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iPad Mini 6 (8.5-inch): Everything we know so far

Apple is gearing up for its huge yearly launch event and, while the focus is often on iPhone, it looks like we might see a refreshed iPad Mini 6. There’s been a ton of rumours already let’s get into it.

The iPad range is comfortably the most successful tablet lineup around, with Android tablets treading water for the most part. The miniature iPad variation got a refresh just later year with the iPad Mini 5 but it looks like 2020 may bring about a more significant revamp.

In an era of bezel-destroying design, especially from the iPad Pro 2020, rumours have suggested we could see the new iPad Mini get a similar treatment – with Apple cramming a bigger display into a similarly sized form-factor.

As well as the display, there’s been a lot of speculation so far and we’re here to guide you through. Read on for everything you need to know about iPad Mini 6, its release date, price, specs and more.

iPad Mini 6 (8.5-inches) release date and price

Reputable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo stated in a recent research note (via MacRumors) that the iPad Mini 6 will launch in the first half of 2021. This means we’re likely to see the new Mini after the iPad Air 4 and the new budget iPad, both of which are rumoured to be arriving later this year.

The iPad Mini 5 was released in March 2019, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see the Mini 6 hit shelves in March 2021, two years after the last model. The update brought Apple Pencil support to the tablet (no keyboard, though), along with the faster A12 chip inside.

Related: iPhone 12 – Everything worth knowing

However, prominent leaker Jon Prosser recently revealed what he believed to be the devices coming later in the year for Apple and the iPad Mini update does not make an appearance:

Unless the “iPad” mentioned isn’t simply referring to the regular version of the device, it would seem we may not get the refresh this year. On the other hand, Apple-centric journalist Mark Gurman opposed Prosser’s findings shortly after:

As far as price is concerned, right now we’re looking toward the previous model. You can nab the current-gen iPad Mini for £399/$399 if you opt for the basic 64GB model. A 256GB version is available too, as is one with cellular connectivity. We would anticipate the price to rise for the new model if some of the below rumours do turn out to be true, but we still think it’ll be a mid-price slate.

The iPad Mini 6 is going to come in a new size

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

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

The iPad Mini 6 might get Mini LED

Apple products have been rumoured to be getting a Mini LED makeover for a while now. These new displays would replace the LCDs in the products and would offer an experience more akin to OLED.

A rumour from March suggested Apple would be including the new screen tech in a future iPad Mini, however this also said it would be a 7.9-inch device which goes against what we know now. Still, that 8.5-inch display could now be Mini LED.

Related: Best tablet

iPad Mini 6 specs and other features

Little else is known about the iPad Mini 6 at this stage, even though it makes sense for it to follow previous iPads and use the same internal chip as the iPad and iPad Air.

Apple Pencil support was added for iPad Mini 5 and we expect it to stick around, possibly with support for the second-gen Apple Pencil. A keyboard folio accessory would be nice, though whether it would work as well on a far smaller tablet could be an issue.

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

Related: How to download iOS 14

If the iPad Mini 6 does arrive in early 2021 then it’ll come running iOS 14, which is currently available as beta ahead of a full release coming this autumn.

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