Price, release date, leaks and specs

It’s been a long time since the iPad Mini got itself an update but if the latest rumours are to be believed then we might be getting a new version of Apple’s smallest tablet soon. Here’s everything we know so far about the iPad Mini 6.

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 and it hasn’t seen a design shift in a lot longer. 

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.

  • The latest news suggests a release coming later in 2021

We expect the iPad Mini 6 to launch sometime in 2021, possibly alongside the iPhone 13, iOS 15 and iPadOS 15.

The latest news surrounding the release of the next version of Apple’s smallest slate comes from Mark Gurman at Bloomberg. In his Power On newsletter, Gurman claims the new iPad Mini “should be a go” for a release later this year. He also states it’ll be the “biggest redesign” for the tablet (via 9to5Mac). This fits with rumours, which you can read more about below, suggesting the iPad Mini 6 will take on a more iPad Air look.

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.

  • Could take some inspiration from the iPad Pro

Every iPad, aside from the latest 12.9-inch iPad Pro, has used an LCD for its screen. This is a reliable screen type that isn’t too expensive to produce.

With the iPad Pro 2021 (12.9-inch) Apple introduced a new screen type – Mini LED. You can think of this as a mix of the OLED variety favoured in the iPhone 12 series and the previously utilised LCD.

We reviewed the iPad Pro with this new screen tech and it’s fair to say it is impressive: deep blacks, punchier colours and far superior brightness levels when you’re watching HDR content.

The latest rumours, from DigiTimes via MacRumors, suggests that the iPad Mini will also inherit this screen tech, ditching the LCD in the process.

This would be a big move and something we’d love to see, although it would no doubt raise the price of the tablet.

Even if Apple uses Mini LED here, the iPad Pro could still have the superior display as its packs the 120Hz ProMotion feature. This has always been exclusive to the Pro range, with the iPads having a slower 60Hz panel.

  • Some renders show a radical redesign
  • 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.

However, Mark Gurman at Bloomberg has said that the updated iPad Mini will have narrower display borders (like the iPad Air and Pro) and that a version without the home button has been tested.

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.

According to Jon Prosser, writing on Front Page Tech, the new iPad Mini will look very much like a shrunken version of iPad Air 4. Complete with the same overall design, TouchID-enabled power button and USB-C port.

Gold, grey and silver versions will be available and, according to Prosser, will measure 206.3 x 137.8 x 6.1mm. Like the report from Mark Gurman, these renders also show the lack of a home button. You can see the render below.

iPad Mini 6 renders showing front and bacj
A render of the iPad Mini 6

Another leak shows a far less ambitious version of the iPad Mini 6. These dummy units (below) show off a tablet that looks virtually identical to the model, with the Touch ID button still very much present.

  • 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.

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