When will Apple launch the iPad mini 5, you ask. The 7.9in tablet, which could even be called the iPad Pro mini, could launch today with the iPhone 7. Here we round up all the rumours about the fifth-gen iPad mini, including UK release date, price, new feature and specification rumours. Also see: Best new tablets coming in 2016.

Latest update: Although there have been no leaks in the form of prototypes, components or documents, many people were convinced that Apple would launch a new iPad mini alongside the iPhone 7, but it didn't happen. Well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted that three new iPads will appear in 2017, with no mention of a 7.9in model.

So it's looking more likely we'll see an iPad launch event in March 2017 but let's see what happens on 7 September first.

iPad mini 5 release date rumours: When is the new iPad mini coming out?

On 9 September 2015 Apple unveiled its iPad mini 4. This was a month earlier than usual, and with no separate iPad launch event scheduled for October it appeared alongside the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

Rather than cancelling this second launch event, Apple has simply spread out its events calendar more evenly: it had one launch event in March, the WWDC developers conference in June, and a second launch event in September.

Apple has followed that pattern this year. In March, it launched the iPhone SE and iPad Pro 9.7; and WWDC was dedicated to announcing software updates.

In the past we’ve had to wait a week or so following the launch event for the iPad mini to go on sale, but Apple began selling the iPad mini 4 immediately after its announcement in September 2015. Now that we know Apple didn't launch a new iPad mini when it announced the new iPhones,  we'll probably have to wait until March 2017 to see if there is indeed a new small iPad. See also: iPad Air 3 rumours and iPad Pro 2 rumours

iPad mini 5 UK price rumours: How much will the new iPad mini cost?

Apple tends to keep the price of its iPad mini line-up the same, reducing the price of its previous-generation mini when the new model goes on sale.

Based on 2015’s iPad mini 4 pricing, we can expect the iPad mini 5 to be priced as follows (we predict the 32GB to replace the 16GB version):

• 32GB Wi-Fi only: £319
• 32GB Wi-Fi + 4G: £419
• 64GB Wi-Fi: £399
• 64GB Wi-Fi + 4G: £499
• 128GB Wi-Fi: £479
• 128GB Wi-Fi + 4G: £579

The iPad mini 4 is available - and the iPad mini 5, if it materialises, will be available - direct from Apple, as well as third-party vendors such as John Lewis and Currys.

iPad mini 5 or iPad Pro mini?

The jury’s still out on whether Apple will introduce a mini model in its Pro iPad line-up. It’s entirely possible - after all, in March we were hopeful for a new iPad Air 3 (the iPad Air 2 was not refreshed last September alongside the iPad mini), and instead we got the iPad Pro 9.7. Perhaps Apple will update its standard and Pro iPads on a biennial basis.

On the other hand, you could argue that the 7.9in screen is too small for productivity (or an even smaller keyboard cover) so it's just as feasible that Apple will keep the 'Pro' suffix for the 9.7in and 12.9in models. Plus, to bolster this train of thought, a new 10.5in iPad is predicted for 2017, and this is much more likely to be added to the Pro line-up rather than a dinky iPad mini.

iPad mini 5 design rumours: What will the new iPad mini look like?

Apple is rumoured to be using Series 7000 aluminium for the new iPad mini. This is the same stuff it uses for the iPhone 6S, which is stiffer and lighter than the lower grade aluminium used in other products.

The iPad mini 5 is more than likely going to look very familiar to the iPad mini 4, with the same 7.9in Retina display. However, it’s tipped to feature a 7000-series aluminium chassis, which will make it more durable. That’s handy, since it’s also rumoured to be thinner than its predecessor: just 5mm thick.

Also expect Apple to introduce a Rose Gold colour option, as it has done elsewhere in its hardware line-up.

iPad mini 5 new feature rumours: What’s new in the new iPad mini?

• 3D Touch: Apple introduced 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, and it’s expected to make its way to the iPad mini line in 2016. 3D Touch is able to register how much pressure is applied to the screen and offer differing options as a result.

• IP68 protection: After the iPhone 7 launch, the possibility of having a water-resistant iPad isn't too far-fetched. We’d love to see IP68 certification in an iPad, but we can’t avoid the feeling this tip may be just wishful thinking.

• Apple Pencil: Should Apple decide to introduce an iPad Pro mini rather than an iPad mini 5, the new iPad mini will more than likely feature Apple’s posh new stylus.

• iOS 10: We know a new version of Apple’s iPad and iPhone operating system has been released on the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, so any new iPads Apple might release will also feature iOS 10.

iPad mini 5 specification rumours: What to expect from the new iPad mini

• Processor: The iPad mini 4 features the Apple A8 processor and M8 motion co-processor, so expect to see the A9 and M9 in the iPad mini 5.

• 32GB storage as standard: The iPad mini 4 is currently offered in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB versions. We expect Apple to ditch the 16GB iPad mini, which we feel just isn’t enough storage for most users’ needs. An iPad mini with 32GB of storage as standard would be brilliant, and is exactly what is offered with the new iPad Pro, so certainly a possibility.

• Screen: We doubt Apple will upgrade the screen resolution, because doing so would go against all it said previously about the Retina display. As before expect a 7.9in Retina IPS display, but here with the possible addition of 3D Touch.

• Battery: According to Cult of Mac the iPad mini 5 will feature a smaller-capacity battery in order to fit into 5mm frame, but using improved technology so it doesn’t negatively impact runtime. The iPad mini 4 features a 5,124mAh battery.

• Cameras: No changes are expected here. The new iPad mini will likely feature an 8Mp camera at the rear and 1.2Mp at the front.

• No headphone port: The iPhone 7 ditched the standard 3.5mm headphone jack in favour of the lightning port. As the iPhone has lost the headphone connector, it's a possibility that the new iPad mini will do so also.

• NFC: Although it is possible to use Apple Pay on the iPad mini, doing so isn’t seamless because it doesn’t support NFC. Apple has bitten the bullet with the iPhone; expect it to do the same with the iPad mini.

• Aluminium chassis: We anticipate the new iPad mini 5 to be protected with an aluminium body. More specifically, the 7000-series aluminium chassis allowing the iPad to be thinner and more durable.

Other specs, such as the TouchID fingerprint scanner, are likely to remain the same.

For more new iPad mini rumours check out our sister site Macworld.

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