Apple Should Not Make an iPhone Mini Ever Again

iPhone 12 iPhone 12 mini iPhone 12 pro

The (very) small pool of people that I know who have one love it, but various bits of data indicate that the iPhone 12 mini is not selling well. Ed Hardy at Cult of Mac wrote that this relative failure indicates Apple should not make a 5.4′ iPhone again. Ever. I think it gets to the heart of the debate about your smartphone is for – making calls and replying to emails, or content consumption/creation.

Apple’s top-selling models aren‘t its smallest. On the contrary. The 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max — the largest ever — experienced a stronger launch than any iOS handset has in years. The 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro has since emerged as the top seller, not the tiniest version. This is because of the way we use our phones. They’re personal computers we carry everywhere. With them, we communicate with each other. Take pictures. Shop. Play games. Watch videos. And a bigger screen makes all of these better. “Wish I had a smaller display to watch this TikTok,” said no one ever.

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4 thoughts on “Apple Should Not Make an iPhone Mini Ever Again

  • The argument that Apple should not make a small iPhone ever again seems to be a) the writers don’t like it (although they have friends that do) and b) it isn’t selling well in early 2021. Neither point is a good argument for Apple never making a small iPhone again, since 1) it may still be profitable 2) a relatively small but possibly substantial group of iPhone users still prefers small phones 3) In the past, Apple’s own market testing indicated that many users prefer smaller, hand-sized phones, 4) taste in phone size may change over time and smaller phones may become popular again, 5) technological changes such as increased reliance on voice interfaces may reduce the preference for larger phones and 6) Apple may wish to offer a smaller model simply for product differentiation or pricing reasons. It’s very hard to predict the future, so it doesn’t make sense to use data from 2021 to say that Apple should not make a small format phone “ever again.”

  • I like smaller phones. I like the ability to reach 90% of the screen with my thumb, the same thumb of the hand that is holding the iPhone. I think that initially Mr. Jobs idea was for people to use the phone with one hand, not two. There were important ergonomic reasons for the size of the phone.
    I like a phone that easily fits into my back pocket.
    The idea that Apple should not make a smaller phone is or seems to be to illicit comments, not because of substance.
    Many people in this world have small hands, imagine that! Many people will use their phone while driving regardless of the legality. A smaller phone means one-handed operation, so at least one hand is on the wheel.
    If you truly like such a large sized phone, buy an iPad mini with 3G/4G/5G. Then try to stuff it in your back pocket.

  • This makes me upset, because if smaller phones don’t sell well and Apple never makes them again, it means I won’t be able to buy a good sized phone. The iPhone 12 mini is about the same size (physically) as the iPhone 8 that I have. I don’t want anything bigger; I get bothered by every tiny increase in size as the phones grow. It is harder to fit a bigger phone in my pocket. I’m the kind of person that likes extra pockets. So I have some cargo pants, and some carpenter jeans, and some slacks that have side pockets. Only the cargo pants have large, expansive pockets while in those others it is a little snug to fit a big phone. I also prefer to be able to hold my phone in my hand easily. I don’t need a bigger screen because the resolution is good enough that I can just hold it an inch closer to my face and get the same field of view. So it is basically a threat to my continued enjoyment of Apple products if Apple starts believing that nobody wants (relatively) smaller phones.

    On the topic of iPad, I have iPhone, iPad, and laptop. With the iPhone 5’s increase in size I started switching to a larger device less often. I used to bring my iPad with me around the house sometimes to watch YouTube or sometimes read articles. Then with the iPhone 7 (I skipped 6) the size of the phone was such that I stopped switching to my iPad. I rarely grab it for general content consumption anymore. I use the iPad for reading books, but even then I find myself often reading off my phone because it is lighter to carry. I use the iPad for handwritten notes and for drawing with the Apple Pencil. Other uses of it are now uncommon. So I don’t think having an iPad is the main factor in why I prefer a phone that isn’t huge.

  • Well I’m one of those that don’t buy the big phones. I have an iPad. I don’t want a huge phone in my pocket. All I ever use it for in the house is for phone calls, messaging once in a while, and I use it in the car for nav and music via CarPlay. I never use it for anything else.

    Even the larger screen phones are horrible replacements for an iPad. They’re still too small for consumption or email. The iPad is far superior.

    The fact that fewer small phones are selling than big ones could mean that less people own both a phone and an iPad. In this economy that’s not surprising. The smaller phones have never sold as well as the larger ones, but that doesn’t mean Apple should stop making them. Men don’t like big bulky phones in their pockets. I’m not sure it’s a “very small pool”.

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