Apple ‘slashes’ orders for iPhone 12 mini

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iPhone 12 mini held up
Tiny in size. Tiny in demand. (At least by iPhone standards.)
Photo: Apple

The iPhone 12 mini is looking more and more like the runt of the iPhone 12 litter — and not just because of its diminutive size.

While the iPhone 12 series reportedly has been a massive hit for Apple overall, the iPhone 12 mini hasn’t been along for the ride. On Wednesday, Nikkei Asia reported that Apple is “slashing its planned production of the iPhone 12 mini for the first half of this year.”

The story said Apple is cutting orders for all its iPhones by around 20%, compared to plans from December. But the iPhone 12 mini accounts for the majority of the reduced orders:

“Late last year, Apple told suppliers to secure components and parts for up to 96 million handsets, including the entire iPhone 12 series — its first 5G-enabled lineup — for the first six months of 2021. The total also included older iPhone 11 and the iPhone SE models…. The company is now targeting production of around 75 million units — slightly higher than iPhone shipments in the same period last year.”

Potential issues with iPhone 12 mini

Overall, Apple still plans to build 230 million iPhones this year. That would be an increase of over 11% from 2020. But the iPhone 12 mini seemingly isn’t contributing to that increase.

Nikkei, citing sources familiar with Apple’s plans, said some suppliers have even been asked to temporarily halt making new components for the smallest iPhone 12. “The mildest estimate was that Apple will cut planned production by more than 70% for the six months through June,” according to the report.

In some ways, the lack of demand for the iPhone 12 mini is surprising. It’s a premium handset that offers most of the features of its larger siblings. This year, there is less to separate the regular iPhone and the iPhone Pro line than there has been in recent years. The chief difference between the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro is the camera setup.

However, it appears that, when it comes to the iPhone 12 mini, even the handset’s $699 starting price isn’t enough to woo users. Many would seemingly rather spend that money getting last year’s iPhone 11, which has been reduced in price.

The iPhone 12 mini’s battery life may be an issue, too. “The battery for the iPhone 12 mini is much smaller than the older iPhone 11, which is about the same price, and it’s smaller than the battery in the iPhone 12, which is only $100 more expensive,” said an analyst at Isaiah Research. “A 5G phone generally consumes more power, so consumers will be reluctant to buy a phone that, comparatively, does not have a good battery.”

What do you think of the iPhone 12 mini? Do you think Apple will introduce another “mini” model this year? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: Nikkei Asia