Apple is widely expected to have a new iPad mini coming as soon as later this year with a design similar to the latest iPad Air. 9to5Mac has now learned from sources familiar with the matter that the new iPad mini, codenamed J310, will be powered by Apple’s latest A15 processor, feature USB-C connectivity, and include a magnetic Smart Connector.

According to the sources, Apple is planning to use the A15 chip inside the new iPad mini, just like the new iPhones expected to be released later this year. The A15 chip will use the same 5-nanometer fabrication process as the A14, and our sources indicate Apple is also working on a more powerful A15X variant that could be used in other iPads down the line.

The new iPad mini will also feature USB-C connectivity on the bottom, the sources say, similar to the iPad Pro and the latest iPad Air. This will open the iPad mini up to a wide array of peripherals and accessories beyond the Lightning connector that the current iPad mini uses.

Finally, the redesigned iPad mini will also feature magnetic Smart Connector similar to the iPad Air and iPad Pro, our sources say. This could mean that Apple has plans to release Smart Connector-capable accessories for the new iPad mini.

Another tidbit: Apple is also planning a new version of the entry-level iPad, codenamed J181, with an A13 chip inside. The current 10.2-inch entry-level iPad is powered by the A12 Bionic chip, so this would represent a notable jump in performance for Apple’s most affordable tablet. Previous rumors have also indicated that the entry-level iPad will adopt a design similar to the iPad Air 3 that was originally introduced in 2019.

Bloomberg has previously reported that Apple is working on a new iPad mini for release as soon as sometime later this year. The new iPad mini is expected to feature slimmer bezels and no Home button. Apple last updated the iPad mini in 2019, bringing a faster A12 Bionic processor as well as other improvements and Apple Pencil support. Last May, reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reported that Apple would release an iPad mini that’s between 8.5 inches and 9 inches.

The new iPad mini is on track to be released later this year. What do you think of the features that have been reported so far? Do you plan on buying one? Let us know down in the comments below.

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