We’re expecting Apple to announce four new iPhones later this year, and signs and portents increasingly suggest that the smallest will be named the iPhone 12 mini — a title new to the iPhone range but with a solid Apple heritage. Past and present mini Apple products include the iPod mini, iPad mini, and Mac mini. So it might be time for a mini iPhone, too.
The name was mentioned earlier this week by established leaker @L0vetodream, who suggested that the four new iPhones would be called the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. Now another leaker, @duanrui1205, has shared images showing Apple’s “silicone case stickers,” complete with names and hand-labeled screen sizes. They match previous rumors for sizes and specs, with the line-up as follows:
- Apple iPhone 12 mini — 5.4-inch screen
- Apple iPhone 12 — 6.1-inch screen (the same as the iPhone 11)
- Apple iPhone 12 Pro — 6.1-inch screen (but with presumably higher specs)
- Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max — 6.7-inch model (larger than the 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max)
We saw the image via MacRumors, which notes that the model numbers are new for Apple, and that @duanrui1205 has had some leaking success recently. They shared a manual showing an all-screen iPad Air that turned out to be on the money.
An iPhone mini with a 5.4-inch screen might eventually take the place of the iPhone SE, currently the smallest handset in Apple’s iPhone line-up. But this would be a surprisingly difficult niche to occupy. The original SE and its 2020 successor have been widely praised for their value, tried-and-tested design, and pocketable screen sizes (4.7 inches for the 2020 model and 4 inches for the original SE). Not everyone wants a massive phone.
A 5.4-inch iPhone mini would have a larger display than both SE models but could be smaller than the second-generation because of slimmer bezels. And if the rumors are true that the new iPhones will return to the industrial design of the iPhone 4 and 5 (think: a rounded rectangle with flat metal edges like the new iPad Pro) then it might even look like the original iPhone SE. You can see how the design and screen sizes compare in the image below, based on dummy iPhone 12 models sourced by MacRumors:
Update, Friday September 25th, 8:50AM ET: Updated to clarify the wording around the size of the rumored iPhone mini compared to the iPhone SE and 2020 iPhone SE.