The iPhone mini needs to come back.
A report from earlier today indicated that sales of the iPhone 14 Plus, Apple's "big, cheap" iPhone, were not doing well. So much so that the company appears to be cutting back production of the new model in the lineup.
The report estimates that Apple has cut back its orders of the iPhone 14 lineup from 90 million to 87 million. The Jeffries analyst said that "the reduction is primarily due to softer demand for the iPhone 14 and 14 Plus models."
Today's news is the latest in a series of reports that the iPhone 14 Plus has been met with a "lukewarm" response from the market. Another report from DigiTimes in October cited that "some iPhone 14 supply chain makers and channel operators have confirmed that Apple has decided to cut back its orders for the iPhone 14 Plus,"
Despite Apple's best effort to pivot from a small, cheap phone to a big, cheap phone (I'm saying cheap in the biggest air quotes possible), it appears that people who want a big iPhone are simply opting to go with the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
The iPhone mini needs to make a comeback
With the lackluster performance of the iPhone 14 Plus, it appears that Apple has made an error in getting rid of the iPhone mini. Granted, Apple has kept the iPhone 13 mini in the lineup, but it revealed that it did not have plans to release an iPhone 14 mini or any iPhone mini in the future. The iPhone 13 mini is the end of the line...for now.
Apple seems to have thought that, since iPhone 13 mini sales did not perform as well as the company had hoped, it would take a try at a bigger, cheaper iPhone in the lineup. With the iPhone 14 Pro Max starting at $1099, the iPhone 14 Plus comes at $200 cheaper at $899. The company likely hoped the bigger non-pro iPhone would be a hit for those who wanted a huge iPhone without the most expensive price.
The problem with this logic is that people haven't fallen in love with the iPhone 14 Plus as they did with the iPhone 12 and 13 mini. While the iPhone mini didn't have a huge following, it certainly has a cult one, and that's something special that Apple doesn't find with many of its products.
There's room for another mini in the lineup
The iPhone 13 mini, in my years of owning a whole range of iPhones from the iPhone 3GS to the mini, is my favorite iPhone Apple has ever made. There's something intangible about the phone, but it is easily one of the most delightful products Apple has ever created — so much so that I returned my iPhone 14 Pro and kept my iPhone 13 mini.
Even worse is that Apple didn't need to kill the iPhone mini. It has kept the iPad mini and Mac mini in its other product lineups despite them surely being the least popular models there as well. The mini isn't supposed to be the best-selling model in the product lineup, but there to delight a subset of customers who become some of the most diehard fans of the company because of their existence.
I'm holding out hope that the lack of success with the iPhone 14 Plus shows Apple that, while it may not get rid of the bigger, cheaper iPhone, it should bring back the iPhone mini. Between an iPhone 15 Plus and an iPhone 15 mini, Apple might actually sell enough phones to equal one iPhone 15!
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Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.