The iPhone 12 Mini May Not Be Long for This World

Illustration for article titled The iPhone 12 Mini May Not Be Long for This World
Photo: Caitlin McGarry/Gizmodo

Folks with tiny hands have been clamoring for a smaller smartphone for years, and in 2020, Apple finally delivered with the iPhone 12 Mini. Except it looks like Apple might stop manufacturing its littlest phone due to less-than-stellar sales.

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Supply chain analyst William Yang of JP Morgan has reportedly cut production expectations for the iPhone 12 Mini by 11 million units, AppleInsider reported. Yang went on to say that Apple might even stop production entirely by the second quarter of this year. Yang also revised down his expectations for the standard iPhone 12 by 9 million units, while tweaking numbers for both the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max up by 2 million and 11 million units, respectively. The iPhone 11, surprisingly, also got a boost; Yang adjusted his expectations for the 2019 flagship up by 8 million units.

This seems to corroborate recent reports that there isn’t a high demand for iPhone 12 Mini. Earlier in January, Consumer Intelligence Research Partners released a report that said iPhone 12 Mini sales only accounted for 6% of total iPhone sales in October and November. Granted, the 12 Mini only went on sale in November, but then again so did the 12 Pro Max, which accounted for roughly 20% of new iPhone sales during that same period. Another recent supply chain report from Nikkei Asia noted that while the 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max were exceeding expectations and the iPhone 12 was meeting them, the 12 Mini was “sluggish.”

There are plenty of reasons why that might be. For starters, there’s the iPhone SE. While the SE is slightly bigger than the 12 Mini, it’s also on the smaller side for a phone, and at $400, it’s also much cheaper than the $700 Mini. Another problem is the battery. Its tiny size means it’s only packing a 2,227 mAh battery, while the iPhone 12 uses a 2,815 mAh battery and the 12 Pro Max has a 3,687 mAh battery. In Gizmodo’s review of the iPhone 12 Mini, the size was right but the abysmal battery life was definitely our biggest pain point.

The 12 Mini may not be selling well, but that doesn’t necessarily spell eternal doom for fans of more compact iPhones. The iPhone 13 rumors swirling so far strongly suggest Apple will stick with the four-model lineup this year. Should the Mini line stick around, it’s possible Apple will figure out a way to cram in a bigger battery or optimize software so that small-phone fans can get the iPhone experience they want without sacrificing battery life. Barring that, there’s always the iPhone SE and any potential future upgrades to that line. So despite this news, there’s still hope, my tiny-handed friends.

Consumer tech reporter by day, danger noodle by night. No, I'm not the K-Pop star.

DISCUSSION

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NoOnesPost

Fringe theory: The current pandemic lifestyle has people less likely to favor smaller phones than they may have if they were going places more.