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iPhone 15 Mini: Why Apple’s Small Phone Is No More

iPhone 15 Mini

Following years of requests from iPhone aficionados for a small-screen gadget with the latest capabilities, Apple introduced the iPhone 12 mini in 2020. When Apple made this decision, it was expected that the compact form factor would last for several years, but the device appeared to come to an end with the debut of the iPhone 14 range in 2022. Apple decommissioned the final remaining handset with the “mini” form factor with the launching of the iPhone 15 series.

Concerns were raised when the iPhone 12 small looked to be selling less well than Apple had intended, accounting for only 6% of iPhone 12 sales in the United States between October and November 2020, according to statistics compiled by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP). According to Counterpoint Research, the iPhone 12 small accounted for barely 5% of all iPhone 12 sales in the United States in the first half of January 2021.

According to Morgan Stanley, Apple elected to reduce production of the iPhone 12 small by two million units in order to increase manufacturing capacity for the more popular iPhone 12 Pro. According to a Taiwanese report citing supply chain sources, Apple increased its supply of the more expensive iPhone 12 Pro models in China due to strong demand.

Most notably, JP Morgan Chase stated that Apple has abruptly ceased manufacture of the iPhone 12 mini in the second quarter of 2021. While the iPhone 12 mini’s sales did not bode well for the iPhone 13 mini, Apple plans its iPhone production and supply chain operations well in advance of launch, which means that the iPhone 13 mini was already well on its way to production by the time the iPhone 12 mini’s sales issues became clear.

In April 2022, CIRP revealed additional statistics indicating that the iPhone 13 mini accounted for only 3% of iPhone 13 sales – half that of the iPhone 12 mini. The ongoing weak sales were most likely the key reason for the “mini” form factor iPhone’s demise.

Apple replaced the “mini” item in the iPhone 14 series with an all-new “Plus” device that matched the 6.7-inch display size of its high-end “Pro Max” models. In some ways, the “Plus” is similar to the “mini,” giving the latest iPhone capabilities in a larger display size. Instead of a lightweight small-screen alternative, buyers can now select for an even larger battery and 6.7-inch display – the same size that “Pro Max” users have been used to for over five years, presently at a price of $1,199 – but for a lot more affordable $899.

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said less than a week after the iPhone 14’s release that demand for the two devices was “lackluster,” with weaker pre-order results than the third-generation iPhone SE and the iPhone 13 small. He even said that “Apple’s product segmentation strategy for standard models fails this year,” and Apple was thought to have canceled plans to increase manufacture of the two smartphones. According to display analyst Ross Young, panel orders for the iPhone 14 were down 38% compared to the iPhone 13 at the same time last year, while the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus lost value twice as fast as the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13 from the prior year in the resale market.

Other reports, such as DigiTimes, painted a similar picture of low iPhone 14 Plus sales, to the point where Apple was forced to cut production, implying that the low sales of the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 13 mini were not caused by the device’s size after all. It remains to be seen whether the iPhone 15 Plus will fare better.

According to speculations, Apple has no intentions to bring back the iPhone’s “mini” form factor. The tiniest iPhones currently in development, such Apple the iPhone 16 and the fourth-generation iPhone SE, are expected to have 6.1-inch displays. On the contrary, future smartphones such as the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max are projected to be considerably larger, measuring 6.3- and 6.9-inches, respectively.


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