HomeLifestyleThe next iPad mini: More screen and no more home button
The next iPad mini: More screen and no more home button
It’s been over two years since the iPad mini had its last update, so the rumors of a new version are heating up. This article keeps track of the most creditable reports of the upcoming iPad mini, so stay tuned to this page for the latest and greatest.
2021 iPad mini: The latest rumors
Jon Prosser of Front Page Tech reports that the sixth-generation iPad mini could look like a smaller version of the iPad Air. It will be similar in size as the current iPad mini, but it will have the flat edges like the iPad Air, iPad Pro, and iPhone 12. The home button will be eliminated, with Touch ID done through the power button, like on the iPad Air. Other new features according to Prosser include a USB-C port that replaces Lightning, 5G cellular support, new speakers, and a new Apple Pencil, one that is smaller and made for the new iPad mini.
Front Page Tech
2021 iPad mini: Size, design, and colors
Apple has been transitioning the iPad line to reflect the design of the iPhone 12, with its flat edges. The iPad mini is next to undergo the “flat” change according to several reports, with the latest coming from Jon Prosser. Prosser says the new model will be similar in size to the existing iPad mini, and that the iPad mini will be available in gold, silver, and black. (We think Prosser meant space gray instead of black.) The current space gray iPad mini has a black bezel, while the gold and silver models have white bezels.
2021 iPad mini: Display
Mark Gurman of Bloomberg reported that the next iPad mini will have a thinner bezel (the boarder around the screen). Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also reported about the thinner bezels, which allows the iPad mini to increase its screen size from 7.9 inches to 8.4 inches.
Kuo also said that the plans to update the iPad mini with a mini-LED screen have been pushed back to the next upgrade cycle. The current iPad mini uses an iPS LCD display like other iPads except for the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
2021 iPad mini: Touch ID power button
Several reports have stated that the home button is going away in the next iPad mini. It will still have Touch ID, but the sensor will be built into the power button, an implementation that was introduced with the fourth-generation iPad Air. In our review, we called it “a good solution that works very well.”
2021 iPad mini: USB-C port
Jon Prosser reported that Apple will replace the Lightning port on the next iPad mini with USB-C. Prosser called this an “interesting move,” which implies that maybe this rumor isn’t as solid as the others. The entry-level iPad and iPad mini are the only two iPad models that still have a Lightning port, while the iPad Pro and iPad Air use USB-C.
2021 iPad mini: A14 processor
Jon Prosser reported that Apple will use an “A14” processor in the next iPad mini. The iPad Air and iPhone 12 use an A14 Bionic processor with a neural engine, which is likely the model Prosser is referring to. However, it’s possible that Apple is using a system on a chip that’s an incremental step-down, as the A14 labeling implies, which would create some distance between it and the iPad Air. Apple has made different versions of chips before, such as the A12Z in the previous iPad Air and the M1 with a 7-core GPU.
2021 iPad mini: Release date and price
Several reports have stated that the next iPad mini will be available later this year or by the end of this year. Prices have not been reported, but we guess that they’ll be the same as or very close to the price of the current iPad mini, which starts at $399 for 64GB of storage.
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Roman has covered technology since the early 1990s. His career started at MacUser, and he’s worked for MacAddict, Mac|Life, and TechTV.