventory ahead of an upcoming refresh. The company began limiting shipments and pruning inventory of its MacBook Air lineup last month as a refresh to Intel's next-generation Broadwell chips is anticipated.

Also said to be in the works is an all-new MacBook Air with a 12-inch Retina display and redesigned chassis. But aside from a supposed assembly seen in January, few purported parts for the anticipated notebooks have been seen.

Rumors of inventory changes and potential new products come as Apple is set to hold a media presentation on Monday in San Francisco at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The keynote is expected to focus largely, if not entirely, on the Apple Watch, though it's always possible the company could surprise with a product refresh.

Apple's "Spring Forward" event will begin Monday at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern, and AppleInsider will be on hand with full, live coverage. Readers can stay informed through the official AppleInsider app for iOS, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and RSS.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 52

    If this is the case, then perhaps they really were supply constrained on the A8 last year. More interesting to me would be the RAM loadout of the device.

  • Reply 2 of 52
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,638member
    Good for future Apple mini Ipad customers but not a bigger impact. What Apple needs to do is increase RAM size of iphone for faster response and smoother apps running/switching plus starting storage with 32GB. Now a days 16GB is pathetic. Apple-TV needs to be hardware/software upgraded to make it Home entertainment Home-hit hub for home gadgets control, streaming device, web browser, decent gaming console, apps to be stored and cable set-top box..
  • Reply 3 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by wood1208 View Post



    Good for future Apple mini Ipad customers but not a bigger impact. What Apple needs to do is increase RAM size of iphone for faster response and smoother apps running/switching plus starting storage with 32GB. Now a days 16GB is pathetic.



    The iPhone is fine with 1GB of RAM and 16GB as the base storage. The iPad can use the larger RAM capacity because of a different use case. I've never felt RAM issues on my iPhone 6, but I have on my iPad Air for sure.

     

    So, in essence, no.

     

    Are you running a 4S or something? I don't have speed/response issues on modern iPhones.

  • Reply 4 of 52
    Will it be thinner to match the iPad Air 2? I think that would go a long way as an update as well.
  • Reply 5 of 52
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,311member
    Tick. Tock.
  • Reply 6 of 52
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,068member

    The iPhone is fine with 1GB of RAM and 16GB as the base storage. The iPad can use the larger RAM capacity because of a different use case. I've never felt RAM issues on my iPhone 6, but I have on my iPad Air for sure.

    So, in essence, no.

    Are you running a 4S or something? I don't have speed/response issues on modern iPhones.
    You might not feel it now, but come iOS 10 you'll wish your iPhone had 2gb ram.
  • Reply 7 of 52
    arlorarlor Posts: 477member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     



    The iPhone is fine with 1GB of RAM and 16GB as the base storage. The iPad can use the larger RAM capacity because of a different use case. I've never felt RAM issues on my iPhone 6, but I have on my iPad Air for sure.

     

    So, in essence, no.

     

    Are you running a 4S or something? I don't have speed/response issues on modern iPhones.


     

    I suspect that complaints like the OP's stem from wanting the phone to replace the tablet. Thus for them it's the same use case.

  • Reply 8 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by saarek View Post





    You might not feel it now, but come iOS 10 you'll wish your iPhone had 2gb ram.



    Doubful. I'll have the iPhone 7 by then. <img class=" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" />

     

    iOS 10 will be 64-bit only as well, easing up some of the load.

  • Reply 9 of 52
    zroger73zroger73 Posts: 691member

    Ah, so they're just now getting around to putting the parts in it that should have been installed at the last upgrade cycle?

  • Reply 10 of 52
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    What a shock...not. Anyone stupid enough to by the 3rd gen mini deserve what they got. Now Apple just needs to get rid of the A5 non-retina mini and lower the price of the 2nd gen mini.
  • Reply 11 of 52
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,471member
    Will it be thinner to match the iPad Air 2? I think that would go a long way as an update as well.

    Only if it gets a higher-efficiency display, I think, either LTPS, or more likely. IGZO.

