Tuesday, September 12, 2023

iPhone mini - Gone Too Soon

The iPhone mini did not sell well the two years in its existence and it may have been the result of an Apple echo chamber of Apple employees who missed the days of being able to use the iPhone with one hand, analysts, Apple bloggers, and a very small segment of iPhone users. Judging by how quickly Apple got rid of the min and even is not considering the mini form factor for the next iPhone SE but is instead going with the iPhone XR form factor, I am right. Still, as someone who went from the iPhone 13 Pro Max down to the iPhone 13 mini a year later, I think the mini was gone too soon.

There are two groups of Apple watchers (not watches) - one who just want Apple tech to get them through the day whether it is work, school, vacation, etc. Then there is the group that watches Apple closely and analyze every bit of news, tweet, whisper from Asia, or word from someone’s who knows a guy whose sister is married to the barber who cuts the hair of some barista who makes a special pumpkin spiced latte with triple shot espresso and 30% soy and 70% oat milk and a sprinkle of chocolate shaving who works for Apple.

I’m in the latter group. The former group does care about what Apple offers at the time someone in this group needs to buy a new iPhone or other Apple products. They do not care about release dates, how long a product they need has been on the market, or whaat future updates are in store. People in this group just buy what they need based on whatever Apple is ready to sell them.

As someone in the later group, I upgrade based on release dates and when I was upgrading my iPhone annually, keeping an eye out on Apple centric blogs and social media. This group are have more hard core Apple fans. And this group includes “professional” Apple watchers, bloggers, and analysts. I believe it is this group that enable the iPhone mini to be made and come to the market. I also fault this group (myself included) that created the iPhone mini fiasco. Many in this group miss the days when they could use their iPhones with just one hand and reach anywhere on the iPhone screen with their thumbs. But how many in this group end up actually buying an iPhone mini as their daily driver? I do not recall there were many. Most of them had been talking about their iPhone Plus and Pro Max. Even after Apple discontinued the iPhone mini and if they wanted a smaller iPhone, shouldn’t they end up with the iPhone or the iPhone Pro instead of the bigger sizes?

It’s this echo chamber this group resides that likely lead Apple to feel there was a sizable demand for a smaller iPhone. I am sure there is one but this group likely have held on their iPhone SE with the 4.7” screen and iPhone 12 mini longer. This group loves the form factor of their iPhone and as long as it continues to serve them, they will hold on to them for as long as needed.

Just like them, I am not letting go of my iPhone 13 mini. I’ll upgrade the battery life to extend its useful life before I give it up. 

I do think the iPhone mini was gone too soon. Perhaps Apple should continue to keep it on the market after the iPhone 15 is released and market it as the iPhone mini without any numbering and upgrade it on two or even three year cycle. This would fit perfectly with my current use and needs.

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