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iPhone 12 mini sales figures might convince Apple to stop making the phone

Published Feb 8th, 2021 8:22PM EST
iPhone 12 mini
Image: Apple Inc.

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  • Apple might stop producing iPhone 12 mini models as soon as the second quarter of 2021, according to a JPMorgan Chase analyst that recently lowered his projections for the phone.
  • Multiple reports have suggested that the iPhone 12 mini has been the least popular of the new models by a wide margin, despite the phone’s relatively low cost.
  • Apple is still expected to launch four iPhone models in 2021 despite the 12 mini’s struggles.

It wasn’t long ago that Apple was only releasing two iPhone models at a time, but that number doubled with the arrival of the iPhone 12 series last fall. In addition to the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max, Apple added the iPhone 12 mini to its lineup, resurrecting the smaller form factor with a modern design.

There is certainly a contingent of Apple fans that prefer smaller, cheaper phones, but it might end up being a smaller group than the company anticipated, as recent reports suggest that the early returns on the iPhone 12 mini have been disappointing. According to AppleInsider, JPMorgan Chase analyst William Yang adjusted his forecasts for the iPhone 12 models in a recent note to investors, potentially spelling trouble for the 12 mini.

In his updated forecast, Yang projects Apple will ship 11 million more iPhone 12 Pro Max units, 2 million more iPhone 12 Pro units, and 8 million more iPhone 11 units than he had previously predicted. Meanwhile, he cut his expectations for the iPhone 12 by 9 million units and for the iPhone 12 mini by 11 million units. Beyond slashing the iPhone 12 mini production numbers significantly, Yang also suggests Apple might stop producing the device altogether by the second quarter of 2021. It sounds like the iPhone 12 mini experiment is shaping up to be a failure.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard rumors about the miniature flagship phone’s struggles, either. Last month, CIRP reported that the iPhone 12 mini accounted for just 6% of total iPhone sales in the weeks following the launch of the iPhone 12 line. CIRP co-founder Mike Levin hypothesized that the iPhone 12 mini’s $699 price point might have been its Achilles heel, as it had to compete with the $599 iPhone 11, the $499 iPhone XR, and the $399 iPhone SE. Although the 12 mini featured most of the same improvements as the rest of the 2020 iPhone line, the value of Apple’s other offerings put the 12 mini in a weird spot that it seemingly hasn’t escaped.

Despite reports of the iPhone 12 mini’s disappointing sales figures, Apple is still expected to launch four new iPhones this fall, presumably keeping the 5.4-inch model in the lineup for at least one more cycle. Yang believes that Apple will produce between 80 and 90 million iPhone 13 units in the second half of 2021, while building an additional 76 million iPhone 12 units. He also suspects that Apple will refrain from updating the iPhone SE line this year after the second-generation model launched last April, but an iPhone SE 3 could be in the works for early 2022.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.

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