Apple Really Wants to Know How Big the iPad mini’s Screen Should Be

iPad mini Concept Render Credit: Ian Zelbo / Twitter
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Apple is seeking feedback from customers to find out what they think of the iPad mini, most significantly asking whether the screen size is too big, too small, or just right for their needs.

While Apple has been sending out more of these customer surveys in recent years, but they generally seem to be geared more toward collecting marketing data than influencing the company’s design decisions.

For instance, a survey on iPhone power adapters last year seemed to be related to reports that Apple was planning on removing the iPhone charger from the box — which it ultimately did. However, the timing of the survey made it hard to believe that Apple’s decision to remove the chargers was based on user feedback. It’s far more likely that Apple had already made up its mind, and simply wanted to gauge how much backlash it was likely to get once it finally announced the plan.

This latest survey directed at iPad mini users seems to be more of the same. Since numerous reports suggest that an “iPad mini 6” could launch as early as next month, there is no way that Apple hasn’t already finalized the design. Now it just wants to know in advance what traditional iPad mini users might think of the new design — without actually giving it away.

The lead-in question on the new survey, which was originally reported by Chinese site ITHome, and shared by MacRumors, asks customers what they think of the size of the display on the iPad mini 4. Possible responses include “too small,” “a little bit too small,” “just the right size,” “a bit too large,” and “too large.”

The survey goes on to ask users about the sort of things they use their iPad mini for, such as viewing photos and videos, taking notes, and listening to music. Apple seems to be particularly interested in whether customers do these things in portrait or landscape orientations.

Apple then asks users to indicate what other devices they own, such as laptops, other tablets, or smartphones, and to indicate which accessories they use with their iPad mini, from a list that includes everything from extra power adapters to cases, wireless keyboards, and game controllers.

The Curious Case of the iPad mini

What’s unusual here is that the questions seem to focus on the iPad mini 4, which was released in 2015, and not the newer 2019 iPad mini 5 — even though both tablets have identical screens. It’s possible that the survey questions are targeted to individual customers to reflect which iPad mini they own, but since the iPad mini 4 was the last entry-level version of the smaller tablet, it leaves us wondering if Apple may be gauging interest in some other future product.

Over the past few months, we’ve heard conflicting reports on what the new iPad mini might look like. While most of the recent reliable information points to a major redesign, similar to the treatment that the iPad Air 4 got last year, there’s been enough smoke from other sources to make us believe that Apple could have two iPad minis in the worksa mid-tier “iPad mini Pro” that would be a direct successor to the fifth-generation iPad mini alongside a more affordable entry-level model that would sit alongside Apple’s 10.2-inch iPads.

The redesigned iPad mini that we’ve been hearing most about lately is expected to feature an 8.5–9-inch screen, since it will all but eliminate the bezels and put the Touch ID button on the side. It may also pack in Apple’s latest A15 chip — the one expected to also grace this year’s iPhone lineup — and possibly even a mini-LED display. Although we remain skeptical on that last point, if it turns out to be true, this new iPad mini really could jump up into “iPad mini Pro” territory, since it would exceed the specs of last year’s mid-tier iPad Air 4.

On the other hand, Apple may realize that there’s still a market for a lower-cost iPad mini to sit alongside its entry-level iPad. This is, after all, how the iPad mini exited for years before Apple decided to bump it up to a brand-new middle tier in 2019.

While we’ve heard much more solid information on this powerful new iPad mini, that’s also not surprising. If Apple truly does have two iPad mini models in the works, it’s the redesigned, A15 and mini-LED powered one that’s going to be much more interesting — and noticeable by the usual sources of leaks. With that model on the table, an entry-level iPad mini could easily go unnoticed.

However, even if plans are underway for a second, more basic iPad mini, Apple may not plan to release it as soon as the more premium version. However, it would be quite interesting if this fall sees a repeat of last September’s iPad releases on a smaller scale. After all, the iPad Air 4 and eighth-generation iPad came out at the same time, so there’s no reason an “iPad mini Pro” couldn’t debut alongside an entry-level “iPad mini Lite.”

[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]

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