Apple might be making a nine-inch iPad Mini next year

iPad Mini 3

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is at it again with more Apple rumors, and this time it's about iPads. According to the analyst (via 9to5Mac), the Cupertino firm is set to release a larger 10.8-inch iPad in the second half of this year, and that's going to be followed by a larger iPad Mini in the first half of next year. The new iPad Mini is expected to be between 8.5 and nine inches.

Not much else is known about either product, although the value proposition is supposed to be faster chipsets and affordable prices. Right now, Apple's lineup of non-Pro full-size iPads includes the 10.2-inch iPad, which was only recently upgraded from 9.7 inches, and the 10.5-inch iPad Air. It seems likely that the 10.8-inch one would be a refresh of the iPad Air, just because that's the bigger one.

The current iPad Mini was announced back in March 2019, and before that, it went three and a half years without a refresh. If Apple really is planning on making a larger model, it could be finally putting some energy into revitalizing the product.

Probably the biggest question though, is what these tablets will actually look like. Apple's iPad Pro lineup has ditched the home button for some time, switching to Face ID and the gesture-based navigation system that debuted on the iPhone X. It stands to reason that eventually, this will make its way through the entire lineup, just like how it has with the iPhone, SE model excluded.

This also seems like it would be the easiest way to make the screen larger without tremendously impacting the footprint of the device. The only problem is that during a pandemic when it's common to have to wear facial masks in public, Face ID can be a real pain point. An in-display fingerprint sensor is another option, but that's something that Apple hasn't produced just yet.

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