The 'biggest redesign' in the iPad mini's history is on track for a fall 2021 release
While Apple may have put a big smile on the faces of many cash-strapped fans of compact tablets a couple of years ago, it was certainly a little disappointing for everyone to see the fifth-gen iPad mini resemble the 2015-released edition so strongly.
Fortunately, it doesn't look like you'll need to wait a grand total of four years between the aforementioned iPad mini (2019) and its undoubtedly improved sequel, and even better, all signs are pointing towards the "biggest redesign in the nine-year history" of this product coming to fruition by the end of 2021.
Not very long to wait now, says... everybody
According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman (via 9To5Mac), who just so happens to be one of the world's most trusted sources of inside information on unreleased "iDevices", the sixth-gen iPad mini "should be a go" for a commercial debut at some point this fall.
The iPad mini 6 will look a lot like the iPad Air 4 but smaller
Basically, the iPad mini (2021) is pretty much etched in stone already, and we have a lot of reason to expect an iPad Air (2020)-style design this time around with razor-thin bezels and no home button.
That doesn't necessarily mean fingerprint recognition will be ditched in favor of state-of-the-art Face ID technology, mind you, with a Touch ID sensor instead likely to be mounted at the top of the next-gen iPad mini and double as a power button... just like on the fourth-gen iPad Air.
Of course, the iPad mini 6 will not be quite as large as the 10.9-inch iPad Air (2020), but thanks to its much narrower screen borders, the diminutive tablet is tipped to squeeze a considerably bigger 8.5 to 9-inch display into a very similar body as the "bezelicious" 7.9-inch iPad mini 5.
How low can Apple keep the iPad mini 6 price point?
While it's obviously unclear exactly what Apple-made processor will reside under the hood of this extremely promising sixth-generation iPad mini, you should definitely expect a significant performance upgrade over the A12 Bionic-powered 7.9-incher released more than two years back.
The A14 Bionic SoC found inside the iPad Air 4 is naturally a possibility, and while that's clearly not a powerhouse by iPad Pro (2021) standards, it will most likely help the iPad mini (2021) trump Samsung's top mid-range options in terms of raw speed, thus easily finding its way among the overall best tablets money can buy this year.
This ancient iPad mini design will soon become a distant memory
It remains to be seen just how much money you'll need to purchase the sixth-gen iPad mini, with a price hike over its $399 and up predecessor likely being in the cards considering all of the above upgrades and major design changes.
Keep in mind that Apple might be planning to increase the base price of its next-gen iPad Air as well, which will probably keep OLED enthusiasts waiting until 2022... or perhaps even 2023.
Meanwhile, a ninth-gen "regular" (read entry-level) iPad with a "traditional" 10.5-inch screen and outdated Apple A13 Bionic chip was at one point rumored to come out this past spring, but that has obviously not happened, so we wouldn't be surprised if its release was held off until next spring after all.
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