Once upon a time, in an era when Samsung was experimenting with ‘giant’ handsets like the 5.5in Galaxy Note 2, Apple made a virtue of keeping its handsets small. The company even went as far as to film a whole advert about how the iPhone 5’s 4in screen was a really clever design, engineered perfectly to fit the human hand.
The company doesn’t mention that design genius much nowadays, given its most recent handsets start at 6.1in and human hands haven’t evolved much in the same time period. And tomorrow it looks like its last standing ‘small’ handset — the 5.4in iPhone mini — will be making that short journey to the Apple retirement village.
That’s the mood music coming out of Cupertino, anyway. Bloomberg Apple soothsayer Mark Gurman tweeted that iPhone 13 mini stock is running low on Apple’s American website which is a bad omen, if nothing else.
Bluntly, the writing has been on the wall ever since the iPhone 12 mini proved to be a sales disaster. While Apple persisted with the 13 mini a year later, it was widely assumed that production was too far along to take a new direction, which the company would ultimately undertake last year with the 6.7in iPhone 14 Plus.
Nonetheless, the iPhone 13 mini remains a powerful handset, and if you like your smartphones dinky but running iOS, you might want to bag one before it pops its virtual clogs. At the time of writing, you can still bag one on Apple’s New Zealand store for NZ$1,199.
After that, assuming Apple doesn’t keep it around for posterity, your next best option will be the iPhone SE. While it also has a 5.4in screen, that’s a bit misleading as it also has big chunky borders and the long forgotten home button, making it feel quite a bit bigger in the hand. And that’s before we get onto the weaker screen and cameras.
Sadly, small phones just aren’t very popular these days. And even the marketing power of Apple can’t turn that tide.