iPhone Mini Models Hit Apple's Refurb Store Just Days Before Debut of Larger iPhone 14 Series
For the first time in several weeks, Apple has repopulated its Refurbished and Clearance store with a range of iPhone 12 mini models, just days before the smaller form factor is expected to be dropped from Apple's flagship smartphone lineup.
For the upcoming iPhone 14 series, Apple is believed to be removing the 5.4-inch iPhone "mini" size in favor of larger device dimensions. Available options are expected to include a 6.1-inch iPhone 14, a 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro, a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Max, and a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max.
The 5.4-inch iPhone "mini" size was originally introduced in 2020 with the debut of the iPhone 12 mini, which was greeted with much fanfare for its compact size. The device was followed by last year's iPhone 13 mini, a largely incremental update. Apple still sells both models on its main store page, but despite the smaller devices' clear popularity among enthusiasts, Apple has deemed the form factor to be not popular enough to make a new iteration for the third year running.
It remains to be seen whether Apple will decide to continue offering brand new iPhone mini models after it launches its next-generation flagship iPhone 14 series, and given its successor model has yet to be listed in Apple's refurb store, the returning availability of refurbished iPhone 12 mini units is likely to be noteworthy for consumers who favor the smaller size.
Apple began selling certified refurbished iPhone 12 mini devices in July of this year – a full 21 months after they were originally launched – but demand has made them hard to get hold of for the last several weeks after news of their imminent demise in Apple's upcoming new flagship range.
The iPhone 12 mini provides the same feature set as the iPhone 12, just with a more compact design, 5.4-inch display, and 15 hours of battery life during video playback, while the iPhone 13 mini's upgrades over the iPhone 12 mini are mostly iterative, offering refinements in terms of a brighter display, a smaller notch, performance improvements, and new camera software features.
The more significant upgrades include camera hardware and longer battery life, but at face value there is likely not enough to justify getting the new model over the iPhone 12 for most customers.
In Apple's Refurb store, iPhone 12 mini models are now available for as little as $529 for a 64GB version (a saving of $100), and as much as $659 for a 256GB version (saving $120).
Refurbished iPhones come unlocked and SIM-free. All refurbished iPhones come with a new battery, a new outer shell, and a new white box that includes all manuals and a USB-C to Lightning cable. All refurbished iPhones are covered by Apple's standard one-year warranty and are eligible for extended AppleCare+ coverage.
Apple says its refurbished iPhones are thoroughly tested and cleaned, and in our view, they are virtually indistinguishable from brand new iPhones. One of the only notable differences with a certified refurbished iPhone is that it comes in a plainer box.
Apple is expected to announce the iPhone 14 series at its "Far Out" media event on Wednesday, September 7. Check out our guide for everything we're expected to see at Apple's upcoming event and be sure to visit MacRumors over the coming week for comprehensive minute-by-minute coverage of all the breaking developments.