Sketchy Rumor Claims 'iPad Mini Pro' Launching in Second Half of 2021

Apple is expected to launch a sixth-generation iPad mini in the first half of 2021, possibly as soon as this March, based on long-standing rumors. However, a new rumor out of Asia that has gained traction in the last 24 hours suggests an "iPad mini Pro" will arrive in the second half of this year.

iPad mini pro feature
According to a post on Korean blog Naver, whose rumor track record is unknown, the device features an 8.7-inch display, which is housed in a chassis that has an increased width and reduced height compared to the existing iPad mini 5.

This so-called "iPad mini Pro" has allegedly passed Apple's initial R&D and product planning stages of development, and is currently in design "P2" stage, with Apple set to begin design validation tests (DVT) soon. In a typical product roadmap, Apple would then submit it for production validation tests before green-lighting the device for mass production.

In a potentially related rumor, occasional Chinese leaker Kang on Tuesday claimed a "full-screen, smaller-sized iPad" was currently in the P2 design stage and still awaiting engineering validation tests. No further details were given. At any rate, such a device would still need to overcome several hurdles before any launch.

The ‌iPad mini‌ most recently got a refreshed design in 2015 with its fourth iteration. While the device did receive a minor update in 2019 with the A12 Bionic chip, a True Tone display, Bluetooth 5.0, and Apple Pencil support, the ‌iPad mini‌ is considered overdue for an update.

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in May 2020 that the next-generation ‌iPad mini‌ will have a display that measures in at 8.5 to 9 inches, up from the current 7.9-inch screen size, while a recent report from Japanese site Mac Otakara, citing supply chain sources in China, said that the next ‌iPad mini‌ will have an 8.4-inch display. Similar 8.x-inch ‌iPad mini‌ sizes have been reported by other sources.

However, unlike the iPad Pro and iPad Air, which have in recent years shed their large bezels and home buttons for a more modern all-screen design, the sixth-generation ‌iPad mini‌ will reportedly stick with its current design language. Mac Otakara's report explains that the ‌iPad mini‌ will enlarge its display by reducing its bezels, but it will look similar to the ‌iPad Air‌ 3, with a Touch ID Home Button, large top and bottom bezels, and a Lightning port.

Mac Otakara believes that this refreshed ‌‌iPad mini‌‌ will see a March launch, so it could perhaps debut at an event later this month, if Apple sticks to recent tradition. This also fits in with Kuo's claim that the next ‌iPad mini‌ will come in the first half of 2021.

Interestingly, Kuo has said in the past that Apple is working on an ‌iPad mini‌ with a mini-LED display, but it seems unlikely that the ‌‌iPad mini‌‌ 6 would gain this significantly upgraded display considering that it has not yet come to any other Apple device. That said, today's "iPad mini Pro" rumor doesn't reference mini-LED at all.

Apple is accelerating adoption of mini-LED in its iPad and Mac notebook lineups, and the iPad Pro is expected to be the first product to get a mini-LED display. Kuo has previously said that production of a mini-LED version of the 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ began in the fourth quarter of 2020, with a launch expected in the first half of 2021.

DigiTimes also believes a mini-LED iPad Pro will launch in early 2021, as does Korea's ETNews. Whether or not a mini-LED "iPad mini Pro" will follow, and how such a device would fit into Apple's current iPad lineup, remains to be seen.

Related Roundup: iPad mini 5
Tags: Kang, Naver
Buyer's Guide: iPad Mini (Don't Buy)

Top Rated Comments

Aeronauts Avatar
6 weeks ago
Please go back to one annual iPad special event in March/April with all iPads updated annually at the same time.

Drip feeding iPad updates at different times in different years is really annoying.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ocanalix Avatar
6 weeks ago
Drop the "mini" and just categorise them as screen sizes:
iPad - 9", 11", 13"
iPad Pro - 9", 11", 13"
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
b13o0r12e3 Avatar
6 weeks ago
Tim, you say you miss Steve, maybe you should watch this again

Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Schizoid Avatar
6 weeks ago
Great... iPad, iPad Mini, iPad Mini Air, iPad Air, iPad Mini Pro, iPad Air Pro or iPad Pro...
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Greenmeenie Avatar
6 weeks ago
This is my dream iPad. I have been wishing for an iPad mini pro with a flat edged design that can use the 2nd gen apple pencil for awhile now. I am an artist, and love sketching on my 11” iPad Pro. But sometimes I want to travel light and wish I had a smaller iPad to sketch on. Yes, I know the latest iPad mini can use the first gen Apple pencil, but I refuse to buy it. I don’t want 2 apple pencils! I want to be able to use my 2nd gen Apple pencil with both my 11” iPad Pro & the iPad mini pro. I really hope Apple just gets rid of the first gen apple pencil & makes all future iPads with the flat edged design. Being able to charge your Apple pencil by attaching it to the side of your ipad magnetically is so much more convenient. I always thought the first gen apple pencil was awkward to charge and so un-apple like. Anyway, that’s my rant. First world problem i know. But I hope this rumor is true. ??
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LFC2020 Avatar
6 weeks ago
Get your act together apple, bit to quiet out there at the moment. Get a event happening or release some products. ?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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