Photo Source: @ParkerOrtolani on Twitter
I’ll start off by saying that I usually have no interest in concept drawings or videos of potential future Apple products. So often they have little basis in reality, so I guess I fail to understand the point. There are enough leaks that often come far in advance of the release of new Apple hardware, so I just gravitate toward the real, or at least what leakers thinks will be real.
However, sometimes an effective concept can point out some interesting possibilities for a new device. Such is the case for a new one that was posted yesterday.
Parker Ortolani posted a couple of new concept photos of what an upgraded iPad Mini could look like with a more iPad Pro-like design.
more of the teeny tiny iPad mini concept pic.twitter.com/cjPzIDLHo4
— Parker Ortolani (@ParkerOrtolani) July 24, 2020
I have to admit that this is a really attractive potential design. If Apple were to take this route, the overall size of the device would be decreased by 20%. That’s a pretty significant difference for an already fairly small device. As the second photo posted with the Tweet says, this would make the device much more pocketable.
Apple could definitely take the iPad Mini in this direction. They have already eliminated most of the bezels from the iPhone and iPad Pro, so there’s no reason beyond keeping the price low that Apple can’t redesign the iPad Mini as shown here. Also, there are already rumors of a coming iPad Air update that will adopt several Pro design elements, so the Mini also moving in this design direction makes sense. A smaller form factor Mini with the same screen size is absolutely possible. However, while I personally like this design, I’m a little skeptical.
The main reason I have doubts is that the earlier rumors from Ming-Chi Kuo state that the next Mini, which is likely to come early next year, might get bigger rather than smaller, at least when it comes to screen size. I have a feeling that Apple is going to expand the screen to 9″ and that the overall body will slim down a bit less than what we see in Mr Ortolani’s concept.
I think the larger screen version of a Mini makes a little more sense in marketing terms, as well. With the sizes of Plus and now Max iPhones getting bigger and bigger, they are encroaching a bit on the traditional Mini’s territory. I have learned from my interactions with fans of the device is that there is still a market for the Mini form factor. I just think Apple is more likely to keep the overall size similar and increase the screen size a little bit to keep some separation between the Mini and large iPhones.
However the body and screen sizes shake out, I would absolutely love to see Apple go with this basic design for the Mini. This would also likely mean that Apple Pencil 2 support and USB-C would come with it, which is even better. Both of those features would be big steps forward for this device, making it more productive for those who would like it to be.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: A Pro-like iPad Mini would be the ultimate digital notebook. Even if the final product is a little larger, this is what I want it to look like.