A case for the iPhone 12 mini: Why Apple should not cancel its compact phone
(Pocket-lint) – A trend for larger phones has dominated the smartphone market for several years, but Apple still launched the delightful 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini in 2020.
Rumour has it will be the first and last compact model of its kind though. It’s been reported the company is planning to discontinue production of the iPhone mini in the second quarter of 2021, which in our opinion, would be very sad news.
Here’s why Apple shouldn’t cancel the iPhone mini line.
Not everyone wants a big phone
It may come as a surprise to those reading this on their huge 6.5-inch plus devices, but not everyone wants a massive phone. Yes really. Of course there are lots of people that do – that’s why small phones have vanished over the last few years – but lots of people isn’t everyone.
The iPhone 12 mini is reported to have accounted for 6 per cent of iPhone sales within the October to November 2020 period, according to a Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) report. But – even if that report isn’t official figures from Apple – that’s still a possible 6 per cent and when you’re talking iPhone sales, that’s still a lot of devices and a lot of people walking around with their iPhone 12 mini’s fitting nicely in their pockets.
It’s a powerhouse
The iPhone 12 mini is an absolute powerhouse. The compact, super cute device has the same power as the rest of the iPhone 12 series, including the Pro models, so those who want a smaller device don’t have to compromise. Apple has done what Sony Mobile used to offer with its Compact models.
The iPhone SE might be compact too, but you compromise on screen real estate with the SE, as well as chip and camera capabilities, and the SE isn’t 5G either so you lose the future proofing the mini offers too.
We went from the iPhone 11 Pro to the iPhone 12 mini and there isn’t a day that goes by that we miss the larger screen. Yes, we miss the more premium finish of the Pro and the telephoto camera lens was handy too, but there’s something very refreshing about a smaller device.
The mini is a genuine delight to hold in the hand and being able to do things easily one handed is fantastic. It’s so lightweight – surprisingly so – and comfortable, we would honestly struggle to return to a larger device.
Both these devices have made a comeback with new technology – touchscreens and folding screens – decades later so there’s definitely an argument for the iPhone mini also filling some of the nostalgic quota but on a more practical level.
We drop the iPhone 12 mini a lot less than previous larger phones we’ve owned. It just fits in the hand so much better, but it isn’t just because we have smaller hands. Friends with larger hands have said the same.
The iPhone mini is just more manageable. Plus, it doesn’t pull your jeans down when you walk because it’s so heavy so that’s also a win.
The iPhone 12 mini is different from the norm. Sometimes the norm is great, but there’s no harm in going against the crowd too. It makes everything a little more exciting when there’s variety.
Ironically, Android’s slogan “Be together. Not the same”, is a perfect summary of this. The iPhone mini allows you to be together with the latest iPhones, but not the same, offering a choice for everyone in the market for an iPhone.
Don’t get us wrong, £699 is still a lot of money, but the “mini” name refers to its size and not its specifications so you’re paying less than most flagships because it’s smaller, not because it’s less powerful.
For that money, you get exactly the same specs as the larger iPhone 12. The same camera, the same power, the same storage options, the same colour options, the same design, the same level of waterproofing.
When Apple launched the phone, Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, said: “[The] iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini take design to a new level in a new form factor that’s as beautiful as it is durable, and makes it easier than ever for customers to find the perfect iPhone to fit their lifestyle.”
Though that is of course marketing talk, the iPhone 12 mini’s form factor is durable in our experience and it does give customers the choice and that’s what we love most about it: the option. We aren’t suggesting everyone will want small and compact but for those that do, why shouldn’t they be catered for too, even if sales aren’t groundbreaking?
Writing by Britta O’Boyle.