If we are to believe most of the rumors about the next iPhones, Apple may have said goodbye to the “Mini” version of their lineup. Now that users have a choice between big and bigger, one can’t help but wonder if some consumers have simply fallen through the cracks.
Great expectations, even bigger screens
Big phones seem to be all the rage these days. Over the past decade, we have seen a steady increase in the average screen size of a smartphone. If you were to take the first iPhone (which itself had an abnormally large screen for its time) and compare it to today’s industry standards, the first would be dwarfed by even the smallest headsets of today. But is a big screen really a good thing? For many, the answer would be a definite ‘yes’. But there are still some, myself included, who don’t understand our obsession with size.
This would be the perfect time for a little disclaimer. Most of this article is based on my personal opinion and experience with larger-than-average smartphones. I’m not advocating small screens. I’m just trying to explain that they have some merit and there are still users who would choose a small screen if it weren’t at the expense of other compromises.
Plus, leaving out an iPhone 14 Mini doesn’t necessarily mean death for smaller phones in the long run. It does indicate a clear trend. And this trend is exactly what I want to discuss.
The state of the market
What do I mean by this? By looking at the sales figures of the iPhone 13, it becomes clear that large screens are selling well. Very good actually. For the iPhone 14, Apple is rumored to be introducing a cheaper non-Pro version of the Max range. One can only speculate about how this decision will turn out in the long run. Nevertheless, it is clear that Apple is increasingly targeting fans of large screens and larger smartphones.
Renders presents the future lineup of the iPhone 14, based on the information available now. No mini version is expected.
First, people underestimate how invaluable portability is. The main reason why we spend a disproportionate amount of time on our smartphones as opposed to conventional screens is the fact that the former are always within reach. Normally you don’t have to think long about how to take your smartphone with you – just put it in your pocket. Well, this is getting more cumbersome. Especially when you consider that carrying a smartphone in your pocket usually means that you have to choose a type of protective case. The extra bulk combined with the ever-expanding screen size means it’s getting harder and harder to comfortably carry your device with you all the time – pockets just aren’t enough any longer.
In light of this, it makes perfect sense why foldable devices with the form factor of the Galaxy Flip and Motorola Razr ranges sell significantly better than their larger counterparts. Much of this is due to price differences, but the trend also indicates that at least some users value how easy it is to just take your phone with you wherever you go, without having to worry about what you’re going to do with it. do when not in use.
The Motorola Razr fits like a dream in pockets. Good luck doing that with iPhone 14 Pro Max.
This is a concern that many seem to overlook in my experience. I think the vast majority of tech reviewers fall into the category of “people with big hands” and this is why few of them consider how hard it is for someone with small hands to operate a device like the Galaxy Note or to handle the iPhone Pro Maximum For once I have very small hands and can speak from experience. It’s not a pleasant experience to have a big phone that you can barely hold as a daily driver. Not only are certain parts of the screen virtually impossible to reach, but dropping your expensive, large phone is something you have to get used to. It gets even more comical when you’re in bed and your phone falls right on your face.
iPhone 13 Mini in hand experience.
Coming back to my personal experience, I used to have a Galaxy Note 4, which I upgraded from an iPhone 5s to. I ended up selling the Note after 6 months. Despite being an incredible smartphone, I just couldn’t accept having to deal with muscle aches just to be able to use my smartphone.
Big screens are not always necessary
It is very true that most of the average users mainly depend on their smartphones for content consumption and the majority of their daily tech usage (i.e. social media, work related activities, etc). This is often the main reason behind the push to expand screen sizes. It really makes a difference whether you watch a movie on a 5 inch screen or a 7 inch screen. The same goes for intensive productivity tasks.
However, there are still some (myself included) who use their smartphones alongside a handful of other devices, without the former being the first gadget I reach for. If you have a dedicated 10+ inch tablet, there’s little point in using media on your smartphone (even if it has a 7-inch screen).
Therefore, for me (and I assume for other people) the smartphone serves a certain number of purposes, none of which require a giant screen. If I get the chance to do something that could be done better on a bigger screen on my smartphone, a 5.5in is good enough to do the job.
Compromises are not always ideal
Ok, point(s) taken. If you are a user who has experienced some of what I have explained, it has become clear that bigger is not necessarily better. The problem is that even if you are well aware of the limitations associated with a larger screen, the options you have as a consumer are not ideal.
Typically, smaller phones compromise in at least one of these departments: processing power, display quality, and build quality. I’m not considering cutting battery life as this is something small phone users have to accept – small phone, small(er) battery.
The thing is, some people don’t want their smartphones to have a substandard screen, a 1-year-old chipset, or a plastic back. Against the background of these tradeoffs, some would prefer to deal with the larger screen.
Why the iPhone Mini is special
That’s why I cherish the iPhone Mini so much. Apple offers you a smaller, but not necessarily inferior phone. You get the same great performance from the A15 chip, impeccable build quality and materials, and a beautiful (even if smaller) display.
Even the Mini’s camera has produced images of respectable quality, comparable to that of the larger iPhones. It would be hard to find a similarly sized phone with a better camera.
Thus, the Mini, although not for everyone, fills a very important niche. And it does this much more elegantly than previous scaled-down iPhones (like the C or SE series). So, for once, I hope the Mini just skips a generation and doesn’t get scrapped altogether.
Here’s to hope
For so long, Apple has managed to remain reasonable when it comes to responding to market pressures for larger smartphones. Yes, iPhones have gotten bigger over the years, but they’re almost always smaller than their respective Android counterparts.
Android smartphones are a lost cause for me in this department. I honestly doubt that a major phone manufacturer will cherish the idea of making a small Android smartphone, which is left for one that is really good.
There’s good reason to believe this isn’t the end of the Mini. This year the gem won’t get the love it deserves, but next year could be different. Apple has so far shown that they understand the benefits of size at both ends of the spectrum. Let’s hope they don’t forget.