The sad and unnecessary death of the iPhone mini

The sad and unnecessary death of the iPhone mini

It wasn’t until I saw an Instagram story that I understood there are angry customers out there. It was September 7 and Apple had just introduced its new series of iPhones. The much-hyped (as usual) iPhone 14 series launched with four models: iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and there was a new Dynamic Island display for the Pro models. Every Apple event comes with its fair share of criticism and this time it was double. First of all, Apple’s iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus could hardly be called an upgrade. These two models were basically an iPhone 13 (they look identical!) with a new chip. Second, the much-loved ‘mini’ iPhone was no longer in the lineup!

Apple events take place at night for Indians and when I woke up in the morning, there was a message from one of my friends, Nityesh Bohidar, Product Engineer. He would say, “Wake me up when there’s a Mini.” This was not the first time we talked about Mini smartphones. “I am far from being an Apple fanatic. But can you tell me if there is a better phone on the market than the 12 Mini in the same or smaller size? I’ve been holding on to my iPhone 6 until now because I don’t want a ‘tablet’ sized phone,” read another of his posts from a year or two earlier.

Bohidar is one of those consumers who “never wanted to lug around a device all day that you need 2 hands to use.” He is not alone. A few days ago, ZDNet published an article titled ‘The iPhone 13 Mini lives! The case to buy it in 2022′‘. A lot of positive talk about the iPhone Mini in 2022 has been going around for many months and Apple simply ignored many of its consumers in one fell swoop.

Mini smartphones have their own unique advantages

There are many benefits to smartphones with a smaller size. One-handed use, pocket-size capacity, affordability, and more. Even if most consumers want bigger smartphones, there’s a niche group that wants all the benefits of an iPhone in a smaller size, and it’s really the only smartphone that cuts through the clutter in a market awash with smartphones. more than 6 inches. The consensus is that Apple should have listened to its ardent fan base and released a mini. Maybe he would have done well in 2022.

Proof of this is the poor reception that the new “Plus” model (with a 6.33-inch screen) has had. According to press reports, such as an article in Information on October 18, “Apple is cutting production of the iPhone 14 Plus less than two weeks after its debut, according to two people involved in the company’s supply chain.”

“I could have a big heavy phone with 4 cameras, but also buy a smart watch and not have a TV + get rid of the SLR camera. But as someone who leads a fairly active lifestyle, the Mini works perfectly and helps me keep a good balance,” says Bohidar. “The way I see it is that my technology life cycle has changed (dare I say it has come full circle). At one point, my phone was just an emergency contact device. Then I started doing everything on it and having a bigger screen was great. But now it’s back to being an emergency contact + remote control device.”

Being an emergency contact device again means that Bohidar can invest and make use of many of the other devices that surround him on a daily basis. The point is that we no longer need our smartphones to be ‘everything’ devices.

If I really want to immerse myself in something, Google Cast/AirPlay sets me up on a bigger TV in seconds. Long email? Type on my computer in half the time (it will never be as fast as typing on a qwerty keyboard). Intricate conversation on WhatsApp? Simply access WhatsApp Web in my browser, then reply on the go if I’m on the go or busy with something else. The phone fills a void when I can’t have a better device to do any of this. I can’t see how it’s easier to create an album in Google Photos and share the link using a 7-inch screen than it is on my 6-inch screen. There’s a valid case for ditching the biggest smartphone and investing in a larger ecosystem of devices, each of which can do something far better than a bigger, more powerful smartphone could.

“It’s today’s connectivity that makes the difference, keeping weight down and making size irrelevant. I love that I throw it in my pocket and hardly notice when I’m out for a run, but I’ve never had a situation where my mini’s screen was too small for me to do anything. I also take my SLR with me when I’m on vacation, so the reduced resolution camera is perfectly fine for things in between. Lastly, the hassles of a bigger phone seem a lot bigger (in terms of space in your pocket and them falling out of your hand), and bigger screens will break more easily, so there’s that too. I just don’t know what benefit I would be paying. I can go on like this forever, but maybe I’m just old and stubborn,” says Bohidar.

There are many people who would love a mini smartphone in 2022

Gautam Bajaj, a management consultant, is another consumer disappointed with Apple’s 2022 picks. “I was disappointed, to say the least. I heard that Apple phased out the Mini series in early 2022, I immediately thought of getting the 13 mini after its price drop,” Bajaj told me. From the iPhone 5s to the LG G6, Bajaj’s main decision when buying a smartphone was its size.

“The iPhone 5s has always been one of my favorite smartphones to use. Although almost all my smartphones have been Android, I have always tried to find a size comfortable enough to use with one hand. One of my older phones, the LG G6, was my favorite Android phone solely because of its smaller size,” Bajaj continued. “The reason I go for smaller phones is that I feel like you lose comfort with a bigger phone. A big phone is always sticking out of your pocket, it should always be used with two hands. That’s reason enough to stay away from the bigger phones.”

Shweta Chopra, data scientist, on the other hand, is undecided. While he likes larger smartphones for their versatility, he would go back to a smaller smartphone in a heartbeat if he could. “I did not think it was important. I think I’ve gotten too used to having a bigger phone at the moment. I was a 5C and 5S user at one point and that was perfect for one-handed use, but now it feels a bit weird to use,” says Chopra.

Chopra appreciates the larger screens as they are “better for streaming and gaming”. Chopra also talks about how bigger smartphones are also better for work: “I’m really happy to see things on my phone, especially on long flights, so I’m starting to appreciate the bigger screen. Even for work, if I’m out and about and need to review something on an Excel sheet/take notes, a bigger screen makes life easier,” says Chopra.

I pressed all three of them about the ideal size of their smartphone. “The ideal smartphone may be a bit smaller than today’s iPhone. I think a 5.8-inch screen would be perfect,” said Bajaj. “I used to be about 6 inches at this point. iPhone 11 user at the moment. I am not interested in sizes larger than this. It’s already hard for me to do basic things with one hand on my current phone,” Chopra said. “I was really worried about the iPhone12 Mini because it had a few millimeters larger length dimension than it had before, but I realized that even a little bit larger probably wouldn’t matter. I still like the size of the iPhone 6 because of how thin it was,” says Bohidar.

While Apple has ignored all consumer sentiments towards an iPhone mini, the Android side has people covered. Marques Brownlee (aka MKBHD) is probably the most famous tech YouTuber out there. Brownlee, among others, touts Asus’ Zenfone 9 as the best “small” smartphone of 2022. They even go so far as to say that it outperforms many behemoths on the market despite its compact size. The Zenfone 9 comes with a small but cute 5.9-inch screen and still packs a lot of extra features that other smartphones don’t have.

Choice is the best thing that can happen to consumers. Taking away choice from consumers means they could move on to other competitors. Apple’s decision to forgo a mini smartphone may spur a small but substantial number of consumers to get an Android smartphone.

Leave a Comment