Welcome to our new iPhone mini release date, rumours and leaked images article, here we plan to do everything that the title suggests. We are going to bring you everything we know about the new iPhone mini release date you'll know when the new iPhone mini is coming out. Also, we'll be bringing you a few of the juiciest spec rumours that are flying round the web's most trusted Apple websites too. Finally we're going to include any iPhone mini leaked images and the best iPhone mini mock-ups, so you get the best idea of what the iPhone mini will look like. So sit back and relax we've got the new iPhone mini covered.
'Apple working on an iPhone mini' rumours have been circulating for a while now. That Apple will one day make a cheaper, smaller, lighter more accessible iPhone is likely: after all it made a iPod mini, and iPad mini, not to mention the Mac mini. So an iPhone mini is more a question of when and why.
The demand for an iPhone mini is high. The iPhone is a fantastic piece of kit, but it's big and fairly expensive, a smaller cheaper iPhone mini would be fantastically popular with people who want to buy into the iPhone experience, but don't feel they can afford or justify a full iPhone.
So demand is high, but that doesn't always translate into Apple actually selling an iPhone mini. Apple is known to test products, but never release them; and often has a better idea of what people really want than we garner from surveys and customer polls. It's unlikely that Apple will release an iPhone mini if it believes the full iPhone is a better solution.
iPhone mini release date
The iPhone mini release has been rumoured since early 2011 and the rumours have been going hot, then cold, and hot again ever since.
Most recently, a report from the Wall Street Journal suggested that Apple will launch its iPhone mini towards the end of 2013, cutting costs by using a less expensive plastic body for the device.
In this iPhone mini release date article Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer and VP of Internet Services Eddy Cue, Cook said Apple doesn't want the iPhone to be “just for the rich,” and is “not ceding any market.” Sacconaghi says Cook “appeared to reaffirm the notion that Apple is likely to develop lower priced offerings” to expand the market for the iPhone mini. Cook also pointed out that Apple was spending “huge energy” in China, which was he said, “a classic prepaid market”
Sources suggested that the iPhone mini was coming in Summer
In July 2011 this Boy Genius Report claimed: "an anonymous source says Apple plans to launch a prepaid, contractless version of the iPhone for just $350. BGR also reports that a iPhone mini release date will be "at least announced by the end of summer, late August-ish,"
In August 2011 Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research said that an iPhone mini release date was "totally expected". After it was reported by Reuters Apple would launch a "lower-priced" iPhone mini "within weeks."
Sources suggested that the iPhone mini release would be coming soon
More recently, in November 2012 Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster wrote to his clients suggesting that Apple is ready to release an iPhone mini for Chinese and Indian Markets.
So Apple is clearly toying with the idea of a cheaper, low-cost, accessible iPhone mini release that has a different feature set to the main iPhone. But it decided, for one reason or another, not to do an iPhone mini launch in 2012. Even though some analysts said that Apple "would be stupid not to pursue" the cheaper iPhone mini market
Sources suggested that the iPhone mini release wouldn't happen
The question is will Apple ever release the iPhone mini, and if so when? Gene Munster has changed his mind, in July 2012 saying "probably not". “The biggest question we get is ‘is Apple going to do a small iPhone, an iPhone mini’. The reality is, based on our discussions with Apple, that they are probably not. In Apple’s words they are going to do a ‘continuation of their existing strategy’,” he says. However, the phone does have room to grow, especially in “emerging markets”.
Sources suggest that the iPhone mini will be happening in 2013
However, Gene changed his mind again about the iPhone mini release telling iPhone Hacks that “We think that it is inevitable that Apple launches a tailored, low-cost iPhone in 2013 to address the burgeoning mass market opportunity. We note that there are over 150 million subscribers in Europe on pre-paid contracts whom Apple is not really addressing today."
Then, in December, Munster said that it is "inevitable" that Apple will launch an 'iPhone for the masses'.
We're also not sure Apple has abandoned the idea of an iPhone mini release. As the the iPod mini became the nano, which is increasingly looking like a iPod touch mini. We are seeing how this design could easily become an iPhone mini as well. The only thing that's lacking is a reason for Apple to release an iPhone mini, rather than keep selling iPhones for circa £500.
One thing that might spur Apple on could be the Google Nexus 4 phone, which is a 4.7in Smartphone that Google is selling for £239 (8GB). This is a low cost version of Google's Nexus 7 smartphone and has been consistently selling out since it's launch in October 2012.
Just as it did with the iPad mini (which is a response to the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HD) Apple may be have an iPhone mini release to respond to the arrival of cheaper (yet still effective smartphones). It certainly won't be in 2012, but 2013 may well be the year we see an iPhone mini release date.
Topeka Capital analyst Brian White thinks the iPhone mini could come in May, as part of Apple's iPhone 6 (or 5S) launch. White says that he expects Apple to make the iPhone 6 available in up to eight colours and three different screen sizes, including a smaller one.
Strategy Analytics' Neil Mawston certainly thinks Apple should release an iPhone mini in 2013, because it could be the only way to stop Samsung extending its lead over Apple in the smartphone market. Mawston believes, however, that Apple will wait until 2014 before launching the iPhone mini. Could it be too little too late?
In January 2013, reports claimed that a low-cost iPhone will launch in July to target China Mobile, and underdeveloped countries in order to address those markets.
The most recent report, which we covered on 12 February, came from White again, who this time said that research has left the analyst "confident" that Apple will launch a cheaper iPhone this year, possibily as early as June.
