Last year, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that the iPad mini 6, packing an increased 8.5-inch screen, would emerge in the first half of 2021.
While that timescale is looking pretty unlikely now, a 2021 release date still appears to be on the cards, and leaker Jon Prosser has collated various bits of intel into a series of new renders drawn by RendersbyIan.
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Prosser has a mixed track record, as evidenced by his incorrect prediction that the MacBook Pro 2021 would launch at WWDC 2021, but he has offered enough correct predictions to make these renders worth a look.
The images you’re seeing here are compiled based on alleged hands-on pictures, schematics, CAD designs and more. The result is an iPad mini 6 that’s more in line with the recent design of the iPad Pro, which perhaps isn’t surprising given the slightly dated look of the current iPad mini, which doesn’t deviate too much from the 2015 version.
Gone are the thick "chin" and "forehead" bezels, replaced by a much thinner frame all the way around. This also means, as previous rumors suggested, that the home button will finally be retired too, but that doesn’t mean the introduction of Face ID. Instead, Touch ID could be retained, but relocated to the power button, just as it was for the most recent iPad Air.
The potentially thinner bezels aren’t just for pleasing aesthetics: the new design means that Apple could dramatically increase the screen size without making the device much more bulky. Prosser’s sources suggest that at 206.3mm x 137.8mm x 6.1mm, the iPad mini 6 will be just 3mm taller and wider than its diminutive predecessor.
While Prosser doesn’t mention the new screen size here, previous reports have suggested an 8.5-inch panel. That's certainly an upgrade over the iPad mini 5's current 7.9-inch display.
Interestingly, Prosser says the iPad mini 6 will use the Apple A14 chip found in the iPhone 12 family and last year’s iPad Air, which means it wouldn't be getting the M1 chip that powered the most recent iPad Pros. While slightly disappointing in terms of raw speed, the iPad Air is hardly what you’d call slow and not adopting the latest chip hopefully means the iPad mini 6 can remain an affordable option.
Based on these renders, the Lightning port would be replaced by a more universally used USB-C connection on the iPad mini 6, and the speakers have apparently seen dramatic improvement, with one source calling them “crazy nice.” The tablet will allegedly be available in silver, black or gold color schemes and come with optional 5G connectivity.
The last iPad mini introduced support for the Apple Pencil, making it a fantastic note taking device. That feature is maintained in these iPad mini 6 renders, but Prosser says this will come in the form of a smaller Apple Pencil, which makes sense given the current model is designed for significantly larger tablets.
While Ming-Chi Kuo predicted the iPad mini 6 would be here by now, another report from Korea pointed to the second half of the year. Hopefully we don’t have too long before we see Apple CEO Tim Cook holding the new mini on stage.
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