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iPad Mini 6 (8.5-inch) 2021: We’re still waiting for the next small tablet from Apple

We’re almost two years on from when the iPad Mini received an update – and its successor is rumoured to be arriving very soon.

Here at Trusted Reviews the iPad, iPad Air, iPad Pro and the iPad Mini have claimed four of the seven spots in our best tablets roundup, and we can’t see any Android rivals taking over anytime soon. So, there’s a lot riding on this new iteration of the iPad Mini.

Apple used to update its iPad Mini more regularly, but 2019’s update was the first we saw in four years. It wasn’t even much of an upgrade, with the device retaining the design of the previous model and offering only minor tweaks to the internals.

One of the biggest updates we hope to see this time round is to the size of the display. Apple has gradually been slimming down the size of bezels across its iPad line to make room for larger displays, and rumours have us optimistic that the iPad Mini could be next in line for this treatment.

Keep reading to discover everything we know about the iPad Mini 6 so far, including when it will launch, how much it will cost and the specs the tablet will pack. Don’t forget to bookmark this page, too, as we’ll update it as more leaks and rumours come in.

  • Did not appear at the Spring Loaded event

We expect the iPad Mini 6 to launch sometime in 2021. Reputable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stated in a 2020 research note (via MacRumors) that the iPad Mini 6 will launch in the first half of 2021. However, there’s every chance it could come later in the year.

We saw the iPad Air 4 and the iPad 8 launch late last year, which leaves the Mini next in line for revision, likely alongside the iPad Pro (mini-LED). Apple had its first event of the year – Spring Loaded – on Tuesday, April 20, but there was no mention of the new iPad Mini.

Other products announced at the event were AirTags and the iMac 2021.

As far as price is concerned, right now we’re looking at the previous model as a guide. You can nab the current-gen iPad Mini for £399/$399 (you can see some live prices in the box below) for the basic 64GB model.

A 256GB version is available, too, as is one with cellular connectivity. We’d anticipate a price rise for the new model if some of the rumours below turn out to be true – but we still think it will be a mid-price slate.

  • Dummy models show a very similar look
  • The display might be slightly bigger

Perhaps the most exciting rumour we’ve heard so far is that the iPad Mini 6 could come in a new, slightly larger size. For reference, the current Mini 5 features a 7.9-inch display. Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors) predicts that the display size will be either 8.5 or 9 inches. 

An 8.4-inch display has more recently been suggested by Mac Otakara (via MacRumors). According to sources, the design will be similar to the iPad Air 3 and will include a Touch ID home button and Lightning port.

The move doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll have to squeeze a larger tablet into our bags, since Apple has increased the display sizes of its iPads in the past by simply slimming down the bezel. We expect the Mini 6 to more closely resemble the latest iPad Pros, allowing the tablet to retain the compact dimensions with a bigger, more spacious screen.

Our best idea at what the next iPad Mini might look like comes from a leak of dummy units of the new tablets. They show off a tablet that looks virtually identical to the older model, with the Touch ID button still very much present. If you were hoping for a Mini tablet with the look of the Pro then this might disappoint.

Apple products have been rumoured to be getting a mini-LED makeover for a while now. These new displays would replace the current LCDs, offering an experience more akin to OLED. Whether Apple introduces a ProMotion or XDR display to the iPad Mini remains to be seen – but it would be very welcome.

  • Expect Apple Pencil support
  • Little else is known about possible specs

Little else is known about the iPad Mini 6 at this stage, even though it makes sense for it to follow previous iPads and include the same internal chip as the iPad and iPad Air. As a guide, the current iPad Air is powered by the A14 Bionic, which also sits inside the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro.

Depending on where Apple hopes to position this device price-wise, it could either opt for the A14 Bionic or possibly reuse an A13 model. Either way, we assume this will be a nippy tablet.

Apple Pencil support was added for the iPad Mini 5 and we expect it to remain, hopefully with support for the second-gen Apple Pencil that charges wirelessly. A keyboard folio accessory would be welcome, although whether it would work as well on a far smaller tablet remains a question.

Another rumour suggests the iPad Mini 6 might stick with the Lightning port, rather than jumping to the USB-C standard found across the iPad Pro range.

If the iPad Mini 6 does arrive in early 2021 then it will come running iOS 14.

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