Photo Source: Front Page Tech
I wrote about the back and forth on potential iPad Mini designs a few times earlier this year (here, here, and here). At the time, it was rumored that a new Mini would be released along with the new iPad Pro sometime in March. Well, March came and went, the iPad Pro was delayed until May, and a new Mini never arrived. That’s the Apple leak and rumor game in a nutshell, I guess.
Thanks to a couple of fresh reports from reliable sources, now a new Mini is back in the game for later this year.
Back in January, the debate on the iPad Mini centered on which out of two possible designs would arrive this year. The first, more modest version was similar to the 3rd Gen iPad Air, with slimmer bezels at the sides of the screen. However, like that iPad Air, this version of the iPad Mini would retain the Home Button and Lightning Port. Earlier this year, this design was getting more traction as the more likely possibility for release.
The other design option represented a much bigger upgrade for the iPad Mini. This one would bring an iPad Pro-style design like the iPad Air got last year. It would remove the Home Button, include a USB-C port and bring 2nd Gen Apple Pencil support to the iPad Mini.
Back in January, I said I would much prefer the later design, but that the safer bet for actual release was the former. However, if Mark German and Jon Prosser are correct, it looks like the bigger update may have won out and be coming later this year.
Gurman and Debby Wu of Bloomberg published an article early this month briefly mentioning an iPad Mini that may have slimmer bezels and the Home Button removed. It actually just said that Apple was testing a design without a Home Button, but that is still an indication of where things may be headed.The more detailed prediction now comes from Jon Prosser via his brand new Front Page Tech website.
Based on schematics, CAD drawings and pictures of what Prosser says is the actual upgraded Mini, he had renders made by RendersByIan to give us a look at what may be coming.
Basically, it is the iPad Mini-sized version of last year’s 4th Gen iPad Air. Based on my positive experience with that device after spending several months with it, this is very good news for fans of the smallest iPad. This design would suit the iPad Mini very well.
The most interesting note from Prosser’s article is about the Apple Pencil. He predicts that it won’t be the 2nd Gen Apple Pencil, but a new, smaller version. This does line up with some rumors a few months ago that a new Pencil was coming that came to nothing. I’ve been wanting Apple Pencil support for the iPhone for YEARS, so news that a smaller version may be coming sounds good to me. It’s a step in the right direction, at least.
So what do you think about this rumor, Mini fans? This looks to me like the iPad Mini most of us have wanted to see over the last couple of years. If this update arrives later this year, will you be buying?
I have to say, I just might. I loved the iPad Air’s design and Pro feel, but the screen wasn’t big enough to replace my iPad Pro and it also wasn’t small enough to really stand out as a completely different type of device. That’s ultimately why I went ahead and sold my Air after my new iPad Pro arrived.
The iPad Mini is small enough to work in different use cases and really stand out and apart from a 12.9″ iPad Pro. It seems like the perfect digital notebook in this predicted form factor, so I’m pretty interested. For now, I’m leaning toward buying the new Mini if Gurman and Prosser turn out to be right. What say you? Let me know in the Comments section below or on Twitter @iPadInsightBlog.