When will the new iPad Mini be released?

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests that the new iPad Mini will be released in the second half of 2021. Kuo tends to have a great – but not perfect – track record, so there may be something to the claim.

The window echoes a report from Korean site Naver that indicated the iPad Mini was in the "design P2 stage, beyond the R&D stage and the planning stage" back in March 2021 "and seems to be moving to the DVT P3 stage sooner or later". Based on the provided timeline, the site concluded that the iPad Mini should appear in the second half of the year.

Jon Prosser has also thrown his hat into the ring, claiming that the iPad Mini will simply be released by the end of 2021.

In a July 2021 Power Up newsletter, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman also suggests the iPad Mini 6 is "a go for this fall", teasing that it'll be the "biggest redesign" since its launch. 

Apple tends to release non-Pro iPads later in the year – the iPad Air and entry-level iPad were both revealed in September 2020 – so it seems likely that if an updated iPad Mini is released this year, it’ll likely be in the autumn.

Image credit: Jon Prosser / @rendersbyian

How much will the new iPad Mini cost?

The iPad Mini is a nice entry point into the iPad range, costing £399/$399 for the entry-level 64GB model, but rumours suggest that may change with the new iPad Mini coming later this year.

Chinese site MyDrivers, citing sources in Apple’s manufacturing chain, suggest that the new iPad Mini will be more expensive than the existing model due to more powerful internals and a larger display – similar to what happened with the iPad Air redesign in 2020 – although there’s no word on specific prices.

It’ll likely depend on just how much of a redesign the iPad Mini offers, as rumours about what’ll be on offer are inconsistent right now.

What to expect from the new iPad Mini

Given the fact that the overall look and feel of the iPad Mini has remained unchanged for the past six years, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that Apple is planning to launch a redesigned iPad Mini – and that’s backed up by several leaks and reports.

Redesigned form factor

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman suggests that the upcoming iPad Mini will feature narrower bezels, with Apple toying with a design similar to that of the iPad Air, completely ditching the Home button for a Power button-embedded Touch ID sensor.

He later added that the iPad Mini 6 represents the "biggest redesign" since its inception and that it'd look "similar" to the current iPad Air.

Jon Prosser takes things a step further, claiming to have seen schematics, CAD files and even real-world images of the next-gen iPad Mini, and worked with @rendersbyian to create renders based on the leaks.

The renders, as seen above, seem to showcase an iPad Mini with the flat edges and reduced bezels present on an ever-growing list of products including the iPad Pro, iPad Air and the iPhone 12 range too.

In fact, Prosser went a step further by sharing the dimensions of the new iPad Mini, which allegedly measures in at 206.3 x 137.8 x 6.1mm – slightly taller and wider than the existing model, but only by a negligible amount.

The leaker also suggests it’ll come in black, silver and gold, not the more colourful options introduced on the iPad Air. That seems an odd choice given that Apple is injecting colour to most of its products – including the iPhone 12 and 24in iMac – with only ‘Pro’ products offering the standard understated colour options.

It’s worth noting that Mac Otakara sources suggest that the redesign won’t be quite as radical as other rumours claim, and that it’ll instead stick with its current design language, albeit with a reduction in bezel size to make way for a larger display.

The source suggested it looks more like the iPad Air 3, complete with Home button, rather than the iPad Air or iPad Pro. However, the report also suggested it’d launch back in March, so take that claim with a pinch of salt.

Larger display

Despite the USP of the iPad Mini being its small display, the rest of the iPad range has increased in size, suggesting that the same will happen with the iPad Mini.

The good news is that the overall size shouldn’t change too much, with the slimming of bezels and removal of the Home button likely giving Apple all the space it needs to expand the display.

Image credit: Jon Prosser / @rendersbyian

That’s what has been suggested by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who claims that the upcoming iPad Mini will have a display that measures somewhere between 8.5 and 9in, up from the 7.9in display used on the current models.

However, Japanese site Mac Otakara’s supply chain sources suggest the display will be a little smaller, at 8.4in.

The final display size will likely depend on whether Apple decides to ditch the Home button, but regardless of specific design choices, all current rumours suggest an increase from the current size to an 8.Xin model.

Upgraded internal tech

As well as leaking the general design and dimensions of the new iPad Mini, Jon Prosser also suggests that, like the iPad Air and iPad Pro, the iPad Mini will make the jump from Lightning to USB-C.

Image credit: Jon Prosser / @rendersbyian

Prosser also suggests that it’ll be powered by the A14 Bionic found in the iPad Air and iPhone 12 range, and that it’ll offer 5G connectivity too – both of which would make the new small tablet a best-seller, especially if it goes on sale at a competitive price.

Prosser also mentions "dramatically improved" speakers, suggesting that the iPad Mini could sport iPad Pro-like stereo speakers for improved media playback.

Information leaked to 9to5Mac offers a slightly different perspective on the upcoming iPad Mini, which suggests it'll get the yet-unreleased A15 Bionic chipset, the next Apple flagship processor also expected in the iPhone 13.

Like Prosser, the leaker suggests the iPad Mini will make the move from Lightning to USB-C, and also claims it'll feature Apple's Smart Connector, opening the possibility of a smaller version of the Apple Magic Keyboard. 

Apple Pencil Mini

According to Jon Prosser’s sources, the iPad Mini may ship alongside a smaller Apple Pencil, although there isn’t much on what we could expect from the new smart stylus aside from a shorter length to accommodate the smaller dimensions of the tablet.

Image credit: Jon Prosser / @rendersbyian

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