2021 iPad mini: News, Price, Release Date, Specs, and Rumors

Could this be the biggest mini yet? Here's everything we know

Renders of the 2021 iPad mini
A render of the supposed iPad mini 6.

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Many new Apple devices are slated for this year, including a new iPad Pro, so a 6th generation iPad mini is no surprise. The current version was released nearly two years ago, so we expect the mini 6 to follow the company’s other 2021 products and feature improved performance and mini-LED backlighting; we might even see a larger model than previous years.

When Will the New iPad Mini Be Released?

Esteemed analyst and avid leaker Ming-Chi Kuo, according to MacRumors, originally targeted 2020 for the new iPad mini’s release. Seeing how that time has come and gone, 2021 is looking like the year. 

Kuo later adjusted his estimate given that Apple was/is working on several mini-LED products, the upcoming iPad mini being one of them. It makes sense that we’ll see it around the same time the company reveals their other upgraded devices.

Apple’s last several iPads were released in either March or September, so a similar timeframe is possible this time around.

Lifewire’s Release Date Estimate

Our best guess at the moment is that Apple will reveal the iPad mini 6 in the second half of 2021. Despite the company waiting a few years between the 4th and 5th generation, we don’t expect history to repeat itself. It’s believed by many to be arriving this year.

That said, not everyone agrees:

2021 iPad mini Price Rumors

The last several iPad minis launched at $399 (for the lower-end models), so a similar estimate for the 2021 version makes sense. The higher-end models with more storage and support for cellular connectivity have ranged from around $650 to $850.

We think Apple will remain pretty consistent with pricing this year.

Pre-Order Information

Expect pre-orders to start shortly after the announcement. We'll know more when Apple reveals official details.

The Latest News About the New iPad mini

You can get more Apple-related content from Lifewire; below are more rumors and stories about the new iPad mini 6:

2021 iPad mini Features

While absolutely nothing is official yet, there are several rumors about the new mini's features. You can’t take all of them too seriously, but some are more logical than others and are likely to make their way into the new tablet.

The existing version can provide some clues about the new one. For example, it uses the Apple A12 Bionic chip and offers up to 256 GB of storage. So what will the new iPad mini have?

Here's what we think:

  • Larger screen: It’s still up in the air how big it will be, but some say it’s simply replacing the current 7.9-inch one but with stronger internals. Others, like Kuo, are claiming something quite a bit larger, like 8.4 inches. If Apple were to thin out the bezels and use a hole-punch design for the front-facing camera, it could allow for a larger screen without changing the tablet's overall size (see the render above).
  • Under-display biometrics: Where will the fingerprint sensor go? One rumor is that it will be embedded under the display, which supports the smaller bezels theory. This is a technique some phones already employ, so it's not out of the question for this iPad. Like the iPad Air, however, Touch ID could exist in the power button instead. However, some reports are saying that the top and bottom bezels will remain unchanged, thus allowing for a regular home button with Touch ID. We just don't know yet.
  • Higher performance: A natural evolution to faster and better processors is a given in the tech world. The new mini will surely offer peak performance through an upgraded processor. This means more power for things like gaming and multitasking, as well as better battery life. The rumor mill says it could be packed with an A13 processor, boosted from the current tablet's A12—others claim it'll use the A14 Bionic chip (the same one in the iPhone 12 lineup and most recent iPad Air).
  • Storage and RAM: As for storage, we’re not sold on the idea that the 2021 iPad mini will offer a model with more than 256 GB. The next logical step would be 500 GB or 1 TB, but even the latest iPad Air that just launched in late 2020 caps out at the same size. For now, expect the same 256 GB. Looking at current iPads, our best guess for RAM is 3 or 4 GB. The latest iPad and iPad Air have 3 GB, and we don’t expect the mini to match the current Pro’s 6 GB. 
  • Fast charging: A 20W fast-charging power adapter something else you can expect. This, again, is according to analyst Kuo, who has a solid record of delivering early news that usually pans out in the end.
  • USB-C: Ditching the Lightning port for USB-C would be a first for the mini and push it into the modern space with the latest Pro and Air tablets.
  • Mini-LED: This is the new normal for Apple’s products, at least for a while. It’s already suspected that the 2021 iPad Pro, iMac, and MacBook Pro are getting mini-LED tech, so it only makes sense that Apple will provide it for the 6th-gen iPad mini. But don't get your hopes up; they might make us wait another generation to see an upgraded display.
  • 2nd gen Apple Pencil support: The latest Apple Pencil was released in late 2018 and worked on iPad Air and Pro only, so it's likely (and we're hopeful) that Apple will add the newest mini to that list.
  • iPadOS 14: If you use a mini now (5th or 4th gen), you’re already familiar with iPadOS 14. It’s been around since late 2020. iPad mini 6 will surely work with v15 of the OS, but since that isn’t out yet, the new tablet will ship with iPadOS 14.

New iPad mini Specs and Hardware

Be sure to check back here for a list of all the specs once they've been confirmed.

For now, if you're curious about unverified renders, you're in luck! It's always tough to believe renders because anybody can make them, but it never seems to stop their spread. This is the best we've got to go on until verified leaks make their way to the surface.

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