Last week, I wrote an open letter to Tim Cook. He won’t read it, obviously (I genuinely don’t expect him to – he’s kinda busy, and I’m just a guy in Warwickshire who has spent the last twelve months finding new ways to take the piss out of the AirPods Max case) but I wanted to make my feelings known, regardless.
The letter reveals how frustrated I am about the lack of due care and attention Apple has shown the iPhone 13 mini. It is a truly brilliant phone which is praised daily within the comments sections of the videos I’ve made about it. Yet, if the rumours are true, there won’t be an iPhone 14 mini later this year.
I feel as though Apple has neglected this brilliant little device. It’s why so few people recognise my phone, and why it gets so little coverage in big tech publications. Apple’s marketing machine and its PR department don’t seem to care.
But am I missing the point? As several commenters on my previous article have pointed out, Apple might have a trick up its sleeve.
The solution was right under my nose!
Earlier this year, Apple launched the latest version of the iPhone SE. It looks identical to its predecessor (more on that in a moment) yet packs just as much power as the flagship iPhone 13 Pro.
The iPhone SE represents the most cost-effective entry point into iOS if you don’t want to head down the refurbished or pre-owned route. It’s not really a budget smartphone – there are far cheaper Android alternatives out there – but the fact I would nearly always reach for it over my Exynos-powered S22 Ultra gives you some idea of how impressive it is.
More importantly, the SE is clearly an important iPhone for Apple. There are no rumours of its imminent demise, and it features enough differentiation from the rest of the lineup to ensure it doesn’t get lost within Apple’s marketing mix.
As so many of my readers have pointed out, what if the next iPhone SE is the iPhone 13 mini? It would make total sense, wouldn’t it?
Come in iPhone SE, your time is up
Enough is enough. As great as the iPhone SE is, the design is comically dated.
As mentioned in my review, there’s nothing wrong with Touch ID (I quite enjoyed having it back) and I appreciate that some people still like the iPhone 8 aesthetic. But we live in a world of all-encompassing screens and unobtrusive biometric security and the current iPhone SE feels rather out of place as a result.
If it was priced at £300, then Apple could just about get away with it for another year, I think. But it isn’t; you’ll have to lay down £419/$429 if you want one, which is still a fair wedge of cash. We expect a bit more for that, really, Tim.
So, in 2023, the iPhone SE needs a new suit. Those legacy features need to be shown the door. It needs to earn its price tag. And what better way to do that than borrow the iPhone 13 mini’s party outfit?
This is what people keep telling me. “The next iPhone SE will have the mini’s form factor,” they’ll say.
Again – makes complete sense, doesn’t it?
Android crushing power
I made this point last week: no one else makes a smartphone like the iPhone 13 mini. The combination of one-held perfection and seriously beefy internals are the reasons it is so coveted.
Trust me – if you know, you know.
Throw in an awesome camera system, near-indestructible body, and a battery that will get you through a day (finally), and you have quite a device.
There are some truly brilliant Android phones out there which compete with the top and bottom of the iPhone lineup – but there’s nothing quite like the iPhone 13 mini. With so many Android devices crushing the iPhone SE in terms of price, design, and display tech, the iPhone 13 mini could be its saving grace next year and give even more people a reason to join the Apple ecosystem.
There is, of course, the chance that Apple won’t do this at all. They may inexplicably stick with the iPhone SE’s current, dated design and simply continue with the original plan of killing off the iPhone mini.
I dearly hope not, though. Everything appears to be lining up nicely, after all; the current iPhone SE design is in need of a significant refresh, and the iPhone mini form factor has a burgeoning, passionate cult following.
What do you think? Get involved in the comments!