The iPhone 13 Mini is alive.
Screenshot from CNET
This story is part of , our full coverage of the latest Apple news.
Apple revealed theat his give fans of something to be happy about again. The is just like its predecessor is a 5.4-inch version of Apple’s flagship iPhone that packs the same features in a smaller design.
However, there is a chance that, which is and will be , could be Apple’s last smaller iPhone. The iPhone 12 Mini was reportedly not selling well last year, and recent rumors suggest that Apple may be removing the Mini from the iPhone 14 lineup by 2022.
Get the CNET Daily News newsletter
Find out about the biggest news in minutes. Delivered on working days.
Continue reading: CNET reviews of the, and the
for its pocket-friendly design, top-notch cameras, and 5G support – all for $ 100 less than that . So what’s the problem? The iPhone 12 Mini felt a little lost in Apple’s iPhone lineup. At $ 729 when it debuted in 2020, it was barely one , especially when you consider that Apple has other inexpensive options like that and . And after years of introducing bigger phones, the value of a miniature iPhone didn’t feel as relevant as Apple might have hoped.
iPhone 13 Mini could be Apple’s last smaller premium iPhone
Apple does not plan to introduce oneMini next year, according to a July report from Nikkei Asian Review. An April research note from industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo received from MacRumors also suggested that Apple’s iPhone lineup would be missing a sequel to the Mini in 2022.
Removing the iPhone Mini from Apple’s flagship lineup would be understandable. Reports from last year showed that people just weren’t interested in buying it.in the first half of 2021 due to weak demand, according to a previous report from Nikkei Asian Review. Counterpoint Research reported similar results earlier this year, saying the iPhone 12 Mini accounted for only 5% of US iPhone 12 line sales for the first half of January.
If the iPhone 12 Mini didn’t sell well, then why would Apple bring out the iPhone 13 Mini? That’s partly because the lead time for smartphone development is more than a year, according to Ben Stanton, research director at research firm Canalys. As a result, Apple probably does not have enough time to include the iPhone 12 Mini sales data in the development cycle for the iPhone 13 generation.
Apple also typically doesn’t make big changes to its product line that quickly. It kept the controversial butterfly keyboard in its MacBook laptops for about five years before completely switching over to the new Magic Keyboard despite years of customer complaints. Not everyone loves, but five years later it’s still on Apple’s high-end laptops.
Look at that:
iPhone 13 and 13 Mini explained
Why the iPhone 12 Mini didn’t catch on
There are two simple reasons that could explain why the iPhone 12 Mini struggled in 2020. For one thing, Apple is facing a lot of competition.
To takefor example. When Apple launched the iPhone 12 last year, it cut the price of the iPhone 11 to $ 600, which was $ 100 less than the starting price of the iPhone 12 Mini. While it may not be Apple’s newest iPhone, there are plenty of reasons customers might be tempted to buy the iPhone 11 versus the iPhone 12 in the past year.
Apple’s 2019 iPhone comes with a 6.1-inch screen, solid battery life, great cameras, and faster 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 12). Now that the iPhone 13 has hit the market, it’s even cheaper, bringing the price down to $ 500.
And for those who want the cheapest iPhone without sacrificing performance, there’s the $ 399. It has a compact design similar to that of the which means that Face ID and Apple’s more modern frameless design are missing. But it is also that , and it still offers plenty of performance for a phone of its price and size thanks to its A13 Bionic processor.
In other words, there wasn’t really a place for the Mini in Apple’s iPhone 12 range. It wasn’t exactly cheap enough to be a budget phone like the iPhone SE, and there wasn’t enough to make it stand out from the Phone 11.
Apple is taking a similar approach this year. 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’s a main reason the iPhone 13 Mini may outperform its predecessor: carrier deals. Apple’s telecom partners are offering aggressive discounts this year that could make it harder for iPhone buyers to turn down the iPhone 13 or its smaller companion. AT&T, for example, is giving away the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini for free with a discount of up to US $ 700, as my colleague Eli Blumenthal emphasizes. andis also possible.
Apple’s iPhone 11 for $ 599 is still a great value in 2021.
Sarah Tew / CNET
The other big hurdle to the success of the iPhone 12 Mini was that. Reports from analysis firm Flurry and Consumer Intelligence Research Partners also showed that the 6.7-inch was the most popular of Apple’s 2020 phone models.
Patrick found in his iPhone 12 Mini review that some find the device’s smaller screen less convenient for typing, reading, and viewing documents – important tasks that many people do on their phone every day. That smaller size also meant a smaller battery, and therefore shorter battery life, a tradeoff that many people may not want to make. Apple clearly understood this and 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 still be shorter than that of the iPhone 13.)
Plus, the iPhone 12 Mini’s compact design may have been less valuable in a year where many people spent most of their time at home. Who cares to have a portable phone with nowhere else to go?
Look at that:
iPhone 12 Mini in the test: There is a lot to like for a phone …
The only time I regularly have trouble using my phone with one hand is during my morning commute, as I’m usually clutching the subway bar. Otherwise, a phone with a screen of 6.1 inches or larger is usually manageable. I can also imagine having a phone with a bigger screen and longer battery life was especially important last year considering how much time we spent video calling in 2020.
Finally, big smartphones aren’t new, which means that most of Apple’s customers have likely adapted to the bigger screens. AWas considered big in 2014, but today that’s just the norm. You may have been scared in 2014, but today you are used to it and you may even want a bigger screen.
The iPhone 13 Mini and more
Some reports we’ve seen around the iPhone 14 so far suggest that Apple plans to focus on bigger phones in its flagship models. According to the Nikkei Asian Review and Kuo, Apple’s iPhone family will continue to consist of four iPhones in 2022. However, Apple will reportedly 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 smartphone efforts on the iPhone SE. A newModel with 5G support, the same A15 Bionic chip that powers the iPhone 13, and a 4.7-inch LCD screen could hit the market in the first half of 2022, reports Nikkei Asian Review.
The iPhone 13 Mini certainly has more to offer than the iPhone 12 Mini. Carriers offer compelling discounts that could make it an attractive purchase over cheaper older models. Apple addressed one of the biggest complaints about the iPhone 12 Mini by extending the battery life of the iPhone 13 Mini. And people may find more value in a compact phone now that the COVID-19 vaccine has made it safer to spend less time at home compared to 2020. Only time will tell if these changes are enough to make the iPhone 13 Mini stand out from Apple’s ever-crowded iPhone lineup.