Apple plans for 5G iPhone SE to help phase out iPhone mini

By

iPhone 12 mini
Apple's ditching the "mini" iPhone lineup.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple is looking to phase out the iPhone mini line in favor of its next-gen iPhone SE, a Wednesday report by Nikkei Asia suggests.

Apple debuted its first iPhone mini with last year’s iPhone 12 generation. However, sales have never materialized to match its bigger siblings like the regular iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. While Apple will release an iPhone 13 mini this year, expect that to be its last.

In its place? More emphasis on Apple’s other low-cost handset: The iPhone SE.

The iPhone 12 mini was a valiant effort on Apple’s part. It packed almost all of the top-tier features of the iPhone 12 series into a smaller, cheaper package. It started at $699, making it $300 more expensive than the budget iPhone SE, but by far the cheapest of the iPhone 12 models. Despite being a great phone, though, it reportedly wasn’t a hit for Apple. In the first half of January, Counterpoint reports that the iPhone 12 mini made up just 5% of new phone sales.

As a result, it was rumored early on that the iPhone mini was not long for this world. Although it was too late to change plans for an iPhone 13 mini, 2021 has been reported as the last year Apple would make an iPhone mini.

Here comes the iPhone SE 3

This is where Apple’s third-gen iPhone SE enters the picture. Reported this week, the iPhone SE third-gen model is expected to arrive early next year. It will keep the same iPhone 8-based design of its predecessor.

However, crucially, it will come with Apple’s 5G technology. That is the major differentiator the iPhone 12 mini has over the second-gen iPhone SE. By changing that, Apple can effectively phase out the iPhone 12 mini — with customers who want a cheaper handset having a 5G alternative available. It also means that, from next year, all present-gen iPhones will offer 5G connectivity.

Are you a fan of the iPhone SE? Will you be sad to see the iPhone “mini” lineup go? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: Nikkei Asia