There have been a few rumors over the last month covering a new iPad Mini that’s slated to arrive in 2021. Early reports predicted a design closer to the iPad Pro and new iPad Air, but the most recent ones are predicting a more modest design upgrade to the iPad Air 3 design language.
Now we have a new rumor with a different spin on the iPad Mini 6’s design. The renderings above supposedly come from leaked CAD images courtesy of the xLeaks7 Twitter account and the Italian-language site Pigtou.
Thanks to my partners at @pigtou_
— xleaks7 (David Kowalski) (@xleaks7) January 20, 2021
Evidently this pair has some skins on the wall, having delivered renders of the iPhone 12 and Samsung Galaxy S21 last year. Normally I would completely dismiss a report like this, but there’s reason to believe it could be true.
The most confusing detail of this rumor is the prediction of a hole-punch front-facing camera, which Apple has never delivered before. Sure, they added TouchID on the Power Button for the first time on the iPad Air last year, but I have a hard time believing Apple would unveil a new camera feature like this on the iPad Mini. Such a thing is far more likely to come to the iPhone first.
Similarly, the strange Home Button shown embedded in the screen is either a mistake or a misinterpretation. There’s no way Apple would put a literal Home Button on a device with this design, so this is probably just a poor representation of what the leaked CAD file depicts. The most likely interpretation is an under-screen TouchID sensor, which has already been rumored for this year’s iPhone. But just as with the hole-punch camera, it seems strange that Apple would debut it on this device.
As I said in the title, I really do want to believe this leak is true. I would love to get an iPad Mini with this design this year. However, I’m still not convinced. These sources are reputable enough, but I don’t think this leak covers a device that will go into production this year. I have a feeling that this is either a prototype that Apple didn’t move forward with, or a design for a future version of the Mini.
All signs still point to a spring release, so at least we won’t have to wait very long to find out what this new iPad Mini will look like.