There’s no iPhone 14 mini, but the iPhone 13 mini lives to fight another day
Persistent reports of poor sales mean small-screened phones are vanishingly rare.
ANDREW CUNNINGHAM – 9/7/2022, 4:16 PM
As anticipated, Apple did not announce a small-screened iPhone 14 mini today.
Rumors have long held that Apple’s 5.4-inch phone was its worst-selling model, despite its lower starting price and perennial “where are all the good small phones” griping from a small-but-vocal group of consumers and smartphone reviewers. In its place is a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Plus, which marries the screen size and battery life of the iPhone Pro Max phones to the lesser processor, display quality, and camera system of the standard, no-adjective iPhone 14.
Apple has also removed the iPhone 12 mini from its store. The company continues to sell the old iPhone 12 at a cheaper $599 starting price, but the mini model that you could still buy yesterday is no longer available. That means that the iPhone 13 mini is the last of Apple’s small-screened iPhone X-style designs still standing.
Available starting at $599 for 128GB, the iPhone 13 mini still stacks up reasonably well to Apple’s other offerings. It still has a better camera system than the iPhone SE and an A15 Bionic chip that’s just a small step down from the version Apple still uses in the iPhone 14. You don’t get the camera improvements or emergency calling features that Apple introduced in the iPhone 14, but it’s still in most ways a fast, modern iPhone that will continue to get software updates for years to come.
Still, that’s no substitute for a new small-screened iPhone. If Apple’s mini design is to carry on, it could be a decent replacement for the iPhone SE, which has nearly the same dimensions and weight as the iPhone mini but uses a smaller 4.7-inch screen, a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and an ancient design that harks back to 2017’s iPhone 8 (which itself was a very gently tweaked version of 2014’s iPhone 6). Given the apparent overall unpopularity of the mini in the first place, a 6.1-inch version of the iPhone SE is probably a safer bet than a 5.4-inch version, but small-screened phone lovers can still keep hope alive. For now.