I bear bad news if you’d rather not walk around feeling like you have a brick in your pocket: Apple seems to be bailing on its smallest smartphone … again.
That’s right: The $2.5 trillion company’s big fall event came and went today with no mention of a new iPhone Mini. Instead, Apple is “going big with the iPhone 14 and even bigger with the iPhone 14 Plus,” CEO Tim Cook declared during the firm’s splashy keynote.
Cook wasn’t being literal. The latest iPhones aren’t noticeably bigger than they were last year (though over the past few iterations, the Max has gained half a millimeter in depth). But iPhone buyers have one less option this time around if they want something smaller but with all the latest features. There is no iPhone 14 Mini, and competing smartphone lines (e.g., Google’s Pixel and Samsung’s Galaxy phones) aren’t quite suitable alternatives. It’s enough to make small-hand-havers weep.
No, no, I’m not crying — I have something in my eye!
Actually, I have large hands and I still prefer devices like the Mini. They’re easier to operate single-handedly, more pocketable and typically cheaper than their phabletized counterparts. Plus, I find smaller phones a smidge less hypnotizing, so they’re easier to put down when I realize I’ve spent the last hour lost in Instagram.
Hypothetically, Apple could have something unexpected in the works. It could surprise us with a small phone in the spring, like it did in 2016 with the resurrection of the iPhone 5 form factor. But I wouldn’t bet on that, given the Mini’s apparently weak sales and Apple’s propensity for bulkier, laptop-priced hand computers like the new iPhone 14 Pro Max.
For lots of folks, a big device is perfectly fine — and if you do prefer such a phone, please know that you have my support. A larger screen makes it easier to watch videos and follow directions on the go. Plus, heftier devices have room for beefier batteries and camera systems.
Or maybe, just maybe, you want a colossal phone to break in the king-sized pockets on your new fashion cargos.
I’m not here to judge anyone, aside from the decision-makers at Apple. They abandoned the smaller iPhone SE back in 2018, and now they seem to be repeating history by bailing on the Mini. I am inconsolable.
As the Mini fades, you can still pick up last year’s model. But if you want a little phone from Apple with all the latest specs, 2022 may leave you empty-handed.