All signs and rumors point to the fact that Apple will give its iPhone 14 series line up a serious rejig this year. After years of having a smaller model, Apple could pull the plug on its small flagship this year and not launch an iPhone 14 mini.
Apple is rumored to launch the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro Max and a new iPhone 14 Max (or it could be called the iPhone 14 Plus) that will replace the iPhone mini.
The display size only seems to go from big to bigger for Apple. The iPhone 14 Max is rumored to have a 6.7 inch display along with the iPhone 14 Pro Max. While the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro are rumored to go with 6.1-inch displays.
This means you have to be on board with big 6-inch plus phones this year while Apple could kill off the 5.4 inch variant of its iPhone. Being a fan of the small phones myself, I wish Apple would not just kill off an entire variant of its phones. The only small from Apple would be the iPhone SE.
It could be the end of the road for the easy-to-hold and light-on-the-pocket mini.
Apple’s possible ‘big’ move
The iPhone 13 Mini might be the last of its kind. It was one of the best small phones that had all the flagship features Apple offered in its iPhone without the large size. Apple’s iPhone 14 Max could really shake up the smartphone landscape (opens in new tab) with all the flagship smarts in a larger phone. So it seems like not only is Apple removing a small phone from its lineup, but replacing it with something much bigger.
In March rumors indicated that the iPhone 14 mini was being canceled, which means Apple likely has had this in the works for some time.
One plausible reason why Apple could be replacing the iPhone mini with the iPhone 14 Max is that consumers' interest in smaller phones is dwindling. The 2021 smartphone sales data from Counterpoint (opens in new tab) indicates that iPhone was still the dominant smartphone, but the iPhone 13 mini was not on the list.
Apple’s move indicates the shifting trend towards bigger phones. Gone are the days phablets were the outliers; now it seems that compact phones are the endangered species. Android phones have been moving in that direction for sometime now, with 6.5-inch and above displays that are getting more common.
Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S22 series also had large displays and the Galaxy S22 Ultra came with a 6.8-inch display. The new Galaxy Z Fold 4 opens up to have a 7.6-inch tablet-like screen.
Why I still like the iPhone mini
I used the iPhone 12 Mini briefly and I use the iPhone SE (2020) as my second phone. Shifting between my daily driver — the iPhone XR — and iPhone SE takes a bit of a sight-shift to get used to the small lettering.
But that is where the inconvenience ends. The small form factor is easy to handle and manage. Typing on a smaller device for me has always been a much better experience. With smaller hands, I find I can never use my iPhone XR with just one hand — it’s completely unwieldy.
The iPhone mini could be slipped into any bag and didn’t stick out in pockets, and I was amazed by how powerful this little phone was.
The iPhone 12 mini is just as powerful as its larger siblings and even has the same A14 bionic chip. The camera was just as good, too. The battery was not as impressive, but I believe Apple rectified that in the iPhone 13 mini.
Apple also gave consumers an iPhone for (almost) every budget. The Mini meant you would get the same Bionic processor, camera and all the other latest upgrades Apple was offering in its premium flagships for $100 less than the 6.-1-inch flagship — which was a great deal for consumers, even if it did not mean a win for Apple itself.
iPhone 14 Max could be the end of iPhone mini
Apple could launch its iPhone 14 series as soon as next month. In fact, one report says Apple could launch the iPhone 14 earlier than expected on September 6. Which means we should know all about the alleged iPhone 14 Max very soon.
The iPhone 14 Max should offer wide and ultrawide cameras and leave the telephoto lens for the Pro variants. Apple could also stick with the current A15 Bionic for the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max. Everything said and done, the iPhone 14 Max could wind up being very similar to the iPhone 14, in just a larger frame.
One rumor says the iPhone 14 Max could wind up costing $899, which would be $100 more than the iPhone 14. This is completely opposite of Apple’s pricing strategy for the mini series. It cost $100 less than the base model, which is sad news for customers.
With inflation and prices soaring everywhere, I wish Apple would have been more mindful of this and given us a cheaper iPhone 14 mini. But going by the trends, consumers might just opt for the iPhone 14 Max to get a big-screen iPhone that was usually much more expensive — leaving compact phone fans like me with the iPhone SE (2022).
I just hope the iPhone 14 Max does not mark the end of the road for the mini for good.
Next: iPhone 14 might mean the end of the mini — but we think Apple needs a better small phone.