After iPhone 13, it’s not good for Apple’s iPhone Mini


The iPhone 13 Mini lives.

Screenshot by CNET

This story is part of Apple event, our comprehensive coverage of the latest Apple news.

Apple unveiled the iPhone 13 Mini to his Tuesday event, give fans of smaller phones something to be excited about once again. Like its predecessor, the iPhone 13 Mini is a 5.4-inch version of Apple’s flagship iPhone, packed with the same features in a smaller design.

However, there is a chance that the $ 700 iPhone 13 Mini, Which one is available for pre-order and will be released on September 24, could be Apple’s last smaller iPhone. Reports suggest that last year’s iPhone 12 Mini did not sell well, and more recent rumors indicate that Apple may withdraw the Mini from the iPhone 14 lineup in 2022.

Read more: CNET’s reviews of the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini, and the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max

CNET’s Patrick Holland praised the iPhone 12 Mini for its user-friendly design, premium cameras, and 5G support, all for $ 100 less than the iPhone 12. So what is the problem? The iPhone 12 Mini felt a bit lost in Apple’s iPhone lineup. Priced at $ 729 when it debuted in 2020, it was hardly a cheap phone, especially since Apple offers other inexpensive options such as the iPhone SE and iPhone 11. And after years of adopting bigger phones, the value of a miniature iPhone didn’t seem as relevant as Apple might have hoped.

Read more: Should we upgrade to iPhone 13? We compare iPhone 12 to iPhone 7 to find out

IPhone 13 Mini could be Apple’s latest premium iPhone

Apple does not plan to introduce a iPhone 14 Mini next year, according to a July report from Asian Nikkei Review. An April research note from industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo obtained by MacRumors also suggested that Apple’s 2022 iPhone lineup won’t have a sequel to the Mini.

Removing the iPhone Mini from Apple’s flagship line would be understandable. Reports from last year suggested that people just aren’t interested in buying it. Apple cut back orders for the iPhone 12 Mini in the first half of 2021 due to weak demand, according to a precedent Asian Nikkei Review report. Counterpoint search reports similar findings earlier this year, claiming that the iPhone 12 Mini only made up 5% of US sales of the iPhone 12 line during the first half of January.

If the iPhone 12 Mini didn’t sell well, why would Apple even bother releasing the iPhone 13 Mini? This is in part because the smartphone development timeline is over a year, according to Ben Stanton, research director for research firm Canalys. As such, Apple probably didn’t have enough time to incorporate iPhone 12 Mini sales data into the iPhone 13 generation development cycle.

Apple usually doesn’t make major changes to its product line that quickly. It kept the controversial butterfly keyboard in its MacBook laptops for about five years before switching entirely to the new magic keyboard, despite years of customer complaints. Not everyone likes the MacBook Pro touch bar, but five years later, it’s still featured on Apple’s high-end laptops.


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Why the iPhone 12 Mini was unsuccessful

There are two simple reasons that could explain why the iPhone 12 Mini struggled in 2020. On the one hand, Apple faces a lot of competition. within its own range.

To take iPhone 11 for example. When Apple launched the iPhone 12 last year, it slashed the price of the iPhone 11 to $ 600, which was $ 100 less than the starting price of the iPhone 12 Mini. Even though this is not Apple’s last iPhone, there are a number of reasons why customers may have been tempted to buy the iPhone 11 over the iPhone 12 over the past year.

Apple’s iPhone 2019 comes with a 6.1-inch display, solid battery life, great cameras, and fast performance, as it runs on a relatively new A13 Bionic processor. It lacks 5G connectivity, MagSafe support, and Apple’s more durable Ceramic Shield coating, but otherwise offers many of the same benefits as the iPhone 12 (here are all the key differences between the iPhone 11 and the iPhone 11). ‘iPhone 12). It’s even cheaper now that the iPhone 13 has arrived, bringing the price down to $ 500.

