The iPhone 15 could signal the end of small iPhones

iPhone 13 (left) and 13 Mini (right)
(Image credit: Apple)

With the announcement of the iPhone 15 series expected later today, all attention is currently turned to the latest generation of Apple smartphones. However, as we welcome a new iPhone to the lineage, we might be saying goodbye to a short-lived yet vital iteration.

Going off Apple's track record, it's highly likely that the iPhone 13 Mini could be discontinued tomorrow, signalling the end of Apple's experiment with smaller smartphones. The compact offshoot of the flagship series was first introduced with the iPhone 12 Mini, with the intention of providing an option for people who prefer smaller screen sizes without compromising on features and performance. 

As someone who used a 12 Mini for just over a year, it was certainly a love/hate relationship. While the smaller screen was ideal for usability, and I appreciated that all of the latest iPhone 12 features such as the OLED display, MagSafe, and upgraded cameras were all available at a cheaper price, its battery life was truly detrimental to the experience overall. 

This is where the iPhone 13 Mini came in with improved battery life as one of its headlining features. While it certainly couldn't hold its own against the iPhone 13 Pro Max, it was certainly an upgrade. That being said, the Mini suffix was dropped from the iPhone 14 lineup, ironically replaced by the iPhone 14 Plus – a super-sized iPhone for those who don't want to shell out for the iPhone 14 Pro Max

Up until this point, Apple has continued to sell the iPhone 13 Mini, meaning there's still been an option for those who want a high-end compact phone. However, we suspect that the iPhone 13 Mini is about to be put out to pasture alongside the announcement of the iPhone 15. 

To clarify, we're not 100 per cent certain that the iPhone 13 Mini will be discontinued at tonight's event, however looking at Apple's product cycle it's looking rather likely. The 12 Mini was discontinued with the announcement of the iPhone 14 series, so it appears that the 13 Mini could be on the chopping block next. That would mean that the 2023/2024 iPhone lineup could look something like this:

So, if you want a compact iPhone, we'd advise snapping up an iPhone 13 Mini sooner rather than later. With Apple shifting its focus to bigger iPhones, the 13 Mini might be the last small iPhone we'll see for some time, not counting the iPhone SE of course. 

It's also likely that the iPhone 12 will be discontinued tonight, as it's sat on the roster since 2020 and iPhones tend to have a three-year stint on Apple's shelves based on previous years. This is less of a loss as the subsequent iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 should both stick around with reduced prices and they both have the same screen size as the 12, making the newer generations a better value proposition. 

As we wave goodbye to the iPhone Mini line, we can't help feeling a bit disheartened. We'd like to see iPhones in all sizes, but it looks like Apple is set on pushing the Plus and Max models. Either way, we're certainly intrigued to see what the iPhone 15 has to offer.


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Lewis Empson
Staff Writer

Lewis Empson is a Staff Writer on What Hi-Fi?. He was previously Gaming and Digital editor for Cardiff University's 'Quench Magazine', Lewis graduated in 2021 and has since worked on a selection of lifestyle magazines and regional newspapers. Outside of work, he enjoys gaming, gigs and regular cinema trips.