iPad mini renders hint at smart keyboard and pencil for the next release

New rumors once again suggest a thinner bezel, buttonless mini is in the works, but hint at some interesting accessories

iPad mini version 6
(Image credit: Front Page Tech)

The iPad mini was last updated in in 2019, so is primed for a new version. So far this year we have heard plenty of rumors as to what this might look like, including a squarer iPad mini design as we reported in March and more recently a thinner bezeled iPad mini model that maintains the current ratio but loses the home button, allowing for a larger screen size in the same body.

It appears the latter is the route that the latest round of rumors goes down, with a set of renders produced for Jon Prosser, of Front Page Tech. According to the report, these renders are the product of a collection of images, schematics and CAD drawings. The result is very similar to the iPad Air but smaller.

Based on these renders, the iPad mini version 6 appears to have a very flat squared-off design, like the iPad Air or the iPhone 12. The bezels are thinner top and bottom, though not as thin as, say, the iPad Pro. It looks much cleaner and more modern, though.

iPad mini version 6

Note the three dots of the Smart connector on the back

(Image credit: Front Page Tech)

On the back, the render suggests a single camera (like the iPad Air), as well as a smart connector for accessories. On another render, we also see a USB-C connection in place of the iPad mini’s lighting charge port, and the addition of a new, smaller Apple pencil.

The addition of the smart connector is something we’ve not seen before on the iPad mini and would allow it to use a version of Apple’s Smart Keyboard – though, obviously a smaller one. If this is accurate, the combination of the connector and its own Apple pencil opens up more creative possibilities for the iPad mini.

Accord to Front Page Tech, the iPad mini will feature A14 chip (rather than a potential new A15 chip to be used in the iPhone 13) and the option of 5G connectivity. While the new renders don’t offer a huge amount more information than we’ve seen in previous rumors, their existence does increase the likelihood that this design is really coming. We may have to wait until at least September to find out for sure though.

iPad mini version 6

Could a new smaller Apple pencil be coming?

(Image credit: Front Page Tech)
Mat Gallagher
Mat Gallagher

As T3's Managing Editor in the US, Mat is a true lover of gadgets, but especially anything that involves cameras, cars, music or travel. Originally from the UK, he has written about technology since 2003 and is now based in Chicago.