When Apple introduced the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro this week, the company noted that they’d have the same $799 and $999 starting prices as last year’s flagships. And, as is often the case, the company also announced it would keep some older models around at lower prices, which means you can now pick up an iPhone 14 for $699 and up, or an iPhone 13 for $599 and up.
But one thing Apple didn’t go out of its way to draw attention to? The iPhone 13 mini is no longer available, which means that Apple is officially out of the business of selling “mini” phones with flagship-level features.
When the iPhone 13 mini launched in 2021 it was a phone with the same processor, camera, and other features as the company’s iPhone 13. The only major differences were that the iPhone 13 has a 6.1 inch display, while the iPhone 13 mini has a 5.4 inch screen and a smaller battery.
And that made it unusual in the modern smartphone space, where most flagship phones have big screens. The only other phone maker I’m aware of who was pairing high-end features with small(ish) screens was Sony, but even that company has been moving away from “compact” phones in recent years.
But while there are some die-hard fans of small phones, it seems like they’re in the minority these days, where the lines between phones and tablets have been getting blurry.
Half a year before launching the iPhone 13 mini, Apple may have already known that the writing was on the wall for small phones: the company reportedly slashed production of the iPhone 12 mini by more than 70 percent in early 2021.
So it wasn’t all that surprising that the company never introduced an iPhone 14 mini or iPhone 15 mini. In fact, it is a little surprising that the iPhone 13 mini ever saw the light of day. Maybe it was already far enough along in production that Apple figured it’d cost more to scrap it than release it. Or maybe Apple wanted to use it as a final test case to see if there was demand for premium phones with smaller screens.
While the iPhone “mini” now appears to be dead, you can still buy an iPhone with a small screen. It’s just that your only current-model option is the iPhone SE (3rd-gen), which is a cheaper phone (with a starting price of $429) that was released in 2022.
The iPhone SE does have a reasonably fast Apple A15 processor, but the phone’s 4.7 inch display is surrounded by large bezels and features a physical design ripped from Apple’s 2017 and earlier playbook, as well as other compromises including a single rear camera.
It’s still probably a better bet for folks looking for a small screen phone in 2023 than some other options like the Unihertz Jelly 2E though.
Or you could look for an iPhone 13 mini from third-party retailers, while supplies last. Best Buy is currently selling the phone for $630 and up, for example.