    Doing so would also solve the gimped color gamut problem.
  • Reply 12 of 52
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member

    The iPhone is fine with 1GB of RAM and 16GB as the base storage. The iPad can use the larger RAM capacity because of a different use case. I've never felt RAM issues on my iPhone 6, but I have on my iPad Air for sure.

    So, in essence, no.

    Are you running a 4S or something? I don't have speed/response issues on modern iPhones.

    That's your opinion based on your experience. I know plenty of 6 Plus owners who wish they had 2GB RAM. Of course we'll get it this year as Apple seems to do things a year later than expected. But hey they got me to upgrade from an Air 1 to an Air 2 just because of the extra RAM so I guess their strategy works. :)
  • Reply 13 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    What a shock...not. Anyone stupid enough to by the 3rd gen mini deserve what they got. Now Apple just needs to get rid of the A5 non-retina mini and lower the price of the 2nd gen mini.



    I've said a few times that the third-gen Mini was more to do with the IBM deal than for consumers. Businesses want TouchID for the security, as it allows strong passwords without user hassle, but not every business needed or wanted to give full iPad Air 2's to their employees.

     

    There's also a puzzling casing change on the Mini 3 which no one has ever satisfactorily explained to me; the reason for the disappearance of the ring around the rear camera.

  • Reply 14 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post





    Only if it gets a higher-efficiency display, I think, either LTPS, or more likely. IGZO.



    Doing so would also solve the gimped color gamut problem.



    The Air has IGZO already, and it looks like the Mini 2 forward does too. The iPhones use LTPS.

  • Reply 15 of 52
    cwscws Posts: 59member
    I suspect the reason they didn't update it with the A8 processor last autumn was because they needed every last one of the A8s that came off the production line to meet iPhone 6 production goals. Only now that they have brought iPhone 6 supply and demand into balance can they afford to divert some of the A8 production to the iPad Mini.
  • Reply 16 of 52
    19831983 Posts: 1,126member

    Apple should do this ASAP! The Mini 3 was a joke.

  • Reply 17 of 52
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,062member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zroger73 View Post

     

    Ah, so they're just now getting around to putting the parts in it that should have been installed at the last upgrade cycle?


     

    Oh, stop fucking pretending that Apple is somehow incompetent. Obviously there was a valid reason for that, one of which might be that they sold 75,000,000 iOS devices last quarter, most of which were the iPhone 6, 6+, and iPad Air 2- and every last A8 chip was appropriated to those. Sacrificing the iPad Mini for these more important devices seems like a logical sacrifice, since it is their least important iOS product. 

     

    No, but you must be right. They just didn't "get around to it", because Apple is just too fucking lazy. If only they had people like working there, to keep them on track. 

  • Reply 18 of 52
    This was expected, models don't simply gain a single feature, and keep it for 12 months.
  • Reply 19 of 52
    @rogifan:

    "What a shock...not. Anyone stupid enough to by the 3rd gen mini deserve what they got. Now Apple just needs to get rid of the A5 non-retina mini and lower the price of the 2nd gen mini."

    Stupid enough is relative, upgrading to a Mini 3 from an iPad 2 after getting $95 from Best Buy for the 2.. not so stupid.
  • Reply 20 of 52
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,638member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     



    The iPhone is fine with 1GB of RAM and 16GB as the base storage. The iPad can use the larger RAM capacity because of a different use case. I've never felt RAM issues on my iPhone 6, but I have on my iPad Air for sure.

     

    So, in essence, no.

     

    Are you running a 4S or something? I don't have speed/response issues on modern iPhones.




    Yes, I am still on iphone 4s. Last year I bought 4.7" quad core 1.5Ghz android LG optimus e970 that had 2GB RAM. Honestly, I could not switch over to android because of liking IOS much and iphone is still very reliable plus receives software updates. In a nut shell, I will wait for iphone 6S or iphone 7 when Apple offer atleast 2GB RAM/32GB storage. I don't change phones often so why buy 1GB phone when Apple will have to move to 2GB to answer Galaxy 6 and others offering 3GB RAM.

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