Apple is preparing to introduce a redesigned iPad mini, according to a new report from 9to5Mac.
Although Apple updated the iPad mini with a faster processor and support for Apple Pencil in late 2019, the basic design of the device has not changed since its introduction in 2012.
Like so many Apple leaks, the article cites “anonymous sources familiar with the matter,” so caution is in order. That said, 9to5Mac articles with similar language have proven to be correct in the past.
Sources at 9to5Mac say the new iPad mini will have a design reminiscent of the recent iPad Air, suggesting that Apple will ditch the home button and drastically 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 remain “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 moving from a Lightning port to the more widely used USB-C. The mini would include a smart connector, allowing peripherals like a version of Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio or the Magic Keyboard for the iPad mini.
The last little iPad mini detail the story claims to reveal is the inclusion of Apple’s yet to be announced A15 system-on-chip, the same SoC that’s slated to appear in new iPhone models. of this year. (In the past, some iPad models used chips older than the current iPhone lineup, even though they were launched around the same time.)
The A15 would use the same 5nm manufacturing process as the A14 that precedes it. In addition, the sources say that Apple is also working on a faster variant of the A15, called the A15X, to be included in other iPads. That’s a curious claim, as chips with a similar nomenclature have already appeared in the iPad Pro line, which Apple updated this year to share the M1 chip found in early Apple Silicon Macs. It is therefore not clear on which iPad an A15X could end up, if an A15X is indeed in development.
But the article is not limited to the iPad mini; Sources from 9to5Mac also say that the entry-level 10.2-inch iPad will be updated with Apple’s A13 chip, replacing the current A12 chip.
The 9to5Mac story follows a similar story from Bloomberg who said Apple plans to introduce a new iPad mini this year, but this report lacked details.
List image by Samuel Axon