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Sony may launch its iPhone 12 mini rival on April 14 and it may be a bad move

Sony launched its first small phone back in 2016 while the last one in the series came in 2018.

twitter-logoShubham Verma | April 2, 2021 | Updated 15:04 IST
Sony Xperia Compact phone as per leaks (Source: Voice)

Highlights

  • Sony is launching new Xperia smartphones on the 14th of April.
  • Among these new Xperia phones may be a Compact flagship.
  • This Xperia Compact phone with flagship features may be an iPhone 12 mini rival.

Sony has quietly scheduled an event for later this month. The Japanese tech giant is unveiling new Xperia phones on April 14. Even though Sony downsized its mobile phone business by excluding markets such as India, it is still persevering to survive in the business with its high-end phones. And that is crucial for the company because the last thing it wants is what is happening with LG's phone business. Sony has not said which new phones its Xperia lineup will see in a few days from now, but we have some rumours around that.

First, there will be the Sony Xperia 1 III flagship phone. This phone is very likely to come with the top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset, 12GB of RAM, and Sony's signature 4K OLED screen with a cinema-favourable aspect ratio. This phone is meant to take on the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, OnePlus 9 Pro, Oppo Find X3 Pro, and Mi 11 Ultra among others. And while this attempt by Sony is an expected one, there is a wildcard that the Japanese company may have up its sleeves.

Rumours are rife that Sony is making its iPhone 12 mini competitor. And by "competitor", I mean a phone that can go all out on specifications and features while keeping the size of the phone small. And this phone is not the first one from Sony. The company launched its first small phone back in 2016. It was called Xperia Compact. Since then, it has been launching the Compact series of phones. And the best thing about them was that they featured high-end specifications. The last Compact phone came in 2018 with the Snapdragon 845 processor. And this time, Sony is bringing the Compact phone back, and it may also have high-end internals, though it is unlikely Snapdragon 888 will be there.

The Sony Xperia Compact of 2021 may come with a 5.5-inch display, which is only slightly bigger than the iPhone 12 mini display. Rumours suggest this phone would feature dimensions of 140 x 68.9 x 8.9mm, which are also a bit bigger than those of the iPhone 12 mini. There may be an 8-megapixel selfie camera on this Compact phone inside a teardrop-sized notch while on the back, you may see a 13-megapixel main camera. This upcoming Sony phone may also retain the 3.5mm headphone jack while the fingerprint sensor will likely be on the power button. The details about the processor are not abundant, which is why it is a little dicey to tell if this phone will be flagship-level.

When Apple launched the iPhone 12 mini last year, it had one thing in mind. That was wooing customers with the price tag. The whole reason why the iPhone 12 mini exists is to bring down the costs of owning a premium-level iPhone of the latest generation by trading off the display real estate. I am not sure what made Apple create the iPhone 12 mini but the research behind its launch may not be concrete. I am saying that because the iPhone 12 mini, the smallest one in the iPhone 12 series, emerged as the lowest-selling model. It merely sold around 6 per cent of the total sales -- which was the lowest among iPhone devices including the older iPhone 11 and iPhone XR.

The lacklustre sales of the iPhone 12 mini led Apple to stop the production of this model. Apple learnt a lesson with the iPhone 12 mini, and maybe we do not see an iPhone 13 mini this year. And if this upcoming Xperia Compact phone ends up having flagship-level specifications, these learnings of Apple would have just bounced off Sony. It is clearly visible that there is not a big market for smaller flagships, which begs the question: Why would Sony launch a small flagship Xperia phone?

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