iPad mini 6 tipped to feature iPhone 13 chip — and new Smart Connector

iPad mini
(Image credit: Future)

iPad mini 6 watchers know the next iteration of Apple's teeniest tablet is rumored to ship this fall, and now a new leak suggests it may arrive packing some cool upgrades — including USB-C connectivity, a magnetic Smart Connector, and the same A15 chip expected to feature in this fall's iPhone 13 models.

This report comes from sources trusted by 9to5Mac, which means that while you should take it with the skepticism you should greet any rumor with, it's pretty likely that it's based on some grain of truth. Much of what the sources claim lines up with what we've heard from other sources, too; we already heard, for example, that Apple is planning to launch a new iPad Mini this fall with the "biggest redesign" in years, according to some leakers. 

That redesign, according to veteran Apple reporter Mark Gurman, is aimed at making the iPad mini's screen bigger without increasing the size of the tablet's chassis. If that pans out, it means we're likely looking at a new iPad mini shipping this fall with thinner bezels, and possibly no Home button. 

iPad mini 6 renders

These conceptual renders, put together by leaker Jon Prosser and RendersbyIan, give us an idea of what an iPad mini 6 might look like (Image credit: Jon Prosser / RendersbyIan / Front Page Tech)

Based on this 9to5Mac report, we're looking at a redesigned iPad mini 6 arriving in stores this fall with far more power than its predecessor — the current iPad mini 5, pictured above, runs on Apple's A12 Bionic chip, which debuted in 2018 with the iPhone X series — and more connectivity options. The potential for Apple to drop the iPad mini's Lighting port in favor of USB-C is especially exciting, as it would make a much broader array of accessories available for use with the iPad mini 6.

iPad mini 6 renders

Swapping out the Lighting port for USB-C (as imagined in this render) would make the iPad mini 6 far more useful (Image credit: Jon Prosser / RendersbyIan / Front Page Tech)

If the iPad mini 6 ships with a magnetic Smart Connector, that's just icing on the cake. We first saw the magnetic connector appear in 2015 on the iPad Pro, and it's since shown up on every iPad model but the mini. The possibility of a magnetic Smart Connector coming to the iPad mini 6 would bring on a future where you could hook up your Magic Keyboard to your iPad mini when you're looking to be a bit more productive — on the go or on the couch.

Alex Wawro
Senior Editor Computing

Alex Wawro is a lifelong tech and games enthusiast with more than a decade of experience covering both for outlets like Game Developer, Black Hat, and PC World magazine. A lifelong PC builder, he currently serves as a senior editor at Tom's Guide covering all things computing, from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice.