Apple's new 2021 iPad designs just leaked (and it's not good news)

iPad Pro and iPad mini
The iPad Pro (left) and iPad mini (right) might look very familiar in 2021 (Image credit: Apple/Future owns)

Last year was a big one for iPad fans, with almost every model receiving an upgrade. If various rumours are to be believed, the trend is set to continue with even more new releases as soon as this month. But if you're hoping for dramatic design changes this time around, prepare for disappointment.

New dummy models appear to show the design of two new iPad Pros and a new iPad mini – and all three look pretty much identical to their predecessors. Will internal upgrades alone be enough to secure them spots on our best drawing tablets roundup?

Shared by Apple leaker Sonny Dickson on Twitter (below), the images reveal 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pros alongside a 7.9-inch iPad mini. Dummy models are non-working versions of devices often used by accessory makers, and they tend to accurately depict the appearance of the actual device.

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The design of the two iPad Pro models isn't too surprising – both feature the exact same edge-to-edge design adopted by the Pro range since 2018, which still feels contemporary today. But the iPad mini design is rather underwhelming. With the same design as 2015's iPad mini 4 (complete with huge bezels and a home button), the device looks positively prehistoric. For designers who were hoping for a larger display within a similarly portable shape, this could be disappointing news.

Adding insult to injury is the fact that we've seen no shortage of incredible mockups depicting more contemporary takes on the aged iPad mini design. From this stunning iPad Pro-inspired concept to this radical render with under-screen Touch ID, it's clear that the iPad mini is crying out for some design love. 

iPad Mini

We'd love to see this iPad mini concept become a reality (Image credit: Parker Ortolani)

Still, these dummy models could yet prove to be inaccurate. From the sheer amount of rumours regarding the 2021 iMac, it seems Apple is indeed focussed on updating some of its more dated devices this year. And with an announcement rumoured to be taking place next week, we may find out sooner rather than later. If you can't wait, check out today's best iPad deals below.

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Daniel John
Senior News Editor

Daniel John is Senior News Editor at Creative Bloq. He reports on the worlds of art, design, branding and lifestyle tech (which often translates to tech made by Apple). He joined in 2020 after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more.