Did Apple forget about the iPad Mini?

iPad mini 6
(Image credit: Phillip Tracy/Laptop Mag)

On Tuesday, Apple announced the long-awaited OLED iPad Pro with the incredibly powerful M4 chip. The iPad Air got a refresh, too, and the base iPad got a price cut. 

The one thing that was missing was the iPad Mini, which hasn't received an update since September 2021. Just 966 days ago. Not that we're counting. 

Apple seems to have forgotten about the little iPad Mini, but that would be a huge mistake. The Mini deserves an upgrade and not just a spec bump. Is it too bold to suggest an OLED display? Some might think only the iPad Pro is worthy of such a slick display, but the unique uses for the iPad Mini make it the perfect fit for OLED. The Mini isn't only for restaurants and business uses. It's for movies and gaming, too.

Why has the iPad Mini fallen through the cracks and why does it deserve an OLED makeover? The answer is all about the Mini’s unique niche. 

Did Apple forget about the iPad Mini? 

iPad mini 6

(Image credit: Phillip Tracy/Laptop Mag)

The current iPad line-up after Tuesday’s “Let Loose” event includes the iPad Pro in 11-inch and 13-inch sizes, the iPad Air in 11-inch and 13-inch sizes, the base 10.9-inch iPad, and the 8.3-inch iPad Mini. 

The Mini is in an awkward spot in the line-up. It’s priced at $499 for a meager 64GB of storage, which is baffling side-by-side with the $349 base iPad that includes the same amount of storage with a larger display. The main reason for this is likely that the Mini has a newer processor, the A15 Bionic. Still, one might think the smaller screen would earn the Mini a price cut. 

This highlights the unique position of the iPad Mini. It’s not the cheapest iPad or the largest or the most powerful. It’s not intended to replace your laptop, either. 

So... what exactly is the iPad Mini? 

The iPad Mini is a luxury entertainment device. The 8.3-inch display creates a Goldilocks zone between an iPhone screen and the 10.9-inch iPad screen. It's just the right size to hold in one hand, but still roomier than your phone's display.

 The Mini is also the perfect size for travel since it's far less bulky than a full-size iPad, let alone a Macbook. It's also a fantastic alternative to e-readers, offering a full-color display perfect for reading magazines, textbooks, PDFs, and graphic novels. 

Sure, you can do all of that on any of the other iPads, but if entertainment is the main thing you want a tablet for, the iPad Mini is perfect for you. It's small enough to be light and versatile but large enough to be worth swapping your phone out for. 

An OLED display is the ultimate upgrade for the iPad Mini

Apple iPad Mini 2021

(Image credit: Apple)

When you start thinking of the iPad Mini as a premium entertainment device rather than just a small iPad, the display becomes the top spec. While the iPad Pro needs the most powerful processor available, the iPad Mini needs a phenomenal display and that means OLED. 

This would clearly indicate that the iPad Mini is the one you buy for a great entertainment experience. Meanwhile, the iPad Pro is for power users, the base iPad is for students or budget users, and the iPad Air is a more affordable alternative to the Pro.

An OLED display on the Mini would make it even better at its most popular uses: watching movies and TV shows. You could sit back on a flight with the Mini in hand and watch Dune: Part Two in crispy HDR. (Lisan al Gaib!

OLED would also improve the reading and web browsing experience with brighter colors and higher peak brightness. The Mini could even become a mobile gaming powerhouse thanks to the high refresh rates and improved power efficiency OLED offers.  

While it's great that the iPad Pro can now seriously compete with the Macbook, not everyone needs their tablet to replace their laptop. Some simply want a premium companion device for relaxation and entertainment. The iPad Mini already has the potential to be a must-have device for that type of user. Giving an OLED display would be the perfect way to bring it up to the same level as the rest of the iPad line-up and justify its $500+ price. 

Apple clearly wanted the iPad Pro to be the first model with OLED, which makes sense given it's the most expensive, but there's still hope for the Mini. 

While it was a bummer we didn't get a new iPad Mini today, I'm actually glad it got left out. Maybe it means Apple is saving it for later so the Mini can get the stunning display upgrade it deserves. 

We'll have to wait and see so stay tuned for more of the latest news and updates on Apple and the iPad line-up, including iPadOS 18 and WWDC 2024

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Stevie Bonifield
Freelance Writer

Stevie Bonifield is a freelance tech journalist specializing in keyboards, peripherals, gaming gear, and mobile tech. Outside of writing, Stevie loves indie games, photography, and building way too many custom keyboards