Apple is getting ready to introduce a redesigned iPad mini, according to a new report from 9to5Mac.
Though Apple updated the iPad mini with a faster processor and Apple Pencil support in late 2019, the basic design of the device has not changed since its introduction back in 2012.
Like so many Apple leaks, the article cites anonymous “sources familiar with the matter,” so caution is advised. That said, 9to5Mac articles with similar language have turned out to be accurate in the past.
9to5Mac’s sources say that the new iPad mini will have a design reminiscent of the recent iPad Air, suggesting that Apple will drop the home button and significantly reduce the bezels around the screen. This approach could be a particular boon for the 7.9-inch iPad mini, which has a very small screen. A new design could allow the device to stay “mini” but offer a more immersive viewing experience.
The article also claims that the iPad mini will follow the iPad Pro and iPad Air in making the switch from a Lightning port to the more widely used USB-C. The mini would include a Smart Connector, enabling peripherals like a version of Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio or Magic Keyboard for the iPad mini.
The final iPad mini tidbit the story claims to reveal is the inclusion of Apple’s yet-to-be-announced A15 system-on-a-chip—the same SoC expected to appear in this year’s new iPhone models. (In the past, some iPad models have used older chips than the current iPhone lineup, even if they launched around the same time.)
The A15 is reported to use the same 5 nm fabrication process as the A14 that precedes it. Further, the sources say that Apple is also working on faster variant of the A15, called the A15X, for inclusion in some other iPads. This is a curious claim, as chips with similar nomenclature have previously appeared in the iPad Pro line, which Apple this year updated to share the M1 chip found in the first Apple Silicon Macs. So it’s not clear which iPads an A15X might make their way into, if an A15X is indeed in development.
But the article is not all about the iPad mini; 9to5Mac’s sources also say that the 10.2-inch, entry-level iPad will be updated with Apple’s A13 chip, replacing the current A12 chip.
The 9to5Mac story follows a similar one from Bloomberg that said Apple plans to introduce a new iPad mini this year, but that report lacked details.
Listing image by Samuel Axon