Apple hasn't updated the iPad mini in nearly two-and-a-half years, but that's set to change since it's expected to announce a refreshed version of its tiny iPad this fall. So, if you've been thinking about buying a iPad mini (which are frequently discounted on Amazon), you might want to hold off for a few months.
When Apple last refreshed the iPad mini in March 2019, it gave it a bunch of new features — an upgraded processor, a new Retina display and support for the first-generation Apple Pencil — but not a design overhaul; it still looked identical to the iPad mini from 2016. With the upcoming sixth-generation iPad mini, Apple is expected to give it a much needed design refresh.
Here's what we know so far.
No more Home button
Like the recent iPad Pros and iPad Air, the upcoming iPad mini is expected to ditch the Home button to make room for a bigger display. According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, the mini's new design is expected to more closely resemble that of the recent iPad Air (but smaller, obviously, because we're taking about the mini), meaning that Apple will likely integrate Touch ID into the side power button rather that upgrading the front-camera system so that it supports Face ID.
An edge-to-edge display
The current iPad mini has a 7.9-inch display. Thanks to the removal of the Home button and the slimming down of the bezels, Bloomberg's Gurman is predicting the next-generation iPad mini will have a slightly larger 8.4-inch display. The overall size of the new mini should remain be about the same.
A USB-C charging port?
As it stands, the iPad Air and the two iPad Pro models are the only current iPad models with a USB-C charging port; the current iPad mini and 10.2-inch iPad both still have Lightning charging ports. It seems odd that Apple would add a USB-C charging port to the upcoming mini considering that it's still going to be an "entry-level" tablet, but that's exactly what Jon Prosser, a known Apple leaker, is predicting.
No M1 chip
The upcoming iPad mini isn't expected to get the M1 treatment. Instead, Prosser is predicting that Apple will give it an A14 chip, which is the same processor that it uses in the latest (fourth generation) iPad Air and the iPhone 12 models. This should still give the new mini quite the performance bump over its predecessor, which has Apple's A12 Bionic chip (also found in the 2018's iPhone XS).