2021 could mark end of the road for iPhone mini

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iPhone 12 mini
iPhone 12 mini was a great phone. Trouble is that it didn't sell.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

The iPhone mini looks unlikely to last longer than one more generation, based on a Wednesday report from a reliable Apple tipster.

Looking forward to the 2022 iPhone, TFI International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggests Apple will continue its recent pattern of releasing four models. However, these will include higher-end 6.7-inch and 6.1-inch iPhones like the current Pro lineup, and lower-end models in the same sizes.

The 5.4-inch iPhone mini sounds like it’ll be nowhere to be found.

That wouldn’t be much of a surprise, given that the iPhone mini reportedly wasn’t a hit for Apple. It successfully packed top-tier features into a smaller, cheaper package. However,  it seems the majority of consumers are hankering for a bigger screen in 2021.

Apple no longer releases breakdowns of iPhone sales. But rumored plans to drop the 5.4-inch model starting next year suggest it wasn’t a big seller for the company.

The iPhone mini likely hung around for 2021’s launch because Apple is always working a couple of years ahead. By the time sales figures shake out, plans for the next year are already set in stone — or, if not stone, some other very hard material difficult to change.

Better iPhone cameras on the way

Kuo’s research note, seen by Cult of Mac, serves up some other details about the 2022 iPhone. He suggests that the high-end models will offer a 48MP wide-angle lens. That would dwarf the iPhone 12 Pro’s 12MP sensor. (Kuo thinks this year’s iPhones will stick to the current 12MP configuration.)

According to Kuo, the 48MP camera setup will support 8K video recording, compared to 4K on the current models. This should greatly improve Apple’s augmented reality capabilities.

“The best resolution for the AR/MR visual experience is 8–16k,” Kuo writes. “The iPhone’s 48MP camera will create videos and images that are more suitable for AR/MR devices and enhance the AR/MR user experience.”