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Is Apple's iPad mini finally dead?

Poor old iPad mini. Despite constant rumours, Apple's tiny tablet hasn't been given a spec bump since 2019 – and its design hasn't changed since way back in 2015. And with new leaks suggesting a new design isn't coming in 2021 as previously thought, is it finally time to accept that the iPad mini's day is done?

According to Japanese site Mac Otakara, any future iPad mini will look no different to the current model. But its hard to imagine Apple releasing a tablet with a six year-old design in 2021 (and very hard to imagine it hitting our best drawing tablets roundup). And after years of on-again/off-again rumours, a new iPad mini is starting to seem more and more unlikely. 

iPad Mini

The iPad mini's days could be numbered (Image credit: Apple)

As spotted by MacRumors, Mac Otakara claims that a new iPad Air will arrive soon, complete with a 10.9-inch iPad Pro-esque edge-to-edge display. That makes sense – Apple has been consolidating its tablet lineup with that all-screen design. But the site also claims a new iPad mini is coming that does "not seem to be any different" from the current model. 

Not only does this contradict recent rumours of an all-screen iPad mini, but it also makes little sense in the context of Apple's recent iPad releases. Rather than release an incredibly dated-looking iPad mini complete with chunky bezels and home button, we're more inclined to believe that the company will let the iPad mini ride off into the sunset.

iPad Mini

This fan-made concept is the new iPad mini we'd really like to see  (Image credit: Parker Ortolani)

Indeed, if a brand new iPad mini with tiny bezels and Apple Pencil 2 support doesn't arrive this year, we reckon it might not be coming at all. If the end is in sight for the iPad mini, at least it had a good run. First released in 2012, the toteable tablet proved a brilliant portable option for creatives on the go. But with phones getting larger and larger (the iPhone 12 Pro Max is practically an iPad mini), its role in Apple's product lineup has become a little less clear cut. 

And let's not forget, those iPhone Fold rumours aren't going anywhere either. An iPhone sized device that can unfold to the size of an iPad mini (complete with Apple Pencil support) could well negate the need for an iPad mini at all.

iPhone flip concept

Could the much rumoured (and rendered) 'iPhone Fold' end up replacing the iPad mini? (Image credit: foldable.news)

As with all things Apple, only time will tell what Apple decides to do. Perhaps there is indeed an incredible new, redesigned iPad mini on the horizon. If you don't fancy waiting to find out, check out today's best iPad deals below, and head to our Apple Back to School page for more brilliant offers.

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Daniel Piper

Daniel Piper is senior news editor at Creative Bloq, and an authority on all things art, design, branding and tech. He has a particular penchant for Apple products – some corners of the internet might call him an 'iSheep', but he's fine with this. It doesn't bother him at all. Why would it? They're just really nicely designed products, okay? Daniel is also a comedian and national poetry slam champion, and his favourite Bond is, obviously, Sean Connery.