I gave the iPhone 12 mini a good review when I evaluated it earlier this year. Was it the perfect phone? God no. Did battery life suck? Absolutely. But is there any competition for a phone that has flagship performance, at least five years of software updates, and an incredibly compact size? That answer is no.
This means Apple has a golden opportunity to swallow the entire small phone market for itself. Social media and opinions from many different journalists have indicated there’s solid demand for compact smartphones, and there was a ton of excitement when the iPhone 12 mini was released back in November.
But none of that matters now, because Apple has reportedly ended production of the device.
It’s been a few months since we first heard that sales for the iPhone 12 mini weren’t great. Then, we learned that Apple was cutting production by as much as 70 percent. Now, a report from TrendForce suggests that production in general for the phone has been shut down, and whatever units are still out on the market will be the only ones left beyond refurbs and used models.
Compared to the rest of the iPhone 12 lineup, it’s clear where the mini lacks. The screen’s obviously not as impressive due to its size, and the battery life is a real problem if you wanna get through a full day without worry. Despite this, however, it’s truly the only phone you should consider if you want something small and friendly that still has flagship performance, cameras, and software support.
I suppose the first sign the iPhone 12 mini was doomed was third-party OEM’s’ hesitancy to release similar devices. Many thought companies like Samsung and OnePlus would follow in Apple’s lead with their own miniature smartphones, but there hasn’t been a solid apples-to-Apples competitor yet (unless you count the under-specced Pixel 5 or unimpressive ZenFone 8 which are both considered very compact). Perhaps this was foresight into how popular the idea of a miniature iPhone would become.
I also think the plea for smaller flagships is more chatter than sincere desire. Everyone thinks that it’d be cool to have a mini phone, and that’s probably because they can’t hold their correct phones in one hand. Regardless, it’s still abundantly clear that what people really want are big screens and big batteries.
This has been the trend for years, and I don’t necessarily disagree with it. I love a big screen to watch movies on, and having a large battery is always more convenient than having a smaller one. However, the utility of a big phone is something I’ve debated in my head for years since sometimes, it’s just not conducive to have a tiny tablet in my pocket. More often than not, I find myself wanting a smaller phone.
While I enjoy the idea of a tiny phone like the iPhone 12 mini, I know that what I really want is a phone that doesn’t feel like a surfboard but still gives me a big enough screen. The regular iPhone 12 size (particularly the iPhone 12 Pro in my case) does that extremely well, and others may have discovered that and opted not to get a mini because of it.
It could’ve all just been a dream. Maybe we don’t want miniature phones at all? Maybe all we want are phones we can actually hold?
Whatever the reason, things aren’t looking good for the future of the iPhone mini lineup. If Apple is actually suspending production of the device this early in its life cycle (a.k.a. seven months), I can’t see how they’d even consider releasing an iPhone 13 mini later this year. I could be wrong, but I wouldn’t get your hopes up if what you want is another mini iPhone.
I’m curious to hear what you think about miniature phones. Is it something you want? Do you think Apple’s wrong for suspending production? Reply to this newsletter and let’s chat.