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(Pocket-lint) - Although Apple's next event likely won't feature any hardware, it doesn't mean the company isn't preparing to launch a new iPad mini.

If you need more evidence to convince you, consider this new leak: an alleged CAD rendering has landed in the hands of credible leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer (@OnLeaks), who has yet to share said render but claimed it depicts Apple's so-called "iPad mini 5". This incoming tablet, which will follow the dated iPad mini 4, is thought to launch this spring, but not at Apple's rumoured March event.

Hemmerstoffer indicated, based on the leak he has seen, that there will be no major design changes to the next-generation iPad mini, except for a "relocated mic, centered on the upper back panel". In other words, it should look nearly identical to the old model, and that means it will be a minor spec bump with no iPad Pro-like features such as Face ID or an edge-to-edge display, unfortunately. 

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However, if you were looking for an Apple-branded tablet that is affordable, a Mini with slightly upgraded internals would certainly suit most budgets. Previous leaks from an iOS developer beta suggest it could feature support for the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, so there's that. The 7.9-inch tablet is also expected to feature a Lightning connector, Touch ID, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. 

For more about the iPad in 2019, see our rumour round-up here. We keep it regularly updated with the latest breaking news.

Writing by Maggie Tillman. Originally published on 19 February 2019.