In a recent report focused primarily on Apple’s upcoming high-end iPad Pro models, Gurman explained that the company plans to update the cheapest iPads in its product lineup as well:
Apple plans to refresh its cheapest iPad aimed at students with a thinner and lighter design later this year, Bloomberg News has reported. It’s also preparing to launch a new iPad mini with a larger screen as early as this year, an increase from the 7.9-inch display used since the first model.
Although Gurman has been vague about the details of the updates, the details they included are broadly consistent with previous rumors about the devices. Apple is believed to be working on the low-cost ninth generation iPad with a 10.5-inch screen, A13 chip, 4GB RAM, and a thinner and lighter design.
Japan’s Mac Otakara claimed in January that the next ninth generation iPad will be similar in design to the third generation iPad Air released in 2019. The screen size is expected to remain the same at 10.2 inches, but it will be “noticeably thinner” “at 6.3. The current eighth generation iPad is 7.5 mm thick, so the 6.3 mm body represents a significant design change. It is also expected to be lighter at 460 grams, compared to the current 490 grams, and features a screen with anti-reflective coating and color support P3 Wide, True Tone.
According to DigiTimes, Apple will release a new iPad mini with a screen size of around eight inches in the first half of 2021. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo similarly believes that the 8.5-inch iPad mini will come at some point in the first half of 2021. Mac Otakara also said The iPad mini 6 will have an 8.4-inch screen with thinner bezels and a similar design to the iPad Air 3.
It is clear that both models will continue to use the Touch ID Home button and the Lightning port to distinguish them from the high-end iPad Air and iPad Pro devices, which have seen major updates in recent years, including a new design with square edges, the addition of USB-C and “Touch ID” in Power button or Face ID.
While Gurman simply says the devices will arrive “later this year,” other rumors have indicated that the updated theiPad and iPad mini may arrive soon in the spring.