The iPad mini 3 is a brilliant tablet, but in terms of updates it was a bit of a dud, with just the fingerprint sensor and the gold colour option differentiating it from its predecessor, the iPad mini 2. That's why we think the iPad mini 4 could be a good'un, with an impressive update that helps us forget all about our iPad mini 3 disappointment. Here's our round-up of all of the latest iPad mini 4 release date, specs & features rumours.
iPad mini 4 release date: When is the new iPad mini coming out?
First things first, let's explore the potential release date for Apple's next 7.9in iPad. Looking back at Apple's release history for the iPad mini, we can see that it has stuck to the same pattern since it first launched in November 2012 after an October unveiling.
iPad mini: Unveiled 23 October released 2 November 2012
iPad mini 2: Unveiled 22 October, released 12 November 2013
iPad mini 3: Unveiled 16 October, released 24 October 2014
So it's for that reason that we expect an October unveiling for the iPad mini 4, followed by its release a week or two later.
However, there had been some reports to suggest that the iPad mini 4 will be released alongside an all-new iPad Pro in April or June of this year, so it's possible we'll see an earlier launch for the new tablet but we're not holding out breath.
There is a WWDC 2015 event expected in June, though, during which Apple is likely to give us our first glimpse at iOS 9 and the next version of OS X, so it's possible that Apple will use that event to also debut the iPad mini 4.
Ahead of Apple's 9 March event, during which it finalised Apple Watch details and showed off an all-new super-slim MacBook, rumours suggested that we might see an iPad Pro launch at the event (and therefore, if rumours were to believed, an iPad mini 4 would also debut), but the event came and went with no mention of new iPads.
So we're still expecting the new iPad mini 4 to arrive in October, particularly as we've yet to see any leaked images of the tablet, but we'll update this article if we hear any more rumours to suggest otherwise.
It's actually possible that Apple will decide not to release a new iPad mini this year, though. The iPhone 6 Plus is Apple's first foray into the 'Phablet' market, with a 5.5in screen, which brings it much closer to the size of the iPad mini, which has a 7.9in display. There's bound to be some cannibalisation there, and it's possible that the reason for the disappointing iPad mini 3 update was to keep the attention focused on Apple's new iPhones rather than the mini iPad.
iPad mini 4 rumours: Design, specs & features
So far, iPad mini 4 rumours are thin on the ground, but that doesn't mean there aren't any. In November, Japanese magazine Mac Fan suggested that the iPad mini 4 will boast the iPad Air 2's A8X processor, as well as a thinner design that is more reminiscent of the latest iPad Air.
Rumours that arrived in March 2015 suggest that the iPad mini 4 might actually come equipped with the A9 processor expected to launch with new iPhones that are coming in September. (See: iPhone 6S rumours).
That same rumours says the iPad mini 4 will come with 2GB RAM, 802.11ac WiFi.
It's also speculated that Apple will discontinue two of the currently available iPad mini models when the iPad mini 4 arrives: the original iPad mini and the iPad mini 3, keeping only the iPad mini 2 on as a more affordable option. This seems perfectly feasible to us, as the iPad 2 stayed on for several years despite the removal of some of its successors from the line-up.
We'll continue to update this article as more iPad mini 4 rumours emerge, so check back regularly for the latest information.