Back in 2020, Apple introduced its first “mini” iPhone with the iPhone 12 lineup. Although the sales numbers for that model were never impressive, the company gave its smaller phone another chance with iPhone 13 mini in 2021. Now it seems that the iPhone mini is going away for good. And for those of you who own one of these, are you planning to upgrade your phone any time soon?
iPhones got bigger
Since the introduction of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in 2014, iPhones have been getting bigger than ever. After all, every other smartphone already had a big screen at the time, and iPhone was one of the few to continue with a 4-inch screen.
While large screens seemed to be the way to go, some users have always complained about it. They wanted a smaller phone that still had all the great features of a new one. That’s when Apple came up with the first iPhone SE in 2015, which had the exact same form-factor as an iPhone 5s, but with the internal hardware of the iPhone 6s. It was a small phone with the latest processor and the best camera capable of shooting 4K video.
The size of the iPhone SE was indeed one of the reasons why people bought it, but it was also much cheaper than its bigger brothers. Eventually, iPhone SE was discontinued until Apple decided to bring the SE back in 2020 – but this time, with the same form-factor as an iPhone 8. The 4.7-inch LCD screen is not as compact as that of an iPhone 5, but is still considerably smaller than any other modern iPhone.
But the second generation iPhone SE was far from being a smaller iPhone 11. It had the same chip, but not the same cameras or the same display quality. Later that year, Apple decided to show some love to more demanding users who preferred smaller phones. The iPhone 12 mini was exactly an iPhone 12, but smaller.
The iPhone mini
Both iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini feature 5G, MagSafe, an OLED panel, stereo speakers, the A14 Bionic chip, and the same cameras. It seemed like the perfect recipe for success. But it turns out, iPhone 12 mini was never a hit. Apple has never discussed sales numbers for individual iPhone models, but multiple independent market research revealed that iPhone 12 mini was by far the least popular iPhone model.
I had the opportunity to try out the iPhone 12 mini and I wrote a bit about it here on 9to5Mac. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad phone. In fact, it’s basically a tiny high-end smartphone. But that’s the thing: at least for me, a tiny high-end smartphone doesn’t make much sense. I do a lot with my iPhone these days, and the iPhone 12 mini doesn’t seem like a device for people who need the best on the market.
The iPhone mini survived for another year with the iPhone 13 lineup. Apple increased its battery, one of the main complaints from iPhone 12 mini owners, but still this didn’t seem enough to convince people that the iPhone mini is a good deal. For a phone with prices starting at $699 in the United States, it has a lot of trade-offs.
This time, the rumors are consistent in pointing out that the iPhone mini will be discontinued. Apple is expected to introduce four new iPhone models this year, but none of them will be a “mini.” Instead, the mid-range iPhone 14 should be available in the same 6.1 and 6.7-inch sizes as the iPhone 14 Pro lineup.
Personally, I believe that this form-factor would be more popular if it were available at a lower price. Again, I don’t think most people looking for a smaller phone care about having the best hardware. An iPhone mini would make more sense as an iPhone SE than a smaller high-end iPhone. iPhone mini is going away because not enough people are buying it.
With this in mind, if you’re an iPhone mini owner, are you planning to upgrade your phone anytime soon? And if so, what will be your next smartphone? Let us know in the poll and also in the comments section below.
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