(Pocket-lint) – A fresh leak has suggested Apple’s next iPad Mini will debut both in-screen Touch ID technology and replace the notch with a punch-hole camera design.
The images, which are CAD drawings based on information uncovered by industry leaker David Kowalski and Pigtou, show the potential iPad Mini 6 with some radical design changes over its tablet siblings. If true, it would represent a shift away from the notch and bring Apple in line with the punch-hole, front-facing cameras opted for by rivals.
It would also be the first device to offer ‘hidden’ Touch ID, a previously oft-rumoured feature that has lost momentum since the arrival and success of Face ID. This wouldn’t necessarily be a backwards step, since the ‘Home’ button wouldn’t be seen on the display and could be used in conjunction with Face ID, but it is fair to question why Apple would consider adding it at this stage – and why it would debut such a feature on an entry-level iPad.
Those questions can also be pointed at the punch-hole, too, of course. Apple will progress past the notch at some stage in the near future, it would seem, but to do so first on an iPad Mini, rather than an iPhone, feels unlikely.
Aside from that, the report suggests that the Mini 6 will be powered by the same A14 Bionic chip that features in the iPhone 12, with the aluminium body offering cutouts for both a Lightning port and a 3.5mm headphone jack, as well as volume buttons on the side.
More importantly, it’s stated that Apple could unveil the iPad Mini 6 alongside a new iPhone SE and iPad Pro 2021 models at an event as early as March. And, while we’re extremely sceptical any new miniature Apple tablet will feature design changes this drastic, Kowalski does have a decent track record of leaking devices. We’ll know for sure soon enough, but stay tuned for any more rumours.
Writing by Conor Allison.