Apple is readying a small 5.4-inch iPhone 12 that could be dubbed the iPhone 12 mini. And it may be the least powerful handset in the new iPhone lineup.
According to a new leak via MauriQHD on Twitter (via Notebookcheck), Apple is prepping a midrange chip called the B14 that could be destined for the iPhone 12 mini. It could be a “battery-saving-but-less-powerful A14” Bionic.
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To be clear, MauriQHD does not have an established track record as a leaker. In addition, the tweet says that this chip could also be designed for an iPhone SE Plus or an iPhone SE 3 down the road.
Earlier this year, Apple fitted the iPhone SE 2020 with its latest A13 Bionic chip, so it would be a big surprise if the company decided to pack the iPhone 12 mini with anything other than the A14 Bionic.
Apple B14 chipThey have a midrange chip ready 👀idk if its the battery-saving-but-less-powerful A14 i´ve leaked before, or a whole new chipfor the iPhone 12 Mini maybe? SE2 Plus? SE3? idki´ve had it for monthsbut #AppleEvent in 14 hours.. cant risk itim hearingSeptember 15, 2020
But a B14 chip that’s less powerful could help keep costs down on the iPhone 12 mini should Apple decide to go in that direction.
The most recent rumors point to the iPhone 12 mini costing $50 or so more than the iPhone 11 due to the addition of 5G. However, earlier reports said that the iPhone 12 mini could cost as low as $549 without 5G.
If the iPhone 12 mini name sticks, a less powerful chip could make sense for the 5.4-inch iPhone 12. And the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 with A14 power would be the true successor to the iPhone 11.
There’s just something about the timing of this rumor that seems off. If Apple was truly working on a B14 chip, you would think we would have heard something about it more than a month before the iPhone 12 launch. But anything is possible.
The iPhone 12 mini is expected to feature an OLED display in a design that’s even more compact than the iPhone SE 2020. And we still anticipate that the handset will feature dual rear cameras.
The iPhone 12 Pro lineup would get the A14 Bionic plus a third camera for telephoto shots as well as a a LiDAR sensor for enhanced photography and AR performance. Apple’s iPhone 12 event should happen in October, so we shouldn’t have that long to find out if the B14 is legit or not.
- Next: iPhone 12 vs iPhone 12 Pro — the biggest differences to expect
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Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.