In fall 2020, Apple revealed the iPhone 12 mini. The following year, it was refreshed with the 13 mini. But this year, Apple decided to abandon the model. Focusing instead on the larger 14 and 14 Plus. So why wasn’t there an iPhone 14 mini? Well, it had everything to do with its surprisingly poor sales performance. It came as a surprise since there had been calls from iPhone fans for years to make a compact model that could easily be used one-handed, without sacrificing premium features like an edge-to-edge OLED display and a dual camera system.
Their wish for a smaller flagship iPhone was granted in 2020. When the mini model was released. Previously, the XR had been Apple’s best-seller. Representing about 35-45 percent of all iPhone sales. It served as the entry level model and was priced at $750. So, it made sense that Apple expected the new 12 mini, priced fifty dollars less than the XR, with even better features, to be a hit. So, they prioritized the 12 mini’s production over other models. But Apple made a crucial mistake by underestimating customer’s desire for a large display. This resulted in the 12-mini accounting for just 6% of all iPhone sales in its first quarter. Dramatically less than the XR’s performance in previous years.
iPhone XR vs Mini
In fact, the XR sold over three times better than the 12 mini. Causing Apple to cut production of the device just a few months after its release. Allocating those resources to producing more 12 Pro models instead, which saw higher demand than expected. With sales of the 12 mini dropping even further to 4% by mid 2021, Apple decided to stop production of the device altogether. Raising doubts about its future. But despite assumptions about its discontinuation, an upgraded 13 mini was introduced the following year. Not because Apple wanted to make another mini, but because they’d already committed to its production two years in advanced.
So, with iPhone 14, Apple had an opportunity to revise their iPhone lineup. By discontinuing the mini and focusing on an entry-level model with a larger display. That translated to the 6.1-inch iPhone 14, and 6.7-inch 14 Plus. And while these are the largest displays Apple’s included in their entry-level phones, they still haven’t sold well. Which may be due to increased prices in many foreign countries, rising inflation, lower trade-in values, and fewer features compared to iPhone 13.