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Renders reveal some changes to the upcoming 5G iPad mini (2021)


Over the last few months there have been quite a few rumors about an upcoming iPad mini. TF International’s Ming-Chi Kuo, the man who when it comes to Apple seems to know all and see all, said last month that the next-generation iPad mini would arrive this fall with design cues taken from the iPad Air (2020). A few days later, another tipster said that the next iPad mini would get its looks from the recently released iPad Pro (2021).

The rumored new iPad mini (2021) will feature flat sides and will resemble the iPad Air (2020)

One blog in South Korea called Naver was the source of that rumor and called the slate by the name of “iPad Mini Pro” while noting that the cellular variant will be 5G enabled and feature thin bezels. Guesses as to screen size have been 8.4-inches to 9-inches. For those who bet on such things, the latter figure comes from Ming-Chi Kuo so you might want to take that into consideration before risking a wager.

Recently, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman seconded the notion of thinner bezels for the next iPad mini, noting that Apple has been testing a version of the slate without a home button. Considering that the product hasn’t been the recipient of a redesign in years, almost any change will look and feel exciting. Meanwhile, Front Page Tech (FPT) commissioned renders of the next iPad mini based on data from CADs, schematics, images and more.

The renders reveal a flat-sided device that matches the iPhone 12 series. But more than anything, the new iPad mini resembles the iPad Air (2020). This very well could be the last rodeo for the iPad mini, especially if a foldable iPhone is introduced in 2023 as Kuo has forecast.

The renders show that the new iPad mini will go without a home button to allow the screen to be bigger. Speaking of bigger, the device will be a little bit taller (206.3mm vs. the previous model’s 203.2), and wider (137.8mm vs. the previous model’s 134.8mm) but it will be just as thick at 6.1mm. And while Face ID will not be found on the tablet, Apple will be integrating Touch ID with the slate’s power button just as it did with the iPad Air (2020).

Three color options will supposedly be offered to buyers of the iPad mini (2021)

The speakers, located on the bottom of the tablet (no top and bottom speakers on this model) are also getting an upgrade and FPT notes that one of its sources called the new speakers “crazy nice.” There will be a USB-C port and the tablet will reportedly be available in three colors, Black, Silver, and Gold. And we could see Apple shrink the size of the Apple Pencil based on a comparison of previously leaked images of the digital writing instrument with one showing off the current version of the accessory.

Apple seems as though it is willing to continue riding the iPad’s pandemic-led resurgence as tablets in general have become an important device for those who work from home, attend school from home, and view movies and other video content from home. For the most recently announced quarter (fiscal Q2 of 2021), Apple announced a huge 79% hike in iPad revenue year-over-year from $4.37 billion to $7.81 billion.

So to wrap this up, we should see the iPad mini (2021) feature a larger screen, flat sides, a new chipset, 5G support, upgraded speakers, integrated Touch ID/Power button, and a slightly larger footprint.

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