iPhone 14 report confirms Apple was right to kill the iPhone 13 mini

iPhone 13 mini
An iPhone 13 mini (Image credit: TechRadar)

The iPhone mini line only lasted two generations. There was an iPhone 12 mini followed by an iPhone 13 mini, but then Apple went in the opposite direction and launched a larger iPhone 14 Plus, instead of an iPhone 14 mini. While compact phone fans may lament that decision, it seems it was probably the correct one.

A recent Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC) report – via Phone Arena – has tracked iPhone 14 series display units, and found that panel shipments for the iPhone 14 Plus over the last 11 months are 59% higher than they were during the same period last year for the iPhone 13 mini.

Now, that number won’t be exactly the same as the number of units of each model that have actually been sold, but Apple isn’t going to be ordering more panels than it needs or expects to need. So it seems fairly conclusive that the iPhone 14 Plus is selling far better than the iPhone 13 mini did at this stage in its lifespan.

The obvious takeaway from this then is that there’s not much appetite for small phones compared to large ones. Of course, some people still buy compact handsets though, so it’s a shame they might have increasingly few options.

This report also found that panel shipments for the iPhone 14 series are 2% higher than they were for the iPhone 13 line at this point last year, so the new phones are likely selling marginally better as a whole.

It’s not all good news for the iPhone 14 Plus

Apple iPhone 14 Plus lock screen

The iPhone 14 Plus still isn't selling brilliantly (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

While the iPhone 14 Plus appears to be doing much better than the iPhone 13 mini, it still doesn’t look like a sales success, as the Pro models appear to be by far the biggest sellers.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max has a 36% share of iPhone 14 series panel shipments, the iPhone 14 Pro has a 28% share, the iPhone 14 a 25% share, and the iPhone 14 Plus an 11% share.

Compared to their predecessors, that amounts to a 23% boost for the iPhone 14 Pro Max, a 22% increase for the iPhone 14 Pro, and a 36% decrease for the iPhone 14. So it seems people have an appetite for the best phones they can get, currently. Then again, this change is probably as much to do with Apple delivering a rather uninspiring iPhone 14 as anything else.

There’s no iPhone 13 Plus to compare the current model to, but if panel shipments for the iPhone 14 are down by 36% compared to the iPhone 13, and yet still more than twice as many panels are being shipped for it as for the iPhone 14 Plus, it doesn’t paint a very rosy picture for the Plus.

As such, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Plus line doesn’t stick around for long, just like the mini line didn’t. Leaks suggest we will at least get an iPhone 15 Plus, but it might actually be cheaper than the current model, in an attempt to make it sell better.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.