Between miniLED screens and some major changes coming in iPadOS 15, Apple’s been steadily revamping its iPad following stellar sales in 2020. The latest rumor? This fall, the iPad Mini will get a refreshed design that gets rid of the home button in favor of slimmer bezels.
In a newsletter via 9to5 Mac, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman notes that the new Mini “should be a go” for this fall and that it’ll be the “biggest redesign in the nine-year history” of the device. He also said the new Mini will sport a new processor. This tracks as Apple’s been busy revamping several product lines to dovetail with the switch to its own Apple Silicon. As for what the new Mini might look like, an earlier Gurman report described a device reminiscent of the iPad Air—aka smaller bezels and possibly no home button. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo also noted last year that the iPad Mini could sport a 7.9-inch miniLED display, much like this year’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro, but made no reference to an increase in size. (miniLED is also purportedly coming to next year’s 11-inch iPad Pro as well.) A few months later, he then said the iPad Mini’s screen should be somewhere between 8.5 and 9 inches, up from the current 7.9-inches.
These would be more significant updates than the 5th-gen iPad Mini, which launched in 2019. That added Apple Pencil support, as well as an A12 processor. Plus, the new software upgrades to iPadOS 15 should help the tablet become a more viable work device—a goal Apple’s been chasing for years but hasn’t quite yet managed.
Gurman also noted that another, bigger iMac powered by Apple Silicon may also be on the way. We saw buzz around a giant iMac earlier this year, and initially, that led us to expect something in the vein of Apple’s 32-inch Pro Display XDR monitor. What we ended up seeing in Apple’s Spring Loaded event was a slightly larger 24-inch M1 iMac in a whole lot of new colorways. In May, Bloomberg reported the reason we didn’t see the Big Boy iMac was that Apple paused development to better focus on its little brother. It’s unclear whether the bigger iMac will be ready in time for fall, but Gurman claims the device is “en route” and should be powered by a newer processor.
In any case, we likely won’t have to wait much longer to find out. The company generally holds an event in September to unveil its latest and greatest products, as well as push out the newest versions of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, and watchOS. Last year was a bit of an outlier, with three launch events due to the pandemic mucking up product launches left and right. This year, we’re still in the midst of a chip shortage, but fingers crossed that it’ll be One Big Event in 2021 and not several mini-events.