The majority of the iPhone 14 rumors thus far have suggested that Apple isn't going to produce an iPhone 14 mini, and will instead release an iPhone 14 Max as the fourth flagship model of 2022 – but a new leak rows against that tide.
According to 91mobiles and Evan Blass – two well-known sources of leaks with strong track records – one of Apple's Asian partners is planning to stock seven new devices next month. Those devices apparently include an iPhone 14, an iPhone 14 Pro, an iPhone 14 Pro Max, and... an iPhone 14 mini.
If that wasn't enough to raise a few eyebrows, the list is rounded out by the 10th-generation entry-level 10.2-inch iPad, and two new iPad Pros (an 11-inch model and a 12.9-inch model).
Most other tipsters are predicting we won't see new iPads until October, but this leak has them appearing at the iPhone 14 unveiling.
The truth is out there
Add all of that up and it looks as though this partner information might be wrong – but it's worth reporting on simply for the track record of the sources involved. Blass accurately leaked information in advance about the Google Pixel Watch, among many other devices, for example.
That these details have appeared at all is evidence of how difficult it is to produce devices in secret. While companies like Apple, Samsung and Google might be able to keep tabs on their own employees, a whole host of third parties – from international retailers to phone case makers – need to be told what's coming ahead of time.
With that in mind we present this rumor for your consideration: it would be a huge surprise, but perhaps there will be a successor to the iPhone 13 mini after all. And perhaps Apple wants to save time by unveiling its new iPhones and iPads all in one go - although that still seems hugely unlikely at this point.
Analysis: picking apart the rumors
As we've said, it's difficult for new smartphones or tablets to launch without any kind of leaks or rumors happening in advance. As with the UK and European soccer transfer window, these days most announcements are talked about well in advance of them actually happening.
Not only do companies have the difficulty of keeping a lid on their plans, they also know that there's a huge amount of interest in these upcoming devices.
That in turn drives publications and social media users to push as much speculative information as possible – which again is similar when it comes to players switching soccer teams.
We wouldn't say that's the case with this particular rumor: the sources involved here are usually reliable, and don't post predictions just for the clicks. As noted in the 91mobiles article, the details about the iPhone 14 mini and the iPads come from one of the largest Apple distributors in the Asian region.
That said, it’s crucial to take any leak or rumor in context, and considering that we've seen so many sources mentioning two standard-sized iPhones and two larger iPhones making up the iPhone 14 range, we're going to take this new information with a pinch of salt and perhaps wonder if this is ‘emergency prep work’ rather than nailed-on launch items.
However, you never know...