Today’s ‘Scary Fast’ Apple event is widely assumed to be Mac focused. Apple itself has even pushed people towards that line of thinking, with a logo that transitions into the Finder icon from macOS on its event website.
We certainly weren’t expecting any new iPads. While leaks have consistently pointed to a new batch of tablets around the corner, the conventional leaker wisdom had it that they were now set to arrive in 2024.
But then again, maybe not. MacRumors claims to have uncovered information that may point to an iPad mini making a surprise appearance tonight, gatecrashing an otherwise Mac-only affair.
A quiet confirmation?
According to the site, two Apple suppliers “resubmitted filings to a Chinese regulatory database for batteries used in existing Apple products.” These were originally filed in “2021 or earlier” and largely relate to products we’re expecting to be refreshed tonight: the 14/16-inch M3 MacBook Pro and the Magic Keyboard. The iPad mini is also in the list.
(There’s no 24-inch iMac, which is also hotly tipped, but you wouldn’t expect that to be here as it’s mains powered.)
What does the iPad mini’s appearance mean? Well, as the site explains, it can hint at new products which use the same battery spec. MacRumors has form here, previously spotting the Apple Watch Series 8 battery’s resubmission to the same database ahead of the Series 9’s launch. The two ultimately shared the same cell.
The battery spec is unchanged from the iPad mini 6, meaning that if this is correct, the iPad mini 7 would have the same 5,124mAh capacity as its predecessor (and indeed, the one before that). Though given it’s tipped to upgrade to the A16 chipset, it could still last longer thanks to efficiency improvements.
You shouldn’t expect that much more from the new tablet beyond an improved processor, mind. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says that while Apple has big plans for the iPad Pro in 2024, he’s not expecting “anything other than minor updates to the company’s other tablets before then”. Though if you find the so-called “jelly scrolling” on the current model annoying, you may want to consider upgrading.
MacRumors is pretty clear that the inclusion of an iPad mini battery in these listings is not a guarantee that the tablet will make an appearance tonight — but it certainly increases the possibility. We shall find out in just over 12 hours’ time.