New iPhone mini rumours
Rumours surrounding the iPhone mini and wide and varied, most centre on the cost and feature set. Here we will collect iPhone mini rumours as they come along.
iPhone mini will come in multiple colour options
Apple's iPhone mini could come in up to eight colours, and be part of Apple's plan to bring more choice to its customers. According to Topeka Capital analyst Brian White, Apple could launch its next iPhone in three sizes, including the iPhone mini, in order to expand its reach.
iPhone mini will be plastic not aluminium
This Apple patent suggests that Apple is looking to make the iPhone mini from plastic instead of aluminium. This suggests that the iPhone mini will have a similar case structure to the old iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS, rather than the aluminium casing introduced with the iPhone 4. This could help cut costs, but also give the device a more accesible feel than the expensive iPhone 5.
Sources in Asia have also claimed that the iPhone mini could have a see-through plastic chassis that's made in the US.
iPhone mini will run apps from the Cloud
One interesting suggestion is that Apple will save on storage space by releasing an iPhone mini with little, or no storage, that is designed to run apps and other content straight from the cloud.
Apple's iTunes Match service has demonstrated that Apple is capable of streaming music, and other content, directly to iOS devices.
It's not a massive leap to move from music and video to apps. Like iTunes Match the iPhone mini could use minimal storage to keep Apple apps in onboard RAM, and load other apps as it requires them from the cloud. This may sound suspiciously spotty, but the launch of 4G/LTE ensures more reliable data transfer
iPhone mini will be 4G/LTE
If the iPhone mini has a cellular connection, it will almost certainly have a 4G/LTE connection. Although it may seem an obvious way to cut cost and introduce differentiation Apple has shown with the iPad mini that it wants 4G/LTE on all devices that offer it.
iPhone mini will be similar to iPod nano 2012
One idea doing the rounds is that the iPhone mini may be similar in design to the recent generation of iPod nano.
The latest iPod nano features a 2.5in touch-screen display (smaller than the 3.5in of the original iPhone, or 4in of the iPhone 5) and a Home Button. It's absolutely tiny compared to the current iPhone, but is capable of playing music, video, and podcasts. Although it can't install apps, and there is no ability to connect to WiFi or browse the web.
The iPhone mini will combine iPhone 5, iPod touch, iPod classic design
A report in January suggested that the rumoured low-cost iPhone will combine design aspects from various Apple devices to become a largely plastic iPhone with the iPhone 5's 4in screen, a bottom like the iPod touch, and the shape of an iPod classic.
The iPhone mini will be a iPod touch with 4G/LTE
Although this sounds nuts, we have heard rumours of an iPod touch with a cellular connection. Surely, that would be an iPhone (says everybody). So what would be the difference between the two? Other than the iPod touch is thinner, and more colourful. That depends on what Apple has planned for the iPhone. Maybe the iPod touch will morph into the iPhone mini, and the iPhone will go on to ever greater heights.
iPhone mini will have a 3.5in screen and be credit card sized
When Apple first launched the iPhone it wasn't long before people noticed that the original iPhone display (at 3.5in) was the exact same size and shape as a credit card. Given Apple's predilection for making products thinner, lighter and less substantial then natural progression of this would be just the screen with a thin back. This would naturally result in a credit card-sized iPhone. That was before Apple made the larger iPhone 5 with it's 4in display - but we think the iPhone mini is more likely to be the model with the smaller 3.5in display.
The iPhone mini will have Gorilla Glass 3 to prevent scratches
Corning has developed a new version of its Gorilla Glass for smartphones and tablets that it says will result in 40 per cent fewer scratchs and appear in devices later this year, possibly including Apple's iPhone 6 (or 5S), iPad 5, iPad mini 2 and iPhone mini.
iPhone mini will run iOS 7
This rumour is pretty much guaranteed to be true. If Apple launches an iPhone mini in 2013, that is. Apple is believed to be working on iOS 7 already, with reports emerging as soon as the new year arrived claiming that iOS 7 identifiers have been spotted in developer app analytic logs.
The iPhone mini will cost between £168 and £218
Apple may be able to build a cut-rate iPhone for $144 (£90), which would let it price the device between $299 and £349 (£168-£218), hundreds less than the unsubsidized price tag of its flagship smartphone, an analyst said in January.
New iPhone mini leaked images, mockups and concept art
In January, photographs of alleged leaked iPhone 5S and iPhone 6 parts surfaced online, suggesting that Apple is working on two new iPhones for launch in 2013. The photos show what are believes to be speaker enclosures for two future iPhones.
Designer Martin Hajeck has created iPhone mini mockups for NoWhereElse.fr, showing a model that resembles a smaller version of the iPhone 5.
This is an iPhone concept image from 2011 by Yanko Design that was actually related to the iPhone 5. We think it looks more like an iPhone mini, however. This is what the iPhone mini could look like if it takes its styling cues from the iPhone 5.
This image was posted on iPhonemockups in 2009. Apple's design ethos has clearly moved on since then (if anything it looks like an old Palm Pre phone to us.) We think the iPhone mini is more likely to look like a smaller iPhone 5 or iPod touch/iPod nano (an Apple product, in other words).
Isamu Sanada in the meantime created this iPhone mini image, which is closer to what we think an iPhone mini created by Apple could look like, although we still expect it to have more of Apple's current design ethos in it. This mock-up seems to take its inspiraiton from the old iPod mini.
CiccareseDesign has come up with this design, based on an alleged test prototype. The designer suggests that it is for the iPhone 6, but its iPod nano-like shape could lend itself to the iPhone mini, if the rumours are correct.
We will keep this article updated with any further rumours and information regarding the launch of a cheaper, smaller, iPhone mini device.