The iPad mini has been largely the same since it was first introduced in 2012. It's had the same thick bezels and Home button across all five of its refreshes, but that's set to change with the debut of the ‌iPad mini‌ 6.


Design

The ‌iPad mini‌ 6 will nix the Home button and adopt a design that's similar to the iPad Air with a larger edge-to-edge display with slimmed down bezels that measures in at somewhere around 8.3 to 9 inches.

With no Home button, the ‌iPad mini‌ 6 is expected to get the same Touch ID power button as the ‌iPad Air‌, but it's not yet clear whether it will get a USB-C port or continue to use Lightning. It could also include a Smart Connector for use with accessories like the Magic Keyboard.

Based on a case maker's mockup that leaked in August, the ‌iPad mini‌ 6 could have volume buttons located at the top of the tablet rather than at the right side, which would be a major design change.

ipad mini 6 cutout

Renders

Leaker Jon Prosser shared renders of what the ‌iPad mini‌ will allegedly look like. It features an edge-to-edge display and a USB-C port.

ipad mini 6 bottom

Prosser says that the ‌iPad mini‌ will measure in at 206.3mm x 137.8mm x 6.1mm, and he claims that it will come with a new, smaller Apple Pencil.

ipad mini 6

iPad mini 6 Case

A case designed for the new ‌iPad mini‌ 6 demonstrates where the new volume buttons that have been moved to the top of the device rather than the side of the device.

ipad mini 6 case volume buttons 1
The case also features square edges that match the rumors that the ‌iPad mini‌ will adopt an iPad Air-like design, and it has a cutout for a single-lens camera. The top-aligned volume buttons will provide space for the ‌Apple Pencil‌ to attach to and charge from the side of the device.

ipad mini 6 case volume buttons 2

Processor

Rumors suggest the ‌iPad mini‌ 6 will feature an A14 chip, which is the chip that's used in the iPhone 12 lineup.

Mini-LED Display?

Back in 2020, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that Apple was working on an ‌iPad mini‌ with an LED display, a device he expected to launch late in the year. That didn't happen, and mini-LED rumors died down until DigiTimes said in July 2021 that the ‌iPad mini‌ 6 would feature a mini-LED display.

Unfortunately, display analyst Ross Young believes DigiTimes' information is inaccurate, and he says that the ‌iPad mini‌ 6 will not include a mini-LED display, which perhaps makes sense because right now, mini-LED is limited to the highest-end iPad Pro model and the ‌iPad mini‌ is offered at a much more affordable price tag.

Young said that he spoke to Radiant Opto-Electronics, the supplier that DigiTimes claimed would be manufacturing the display. Mini-LED technology would allow for thinner and lighter product designs while also offering good wide color gamut performance, high contrast and HDR, and local dimming, which dims the backlight behind black areas of the screen while keeping bright parts lit.

Release Date

The ‌iPad mini‌ 6 is set to be released this fall, but a specific launch date hasn't been nailed down yet. Apple is going to hold an event in September to unveil the iPhone 13 and the Apple Watch Series 7, but the ‌iPad mini‌ 6 is likely to come later. Apple is expected to hold multiple fall events this year, so we could see the ‌iPad mini‌ 6 in October or November.

A now removed product listing for a screen protector for the ‌iPad mini‌ suggested it would be available the week of October 20, which would line up with an October 19 event.

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