UPDATED 13:26 EDT / APRIL 14 2021

APPS

Report: Apple to drop iPhone mini from 2022 device lineup after limited sales

Apple Inc.’s 2022 iPhone lineup won’t include an updated version of the iPhone mini, according to a new report, a development that appears to confirm recent estimates about the device failing to meet sales expectations.

Apple’s plans were reported today by MacRumors, which attributed the information to an investor note from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. The note also contains early details about some of the 2022 iPhones’ display sizes and cameras.  

The iPhone mini is an entry-level version of Apple’s flagship smartphone introduced last year. It offers the same processor as the larger 2020 iPhones, but in a smaller form factor with a 5.4-inch display and a less powerful battery. Apple introduced the device in a year when multiple competitors, most notably Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., also expanded their portfolios with more entry-level devices to target price-conscious consumers.

The iPhone 12 mini likely underperformed Apple’s sales expectations, according to market research that appeared earlier this year. One January study claimed that the device accounted for a mere 6% of all iPhone sales in the U.S. from October to November.

Only few other details are known about Apple’s 2022 iPhones, which will be preceded by the iPhone 13 later this year. According to today’s report, two of the 2022 devices will feature 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch displays, respectively, the same screen sizes offered by the largest versions of the current-generation iPhone. The upcoming devices are also believed to feature enhanced camera sensors with a 48-megapixel resolution, 8K video support and pixels that are described as larger than those in Android handsets.

It’s still possible that the 2022 lineup will feature a smaller, entry-level version of the iPhone, though it may not necessarily launch under the iPhone mini brand. Rumors emerged earlier this month that Apple might introduce a new version of the iPhone SE with a 4.7-inch screen. That would make it even smaller than the 5.4-inch iPhone mini. 

Information has also leaked about the specifications of the iPhone 13, the new edition of Apple’s smartphone that is set to launch later this year. Apple is expected to introduce four versions of the device, including an upgraded iPhone Mini and three larger editions. The devices are said to use a chip fabricated on TSMC Co. Ltd.’s N5P manufacturing process, an improved version of its five-nanometer process that will provide increased computing power and power efficiency.

The other enhancements Apple is believed to have incorporated into iPhone 13 include larger batteries and the latest iteration of Qualcomm Inc.’s 5G modem, which uses less electricity than its predecessor. By the time the following generation of iPhones debut in 2022, it’s believed Apple could replace the Qualcomm modem with the internally designed alternative it’s currently developing. The company announced the project internally after its $1 billion acquisition of Intel Corp.’s modem chip business. 

Image: Apple

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