Even Apple Can’t Sell Tiny Phones, Cuts iPhone 12 Mini Production 70 Percent

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Apple released a new generation of iPhones late last year, and the says of just one or two new iPhones are dead and gone — there are five members of the iPhone 12 family, including the iPhone 12 Mini. You probably heard a lot of banter about the tiny iPhone online, but a new report claims Apple vastly overestimated how many people would actually purchase the phone and has had to cut production by over 70 percent. 

Unlike companies making Android or Windows hardware, Apple maintains tight control over its supply chain and designs some of its own components. That’s why all of Apple’s new iPhones have almost the same internal hardware, including the industry-leading A14 ARM processor. It’s so rare to see a small phone like the iPhone 12 Mini with high-end specs because small phones don’t sell as well. Thus, they’re relegated to the mid-range. It turns out that might be for good reason. 

While initial interest in the 12 Mini was high, fewer people than expected purchased Apple’s smallest iPhone. Nikkei reports that Apple has cut 12 Mini production by 70 percent, which makes up the bulk of Apple’s overall 20 percent cut in iPhone production. It has apparently even asked suppliers to stop manufacturing Mini-specific components. 

Despite the drop in production, analysts still expect Apple to make more iPhones this year than last year. Apple should pump out 75 million iPhones in the first half of the year, but the number will jump to 230 million by late 2021 due to the release of new iPhone models. I would not be shocked to see Apple nix the baby iPhone model in its 2021 refresh, either. 

There’s no doubt phones are getting too big — the latest flagship phones from Samsung and others are creeping up on 7-inch screens. The only way to make phones bigger anymore is to make them fold, but some of the loudest voices are adamant they’ll buy small flagship phones. Well, here’s the small phone everyone was begging for, and this is just the latest in a series of reports that point to lagging iPhone 12 Mini sales. Despite the supposed interest in small, high-end phones, even Apple can’t move these devices. If Apple and its integrated supply chain can’t make a tiny flagship phone work, it probably can’t work at all.

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