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Kuo: Apple to axe the iPhone mini in 2022 while adding a new low-end model to the mix

A revered Apple analyst has suggested what we’ve been suspecting all along—the Cupertino technology giant will apparently remove the iPhone mini from its lineup the next year because sales haven’t been following the company’s internal projections for that model.


STORY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • iPhone 12 mini could be getting axed in 2022.
  • 2022 iPhone lineup will still have four models.
  • 2021 models will include a 5.4-inch iPhone 13 mini.

The iPhone mini is getting axed in 2022

That doesn’t mean that the next year’s iPhone lineup will be reduced from four to three models. According to a new research note by reputable Apple analysts Ming-Chi Kuo, seen by MacRumors, AppleInsider and 9to5Mac, there’s still going to be four new iPhones next year.

We predict that the new 2022 iPhones will come in four models: the high-end 6.7-inch and 6.1-inch models and the lower-end 6.7-inch and 6.1-inch models.

Clearly, the “lower-end 6.7-inch” model would have been new to the current iPhone lineup. It’s definitely something Apple hasn’t offered before—the only 6.7-inch phone that the company has made to date is the current iPhone 12 Pro Max flagship model.

Why the iPhone 12 mini hasn’t sold well

The iPhone mini features an extremely pocketable form factor thanks to Face ID making possible a nearly full-screen design. It’s an insanely compact handset with a beautiful Samsung-made 5.4-inch OLED display, making it the smallest 5G phone on the market.

So what went wrong?

According to anecdotal evidence, conventional wisdom and social media posts, customers are mostly complaining about too high a price—the iPhone 12 mini starts at $729 for a SIM-free model with just 64 gigabytes of storage. Another big complaint is battery life, which isn’t great due to the phone’s small size and power-hungry 5G circuitry.

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O top of that, a recent supply-chain report said Apple will compensate Samsung for unfulfilled OLED orders because it has miscalculated potential demand for the iPhone 12 mini.

It’s unclear whether there’s a demand for a smaller-factor iPhone because the world has moved to big-screened phones that trade pocketability for better features and larger screens.

Summing up, the same 5.4-inch size is thought to be available in the iPhone 13 lineup this fall before the iPhone 12 mini gets discontinued in 2022. Last but not least, the analyst predicted that the 2022 iPhone lineup could banish the notch by hiding Face ID behind the display whilst increasing optical zoom by switching the telephoto camera to a periscope-style lens design.

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