iPad mini 6 case mold leak points to a major design overhaul

iPad mini 5 being held in the hands
The iPad mini 5. (Image credit: Apple)

The iPad mini 6 should be with us before the end of the year, and a new leak showing what is claimed to be a case mold for the compact tablet gives us a few more clues about the major redesign that's coming to the device.

Images and video shared by Techordo and @xleaks7 show off what could well be the size and shape of the iPad mini 6, and it looks as though the tablet is going to be updated with the more modern look seen on the iPad Air and the iPad Pro.

In other words, the bezels are getting trimmed down, the home button is disappearing, and the Touch ID fingerprint scanner tech is going to be moved to the power button. This new model will be quite a departure from the 2019 iPad mini 5 in terms of its looks.

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The signs are clear

While we can't verify that the case mold shown in these photos and videos is genuine, we've already heard plenty of rumors that the iPad mini is going to get a significant redesign this year, so the new leak fits in with everything that's gone before.

With USB-C likely to be coming to the iPad mini 6 as well, it's going to be an even more compelling proposition for people who are in the market for a more compact tablet – one that's easier to hold and to carry around.

There are still questions about the screen of the iPad mini 6 though: some rumors suggest it's getting a Mini LED refresh in line with the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, while other rumors say it's going to stick with the standard IPS LCD screen of the current version.

Opinion: we need more compact tablets

The iPad mini 5 next to an iPhone

(Image credit: Future)

At certain points in its history, it's felt like Apple has been on the verge of ditching the iPad mini – but the fifth edition of the tablet rolled out in 2019, and now it looks almost certain that we're going to get a revamped version before 2021 is out.

And we're very glad to see it as well: this 7.9-inch device nicely plugs the gap between the larger iPads and the iPhone, with the biggest iPhone 12 Pro Max offering users a display that's 6.7 inches from corner to corner.

It gives you plenty of screen size for checking emails, watching movies, browsing the web and so on – it's a significantly better experience than a phone for most tasks. At the same time, it's small enough to hold one-handed, and slips very easily into a bag.

We only wish there were more tablets of this size, and we're still very much missing the Google Nexus 7: that 7-inch Android slate was perfect for using around the house, in the car, and everywhere else, and it came in at a very affordable price point too.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.