Is bigger better? Is smaller worse? Those are the questions that we’ve been asking ourselves when it comes to smartphones, especially with the iPhone Mini. Obviously, bigger displays will make you see things better, but in what other ways is it better? Or in what ways is a smaller phone worse?
Back in 2020, Apple made a surprising decision, and that is to create the iPhone 12 Mini, a small iPhone with the same performance as other full-sized iPhones.
But fast forward to 2022, and there are no iPhone 14 Mini in the iPhone 14 lineup. So what happened with the iPhone mini? Why isn’t there a smaller option available for people with smaller hands or smaller pockets? And is the iPhone Mini forever gone or just set aside to return sometime in the future? Let’s discuss all that and more!
What Even is the iPhone Mini?
What is the iPhone Mini? It’s an iPhone that was released in 2020 as the iPhone 12 Mini. It has the same internals as the iPhone 12 and even looks similar, it’s just smaller with a 5.4-inch screen.
It was released as an alternative to the base and Max iPhone 12 and 13. It was made to appeal to people who didn’t want a big phone or didn’t want to spend on those pricey base and plus-sized models. The problem is that in 2022, Apple discontinued the iPhone Mini after 2 years with the 12 and 13 Minis since they didn’t meet the expected sales, and it turns out that not a lot of people loved the Mini and went for the base or Max iPhone models.
Was the iPhone Mini Good? Or a Mistake?
There’s no doubt that the iPhone Minis were actually good, despite the tiny size, you’ll still have great performance with the Minis; it has the same great camera system, it has the chipsets, and it even had 5G, I mean, back up 5 years ago and you wouldn’t expect to have flagship features on smaller phone counterparts, you always had to get the bigger phone, and that right there is the main thing that made the iPhone Mini flop.
It’s Not a Trendy Phone
Many people will hate to admit it since it’s stupid, but iPhones are a status symbol, and among iPhone owners, the ones with the bigger and more premium or ‘pro’ models sit higher up in the stupid but completely real hierarchy. That’s why most people will go spend a few hundred dollars more on the higher-end models, even though the Mini suits them perfectly well.
Just goes to show that people can give up comfort for status. And yeah, the iPhone Mini just doesn’t have the cool factor that most people want; it’s tiny and it doesn’t grab attention. If it was 2015 when the trend was getting as tiny and thin as possible, then maybe it would be the other way around.
Going with the trend isn’t bad at all, and the trend these days is getting the most battery life possible, and yes, the Minis don’t have great batteries.
It’s a negative point in the trend aspect (unless you don’t care about the trends, in which case no points are given).
Most of the time, people just love larger things. But for a handful of people, travelers, students, blue-collar workers, etc… A smaller and more portable phone can be quite beneficial to them. Whether you love small phones or not, you can’t deny their advantage in portability. I think it’s the very same reason why folding phones like the Samsung Z Flip became popular in recent years; it brings the best in both worlds, a decent-sized display, and a small body when it’s folded, but I digress.
Besides people who travel all the time, another demographic whom I think will and already love small phones are those who use a laptop or a tablet as their primary device and use a phone as a companion device. I am a part of that group; I use my laptop day and night, and I only use my phone when I’m in bed or in other places where I can’t casually bring a laptop to. The iPhone Mini would’ve been perfect for people like me, but then again, I have large hands, and the iPhone Mini isn’t comfortable for me to hold for more than 10 minutes.
For those people who are concerned that they’re not going to enjoy consuming content on their small phone, it really doesn’t make much of a difference unless you edit photos and videos or play video games often, in which case, yes go for the full-sized iPhones.
But overall, the size of the iPhone Mini is great and brings more benefits than problems, it’s perfect for most people, but if you rely on your phone day and night, go with the bigger ones, those even have better…
Having a smaller body also means that the iPhone 12 and 13 Mini have less battery life than their larger counterparts, and that’s just a fact, a hardware limitation. It doesn’t matter if you turn your phone to low power mode or whatever power-saving option you turn on or off, the battery is inherently small.
The iPhone 13 Mini had a slight improvement in battery life since Apple jammed in a larger battery and ever so slightly increased the thickness and weight of the iPhone 13 Mini. But the changes and improvements are arguably negligible.
I know some of you might be thinking, “if the iPhone 13 Mini is a companion phone anyways, why does it need to have a good battery?” And that’s a great point to make. But still, the iPhone Minis have terrible standby time. So even though you won’t use it, it’ll probably drain significantly when you end up using your iPhone mini.
Overall, it’s a point deducted, and I’d only recommend the Minis if you have a power bank at hand (which also defeats the portability of these phones), or if you have access to a power brick at all times.
You don’t care about the size, battery, and current trends, but you do care about the features, don’t you? As we already mentioned, aside from the battery and screen size, you’re not missing out on anything; you still have great chips and performance. But, if you like taking videos or pictures, the telephoto camera on the Pro models might be great for you, but feature-wise, the Minis are fully loaded.
If you’re counting the main points so far, we ended up with two good points and two bad points, but take note that those bad points can be neglected if you didn’t care about social status or battery life. So, yes, the iPhone Minis were good! Or neutral at the very least. But there are really little to no downsides to them for most people.
Why Did Apple Discontinue iPhone Minis?
So, if iPhone Minis were really good, why did Apple discontinue the Minis?
Well, it all comes down to the wants of the majority, and as we talked about, most people didn’t like the Minis since it has less battery life, and a small phone just isn’t cool now. And well, Apple is great at business, so it just makes sense to stop wasting time and resources on the iPhone Minis in favor of the full-sized iPhones which still sell like hotcakes these days.
RIP iPhone Mini? Or Future iPhone SE?
iPhone Minis are now discontinued, it is what it is. But is there potential for it to come back in the future?
The simple answer is yes! Just look at the iPhone SE, by the way, the SE means “special edition” but many of us just refer it to as “small-edition,” going back, the iPhone SE is a small and budget iPhone with the latest chips installed onto them. Sounds familiar right? The only difference between SEs and Minis is the body design; the SEs use older body designs while Minis use current-gen designs.
I can certainly see a future where the iPhone Mini will return as the iPhone SE, but as we observed with past SEs, they don’t come out every year, and so far there are only three of them. But overall, I think it’s safe to assume that the next one will be similar to the Mini.
While the iPhone Mini does seem to have been largely forgotten about, there’s still a huge chance that Apple may bring it back in the future as the iPhone SE, and we’ll just have to wait and see.
But for those of you who don’t want to wait, guess what? Since iPhone Minis didn’t sell that well, you can still get a brand new one today! You can click here to go to Amazon to check out the best deals today!
Anyway, thank you for reading and hearing me out, if you have suggestions, opinions (especially opposing ones), or just plain reactions, make sure to shoot them down in the comments!
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