OLED iPad Mini rumors: Display, design, and release date

A pair of outstretched hands holding iPad Minis in front of an abstract black and white background
(Image credit: Apple, edited with Canva)

The iPad Mini might be Apple's smallest tablet, but it could have huge potential, especially with a stunning OLED display. Apple recently unveiled the iPad Pro M4 with an OLED display at a May 7 event ahead of WWDC 2024. So, Apple is ready to dive into its OLED era. 

The iPad Pro may be the first Apple product with OLED, but it certainly won't be the last. The iPad Mini could soon get this major display upgrade and an exciting design update. 

Here's everything we know about the OLED iPad Mini, including its potential release date, price, design, and more. 

OLED iPad Mini: Release date

iPad mini 6

(Image credit: Phillip Tracy/Laptop Mag)

The OLED iPad Mini is on the horizon, but it's still unclear whether it will be the iPad Mini 7 or the iPad Mini 8. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said the next iPad Mini will enter mass production in the second half of 2024. That model, the iPad Mini 7, will be the first iPad Mini released since the Mini 6 launched in 2021. 

Considering that three-year gap, it's possible Apple could give the iPad Mini 7 a significant design update with an OLED display to help justify the long wait. However, a May 23 report from ZDNet Korea hints that the OLED iPad Mini might not launch until 2026 alongside an OLED iPad Air. This lines up with a report from research firm Omdia, which indicates that most of Apple's products won't get OLED until closer to 2026. 

So, Apple might save OLED for the iPad Mini 8 rather than the Mini 7. Apple's release date history for the iPad Mini has been a bit inconsistent, but it still gives us hints of potential windows for an OLED iPad Mini release date: 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
iPad modelRelease date
iPad Mini 1November 2, 2012
iPad Mini 2November 12, 2013
iPad Mini 3October 22, 2014
iPad Mini 4September 9, 2015
iPad Mini 5March 18, 2019
iPad Mini 6September 24, 2021

Based on this data, Apple prefers fall release dates, except for the iPad Mini 5. It looks like Apple is also leaning toward September releases. So, mid- to late September is the most likely time frame for an OLED iPad Mini release, regardless of the year. If Apple plans to give both the Mini and Air OLED upgrades in 2026, they will likely launch on the same day. 

OLED iPad Mini: Price

Pricing for the iPad Mini has always been a bit odd compared to the rest of the iPad line-up. One would think it would be the most affordable iPad due to its small screen. However, the base iPad (10th generation) is currently $150 cheaper than the iPad Mini (6th generation). So, Apple is positioning the Mini as a premium device on par with the larger iPad Air. 

An OLED display would be a great way to justify the higher price of the iPad Mini. However, it's still possible Apple could bump up its price. The iPad Mini currently starts at $499, just $100 less than the 11-inch iPad Air M2. Apple will likely aim to maintain that price gap. So, if it does increase the price of the OLED iPad Mini (compared to the current iPad Mini 6), it likely won't go above the $599 price tag on the current iPad Air. 

OLED iPad Mini: Design

The iPad Pro M4, Apple's thinnest product era

(Image credit: Apple)

The design will be the OLED iPad Mini's show-stopper feature. I've made the case that the iPad Mini deserves an OLED display. Considering the Mini is the ideal iPad for media consumption, an OLED display would make it a phenomenal handheld device for watching movies, especially in cramped quarters like airplanes. 

A recent leak from ZDNet Korea indicates that Apple is indeed planning to upgrade the iPad Mini to OLED. The screen size will likely remain roughly the same, at just over 8 inches. However, the rest of the OLED iPad Mini could look noticeably different. 

Several recent leaks from trusted sources report that Apple's entire product line-up is getting thinner in upcoming design refreshes. The ultra-thin chassis on the iPad Pro M4 was one of the highlights of Apple's May 2024 iPad event and appears to be the start of this new thin devices trend. Since the iPad Mini is already considered a premium device, there's no reason to assume Apple would leave it out. 

So, it's possible we could see Apple give it a refresh similar to the iPad Pro M4 by adding an OLED display and a thinner, lighter design simultaneously. That means the Mini will be even more comfortable to hold in a single hand. It would be especially impressive if it were even lighter than an iPhone, but we'll have to wait and see.

OLED iPad Mini: Features

Screenshots from WWDC 2024 keynote

(Image credit: Apple)

The OLED iPad Mini could include several key features, although some will depend on the software updates Apple releases over the next year or two. For instance, since the Mini is getting an OLED display, it could also get ProMotion. Apple may want to keep this feature exclusive to the iPad Pro, but it would still be nice to see. 

Likewise, we can expect the OLED iPad Mini to resolve some persistent display flukes on the current iPad Mini 6. For example, MacRumors recently reported that Apple is working to fix the "jelly scrolling" issue seen on the iPad Mini 6's LCD. 

"Jelly scrolling," also known as screen tearing, occurs when different areas of a display lag during scrolling, resulting in mismatched frames. While this issue will hopefully be less prominent in the iPad Mini 7, thanks to the OLED display, it should be completely gone with the OLED iPad Mini. 

The Apple Pencil Pro with squeeze controls

(Image credit: Apple)

The OLED iPad Mini could also include support for the Apple Pencil Pro, which was announced in May. This stunning refresh to the Pencil is currently only compatible with the iPad Pro M4 and iPad Air M2.

This is partly because Apple had to relocate the placement of the magnetic charger to accommodate landscape mode selfie cameras in these two new iPads. If Apple doesn't add the same camera update to the iPad Mini 7, it will certainly be in the iPad Mini 8 (the most likely model to feature the OLED display). So, we can expect the OLED iPad Mini to be compatible with the Apple Pencil Pro.

The OLED iPad Mini will likely also feature a much more powerful processor than the current iPad Mini 6, which includes an A15 Bionic chip. At WWDC 2024, Apple announced Apple Intelligence, its new AI platform. Apple Intelligence is designed to mainly run on-device, which requires quite a bit of processing power.

So, Apple will likely give its upcoming iPads major processor upgrades to accommodate those new AI features. An M-series chip might be a bit overpowered for the iPad Mini, but it's not out of the question. Apple could also potentially give it an A18 chip like the upcoming iPhone 16 line-up. Either way, we can expect the OLED iPad Mini to be more than capable of running Apple Intelligence features locally.

OLED iPad Mini: What's next?

The OLED iPad Mini could launch anywhere in 2025 or even 2026, although a fall release date is the most likely. Of course, Apple could also unveil it at a surprise event as it did with the iPad Pro M4 in May 2024. So, we're watching closely for the latest news, leaks, and rumors surrounding this exciting update to one of Apple's most underrated products. 

As we wait for an official OLED iPad Mini announcement, there's still a lot to look forward to from Apple. There are several major OS updates coming later this year, including iPadOS 18, which will bring the first wave of Apple Intelligence features to the iPad. Laptop Mag will be covering the latest updates on the iPad line-up and all things Apple, so stay tuned for more insights, rumors, and details. 

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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