Technology

Apple could stop making new iPhone Mini models by 2022, top analyst says

iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Todd Haselton | CNBC

Apple‘s 2022 iPhones could come in four different models with significantly improved cameras, TFI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a Wednesday note to investors.

The devices could come in two sizes, a 6.7-inch phone and a 6.1-inch phone. Both sizes could come in high-end and low-end versions, according to the note.

If accurate, Kuo’s prediction would suggest that Apple is backing away from its lowest-cost new device, the iPhone 12 Mini, which was released in 2020 after years of user requests for a smaller iPhone.

However, reports from Apple’s Asian supply chain and analyst estimates suggest that the iPhone 12 Mini is not selling well compared with other iPhones with larger displays and bigger batteries.

Kuo’s research focuses on companies in Apple’s Asian supply chain, and he’s well known for making accurate predictions about upcoming Apple products.

In the Wednesday note, he said that the 2022 iPhones will feature camera upgrades using expensive parts to increase resolution and image quality and will make video shot on iPhones more appropriate for a forthcoming high-resolution augmented reality and virtual reality headset.

He writes the 2022 iPhones will include a new image sensor supplied by Sony that can output video at 8k resolution and take 48-megapixel photos. They’ll also use improved camera lenses.

“We believe that the camera quality of the new 2H22 iPhone will elevate mobile phone camera photography to a new level,” Kuo wrote.

Looking beyond 2022, Kuo writes that he expects Apple to release iPhones in 2023 with a “periscope” telephoto lens for longer zoom and to include the FaceID facial recognition camera underneath the phone’s display, which would suggest that the “notch” in the screen on the current iPhones could shrink or be removed.

He also expects Apple to release a headset computer for augmented reality and virtual reality applications with 15 cameras, although he didn’t specify a time frame.

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