Wither iPhone Mini

The rumors all seem unanimous in their opinion that this year the iPhone mini will go away, and in its place we’ll get a bigger (non-pro) iPhone to match the size of the iPhone Pro Max.

I suspect a bigger iPhone will sell more units than the iPhone mini. Many people buy the Pro Max iPhones not for the “Pro” but for the “Max.” I’m sure there are a lot of other folks who would buy a bigger non-pro iPhone if one were available.

What makes me scratch my head, however, is why it needs to be one or the other, Max or mini? Why not both? Apple is a company that understands how to make electronic gizmos. For two years they have been making and selling iPhone minis that many people like. While I appreciate that proportionally, the iPhone mini crowd is probably the smallest number, cumulatively, that’s still a lot of iPhones.

A lot of people are passionate about smaller size iPhones. It seems a shame that they will no longer be able to buy the latest and greatest. My question, sincerely, is why? What is the reason that Apple can’t make the entry-level iPhone in three sizes instead of two? Is it because of the global supply chain problems? Or maybe they don’t have enough manufacturing bandwidth? It seems like such a no-brainer to me and I’m really curious as to why Apple doesn’t keep the iPhone mini and add a Max iPhone simultaneously.

The Looming Demise of the iPhone mini

Not long after Apple released the “mini” iPhone 12, the rumor mills began reporting disappointing sales numbers and its predicted demise. The fact that Apple released an iPhone 13 mini was not a stay of execution so much as a testament to the momentum and forward planning of Apple’s product lines. I expect the iPhone 13 mini was too far along not to ship it.

To add more smoke signals to the pending iPhone mini demise, 9to5 Mac recently linked to case schematics that show a new large-sized iPhone 14 but no iPhone 14 mini. So it looks like Apple is choosing to make the alternate size for the entry-level iPhone more like an iPhone Pro Max than an iPhone mini.

If forced between choosing whether to make an iPhone mini or a Max-sized non-pro iPhone, I think the bigger one will be more popular. I have several friends that buy the iPhone Pro Max not because they want its features but because they like its screen size. This will make their phones less expensive going forward.

The part that gets me is that they really shouldn’t be forced to make a decision. Isn’t Apple selling enough iPhones that they could afford to sell small, medium, and large versions of the pro and non-pro phones? You’d think they could make that work, but, for whatever reason, they are choosing not to. If you are a fan of the small-sized iPhones, my advice is to go out and buy an iPhone 13 mini now and plan on holding onto it for a while.