Redesigned iPad mini 6 leaks with iPad Air-like design, USB-C, much more

Redesigned iPad mini 6 leaks with iPad Air-like design, USB-C, much more
Aside from a refresh in 2019 that involved a new chipset and Apple Pencil support, the iPad mini has been almost entirely neglected since 2015. This fall, that looks set to change with a redesigned iPad mini 6 that’s now been showcased in full.

The iPad mini 6 is basically a really small iPad Air 4

Tipster Jon Prosser, who in the past leaked Apple's AirTags and iMac colors, has published renders of the upcoming iPad mini 6 that are allegedly based on a combination of schematics, CAD files, and even hands-on images of the upcoming Apple tablet.

The images in question show off an iPad Air-like design with an aluminum build and a single camera in the top-left corner of the rear panel. The front, on the other hand, adopts an all-screen design with uniformly thin bezels.

The design language lines up perfectly with a recent report from Mark Gurman, which said the iPad mini 6 was being tested with “narrower borders” around the display and without the traditional Touch ID home button.

Despite the changes, Apple isn’t ditching Touch ID and replacing it with Face ID like it did on the iPad Pro. Instead, the Touch ID sensor has reportedly been integrated into the power button, much like what Apple did with the iPad Air (2020) last year.

Other changes include a switch to USB-C from Lightning, which is particularly interesting because Apple has so far reserved the more advanced, universal port for its iPad Pro lineup. The speakers are said to have been improved as well. Prosser’s source says the audio experience is now “crazy nice,” although as of the time of writing no specific details had been shared.

Lastly, it’s worth pointing out that the larger display doesn’t compromise the compact size of the tablet. Today's leak says the iPad mini 6 measures in at 206.3mm x 137.8mm x 6.1mm, only slightly bigger than the iPad mini 5 (203.2 x 134.8 x 6.1 mm).

Is Apple planning a smaller Apple Pencil for the iPad mini 6?

Just like the iPad mini (2019), the upcoming iPad mini 6 will support the Apple Pencil stylus as standard. However, the Silicon Valley-based giant is said to be working on a redesigned version that's smaller than the Apple Pencil 2.

Prosser speculates that the new version could be the updated Apple Pencil 3 that leaked several times earlier this year. Scaling the current stylus against the leaked photos of the new one, it's clear that Apple is working on something smaller.

What's unclear is whether that's a special Apple Pencil designed specifically for the iPad mini 6, or a next-generation version that'll simply succeed the Apple Pencil 2 and work with the same iPad models. Either way, it shouldn't be too long until Apple clarifies things. 

Apple iPad mini 6 announcement, release date, and colors

The iPad mini 6 is expected to debut this fall alongside the iPhone 13 and Apple Watch Series 7. Apple hasn't confirmed the date of its next event, but history would suggest that it'll take place on Tuesday, September 7.

If that's indeed the case, customers can expect to get their hands on the iPad mini 6 as soon as Friday, September 17. That's only an educated guess, though, and the possibility of a delay can't be ruled out at such an early stage. 

There's no word on the price at the moment, but today's leak did shed some light on Apple's color plans — the iPad mini 6 will reportedly be available in Silver, Space Gray/Graphite, and Gold. 

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