We’ve gotten several rumors and reports about a new iPad Mini that should be coming soon. These reports have often been accompanied by a single detail regarding the 7th Gen iPad- that the screen would grow from 9.7 to 10 inches. However, a new report from supply chain watchers Macotakara (Google Translation) muddies the water just a bit.
They are evidently getting conflicting reports from suppliers about the screen of the new iPad. They have heard from some that it will be 10″, as previously reported, and from others that it will remain at 9.7″. This could mean any number of things. It could be that Apple considered increasing the screen size but decided against it. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time that happened.
This could also mean that Apple will keep the 6th Gen version around in addition to the new 7th Gen model. This would make sense if the price goes up with a larger screen. Of course, this could also just be your garden variety supply chain confusion or false report, as well.
Other details from Macokatara’s article are that the new 7th Gen iPad will still include a headphone jack and TouchID. There was some initial conjecture that Apple might shift the iPad to Face ID if they were going to redesign it for a larger screen. However, with no conflict in this messaging and the fact the the $329 price tag is specifically mentioned, it makes sense that very little will change with this new iPad.
So what about that screen? It isn’t uncommon for long-running rumors to suddenly be called into question at the 11th hour before a device releases. I wouldn’t put too much stock into the reports that the screen will remain 9.7″ unless additional corroboration comes from even more reputable Apple sources. It seems that very little else will change with the new model beyond a yearly bump of the internals, so a slightly larger screen with slimmer bezels still makes a lot of sense to me. And if this is the only big upgrade to the hardware, Apple should be able to keep the price right where it is.
The last tidbit from Macakotara: the 7th Gen iPad and new iPad Mini should release together. That certainly isn’t a surprise .Now we just need to know exactly when that will be. All eyes are on the week of March 25th right now.