New iPad mini may boast 8.4-inch display with slightly smaller bezels

We’re now just over a week into January, which means the rumor mill is starting to really kick into gear. As such, we’re starting to get a picture of what we might expect for new iPad models this year.

Today, for instance, Mac Otakara has a new report stating that Apple may make some important changes to the next iPad mini. Specifically, it may finally reduce the size of the bezels, and, therefore, give it a slightly larger screen compared to the current model. That might make sense, considering Apple last updated the iPad mini in early 2019. A change in physical design two years later might incentivize more adoption.

However, don’t expect it to have as small of bezels as, say, the new iPad Air or the iPad Pro. Instead, the report indicates that Apple will adopt a thin frame like the iPad Air 3, but retain the same overall design as the ninth-generation iPad. So there will still be bezels above and below the display, but just a bit smaller.

They are reportedly retaining those bezels because the report says Apple is keeping the Home button with Touch ID. What’s more, the new iPad mini will also not make the jump to USB-C, but rather retain the Lightning port for wired charging.

Per the report:

It’s a narrow frame like iPad Air (3rd generation), and the design goes with iPad (9th Generation), which continues to use Touch ID and Lightning port.

So Apple isn’t quite ready to adopt the minimized bezels of the iPad Pro and iPad Air for the rest of the iPad lineup. The entry-level iPad makes the most sense with this move, considering its price point. However, the iPad mini certainly isn’t cheap, even with its size. Reducing the bezels even further would probably be a welcomed change for potential buyers.

This rumor lines up with previous ones, at least a bit. In June of last year, for instance, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Apple was planning to launch a new iPad mini with an 8.5-inch display in “early 2021”. Unfortunately this latest report doesn’t indicate a launch window, but if Apple keeps its refresh schedule intact, then the first half of this year should pan out.

Would you buy a new iPad mini with a larger display and slightly smaller bezels?