Read more: iPhone 13 vs. 13 Mini vs. 13 Pro vs. 13 Pro Max: A Spec-by-Spec Comparison Based on Rumors

And for those who want the cheapest iPhone possible without making big performance sacrifices, there’s the $ 399. iPhone SE. It has a compact design similar to that of the iPhone 8, which means it lacks Face ID and Apple’s more modern bezel-less design. But it is also the only current iPhone with Touch ID, and it still delivers plenty of power for a phone of its price and size thanks to its A13 Bionic processor.

In other words, there wasn’t much room for the Mini in Apple’s iPhone 12 lineup. It wasn’t cheap enough to be a budget phone like the iPhone SE, and there weren’t enough things that set it apart from the Phone 11.

Apple is taking a similar approach this year by keep the iPhone 12 in its lineup alongside the iPhone 13. The iPhone 12 Mini now starts at $ 600, while the iPhone 12 starts at $ 700. That means the iPhone 12 is the same price as the iPhone 13 Mini, while last year’s miniature iPhone is $ 100 cheaper than this year’s model.

But there is one main reason the iPhone 13 Mini may see a better result than its predecessor: carrier offerings. Apple’s telecom partners are offering aggressive discounts this year that could make it difficult for iPhone buyers to turn down the iPhone 13 or its smaller companion. AT&T, for example, is basically offering the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini for free by offering up to $ 700 off, as my colleague Eli Blumenthal points out. And T-Mobile has a nice iPhone 13 trade-in deal also goes.

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Apple’s $ 599 iPhone 11 is still excellent value in 2021.

Sarah Tew / CNET

The other major obstacle to the success of the iPhone 12 Mini was that people just prefer phones with bigger screens. Reports analysis firm Flurry and Consumer Intelligence Research Partners also reported that the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max was the most popular of Apple’s 2020 phone models.

Patrick noted in his iPhone 12 Mini review that some might find the device’s small screen less convenient for typing, reading, and viewing documents – critical tasks that many people use their phones for on a daily basis. That smaller size also meant a smaller battery and therefore shorter lifespan, a trade-off that many people might not have been willing to make. Apple got this right, which is why it extended the battery life of the iPhone 13 Mini by an hour and a half compared to the iPhone 12 Mini. (However, the battery life of the iPhone 13 Mini will always be shorter than that of the iPhone 13.)

Plus, the compact design of the iPhone 12 Mini may have been less valuable during a year when many people spent most of their days at home. Who cares about having a more portable phone when you’re not going anywhere?


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The only time I regularly struggle to use my phone with one hand is during my morning commute, as I usually hold the metro pole. Otherwise, a phone with a 6.1 inch or larger screen is generally manageable. I also imagine having a phone with a bigger screen and longer battery life was especially important over the past year considering how much time we spent on video calls throughout 2020.

And finally, big smartphones aren’t new, which means most of Apple’s customers have probably adapted to bigger screens. A phone with 6.1 inch screen was considered important in 2014, but today it is the norm. So maybe you were apprehensive in 2014, but today you are used to it and you might even want a bigger screen.

Read more: IPhone Flip rumors: a foldable iPhone likely won’t debut soon

IPhone 13 Mini and beyond

Some reports we’ve seen around the iPhone 14 so far indicate that Apple is considering focusing on larger phones for its flagship models. Apple’s 2022 iPhone family will still consist of four iPhones, according to Nikkei Asian Review and Kuo. However, Apple would replace the Mini with another 6.7-inch variant, which means there will likely be two versions of the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Apple could instead focus its budget efforts on smartphones on the iPhone SE. A new iPhone SE3 model with 5G support, the same A15 Bionic chip that powers the iPhone 13 and a 4.7-inch LCD screen could arrive in the first half of 2022, reports Nikkei Asian Review.

The iPhone 13 Mini certainly has more advantages than the iPhone 12 Mini. Carriers are offering great discounts that might make it an attractive buy over cheaper older models. Apple responded to one of the biggest complaints about the iPhone 12 Mini by extending the battery life of the iPhone 13 Mini. And people might find more value in a compact phone now that the COVID-19 vaccine has made it possible to spend less time at home safely compared to 2020. Only time will tell if these changes are enough for the iPhone 13 Mini stands out in Apple. increasingly crowded iPhone lineup.