Apple is getting ready to introduce a redesigned iPad mini, according to a new report from 9to5Mac.
Although 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 languages have proven to be accurate in the past.
9to5Mac’s sources say that the new iPad mini will have a new design reminiscent of the recent iPad Air design, which indicates that Apple will release the home button and reduce the frames around the screen significantly. This approach can be a special blessing for the 7.9-inch iPad mini, which has a very small screen. A new design can make it possible 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 by switching from a lightning port to the more used USB-C. Mini will include a Smart Connector, which enables external devices such as a version of Apple’s Smart Keyboard Folio or Magic Keyboard for iPad mini.
The latest iPad mini treat that history claims to reveal is the inclusion of Apple’s not yet announced A15 system-on-a-chip – the same SoC is expected to appear in this year’s new iPhone models. (In the past, some iPad models have used older chips than the current iPhone series, although they were launched at about the same time.)
The A15 is claimed to use the same 5 nm fabrication process as the A14 that precedes it. Furthermore, the sources say that Apple is also working on a faster variant of the A15 called the A15X, for inclusion in some other iPads. This is a strange claim, since chips with a similar nomenclature have previously appeared in the iPad Pro line, which Apple updated this year to share the M1 chip that was found in the first Apple Silicon Macs. So it is not clear which iPads an A15X can get into, if an A15X is actually under development.
But the article is not just about the iPad mini; 9to5Mac’s sources 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 one from Bloomberg who said that Apple plans to introduce a new iPad mini this year, but that the report lacked details.
Listing image by Samuel Axon