After years of offering the same design and form factor, it does seem as though 2021 is the year of change for the iPad mini. Word on the street has it that this smaller-sized tablet will undergo a complete overhaul in the design department, at least based on the renders released by Jon Prosser, apart from other sources that the Bloomberg news agency got in touch with that pointed to thinner bezels due to the change in location of the home button.
- iPad mini 6 should adopt the look of the Pro and Air models.
- Leaks point to USB-C replacing the Lightning port.
- iPad mini 6 is tipped for a 2H 2021 debut.
The main attraction of the iPad mini 6 does seem to be the overhauled design, and based on the render released by Prosser, it should no longer resemble the legacy iPad look while adopting the future-forward iPad Air and Pro models.
In reality, this means adopting thinner bezels while having the Home button relocated to the tablet’s side, following the footsteps of the iPad Air 4 (2020).
The new design also brings with it flat sides, something that the most advanced iPads as well as the iPhone 12 range feature. According to Prosser, the new tablet will measure 206.3 mm x 137.8 mm x 6.1 mm. In comparison, the current iPad mini 5 measures 203.2 x 134.8 x 6.1 mm.
An increase in width and height, coupled with the change in location of the Home button will enable a slightly larger viewing area that is rumored to be 8.4-inches (versus the 7.9” that has seen action since the first-generation iPad mini).
Apart from the more unified design language, Prosser also posted yet another groundbreaking change in the new iPad mini – replacing the Lightning port with a USB-C port, which is yet another iPad Air 4 feature. This change should please those who have the latest generation iPad Pro or Air, but that would mean losing compatibility with older accessories such as chargers, adapters, and cables for previous iPad mini owners.
Also according to the sources that Prosser consulted, the iPad mini 6 will be powered by the Apple A14 processor, which is the very same powerful processor used in the iPad Air 4 and the iPhone 12 range. This ought to offer a considerable jump in performance over the A12 chip that saw action in the iPad mini 5.
In addition, insider information also pointed out that the new iPad mini will have an optional 5G connection, a feature that is currently offered only on the iPad Pro range among Apple’s tablets. In this case, support for high-speed 5G networks should see a Qualcomm Snapdragon modem carry out the job, just like what we saw in the iPhone 12.
The iPad mini happens to be the only model in Apple’s tablet lineup that historically had the most irregular updates. Annual releases happened like clockwork until the fourth generation (September 2015), where we waited for three and a half years before the fifth generation arrived in March 2019. According to market analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the sixth generation of the model was expected to arrive earlier this year, but there were delays that pushed it back to the second half of 2021.
This information was corroborated by Mark Gurman, a reporter with the Bloomberg News Agency, who also published that this new model will sport smaller bezels for the above-mentioned reasons.
Still missing after being a few months late beyond the expected launch date, there are no additional rumors about its price additional hardware specifications like the camera configuration. We don’t even know whether it will be compatible with the Center Stage feature. In any case, stay tuned to NextPit for the latest scoop on Apple’s upcoming compact tablet.