The next iPad mini will reportedly boast a larger 8.4-inch display with shrunk down bezels, a report by Japanese Apple website Macotakara claims.
Don’t expect to see all the cutting-edge tech of the iPad Pro, however. Instead, the report suggests that Apple will retain features from older iPads, but give fans a bit more screen real estate to make up for it—by enlarging the iPad mini from the 7.9-inch screen of the fifth-gen model to an 8.4-inch display.
What’s Old Is New Again
The redesigned tablet will stick with last-gen components like a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, instead of Face ID, and a Lightning port in place of USB-C. It’s not clear whether this will result in a price hike to the $399 of the current iPad mini.
The new iPad mini will supposedly ship in March 2021. That makes plenty of sense since the last version shipped in March 2019.
This was a change from prior iPad mini tablets, which debuted in the fall, with the first one shipping in 2012, followed by upgrades in 2013, 2014, and 2015. It then took a three-and-a-half year gap before the fifth-gen iPad mini made its debut.
This would be the first time in the history of the iPad mini that it has changed up the screen size from the previous 7.9-inches. That would be in keeping with other Apple devices, which have gradually been growing larger over time.
Changing Up the iPad Mini
In recent years, the regular iPad has increased from 9.7-inches to 10.2 inches, while the iPad Air has leaped from 9.7-inches to 10.9-inches.
Given that the iPhone 12 Pro Max boasts a whopping 6.7-inch display, making it the giant of the iPhone lineup, there would be little to separate it from the iPad mini in size if Apple did not opt to increase the size of that device as well.
Sticking with Touch ID isn’t a massive shocker. It helps give the higher priced tablets like the iPad Pro an extra selling point, while possibly helping keep down the component costs as well. Since the iPhone 12 mini has reportedly not been a particularly hot seller for Apple, the company might not deem it worthwhile to give the mini iPad model a top-of-the-line overhaul to match the iPad Pro in stylings.
If Apple follows the changes laid out by the latest iPad Air, it could opt to stick with Touch ID—but to eliminate the Home button, and instead move the fingerprint sensor to the power button on the side. We may well find out in March.
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