A new leak is adding legitimacy to a recent report that suggests Apple will announce a new iPad mini model sometime in 2019.
The leak comes courtesy of SlashLeaks. It shows an alleged iPad mini 5 case that features a translucent plastic exterior. What’s interesting about this case is that prior to Monday, when images of the case were uploaded to SlashLeaks, there’s not been a report that has specified how Apple plans to update the iPad mini. That same fact makes it difficult to verify whether the case pictured in these images are legitimate.
Whether legitimate or not, the case suggests Apple plans to issue a major update to the iPad mini lineup.
To start, on the side of the case, it looks like there is a cutout for Apple’s Smart Connector port, which suggests Apple plans to release a keyboard alongside the mini 5. To date, the mini lineup has not supported Apple’s Smart Connector port.
In addition, the case features multiple speaker cutouts on both its top and bottom. This suggests the iPad mini 5 will feature four speakers. Both the above features first appeared in 2015 on the iPad Pro.
There’s also a cutout for a headphone jack, which makes me think this might not be a legitimate leak. To be fair, however, Apple has been all over the place when it comes to whether it decides to keep or remove the headphone jack from one of its new devices — see the new Macs.
Apple hasn’t refreshed the iPad mini since 2015. Beyond sometime in 2019, there’s currently no word on when Apple plans to release the mini 5.