Mini size, mini sales – iPhone 12 mini off to a slow start?

Small is beautiful, but perhaps not so sales-ful

by: - Last updated on: December 14th, 2020

Key Takeaways

  • iPhone 12 mini grabbed the most attention when Apple launched the iPhone 12 series back in October 2020.
  • Given that it was the smallest in terms of both size and price, many predicted a bright future for the iPhone 12 mini.
  • Initial reports, however, indicate that its sales have been like its name: mini.
  • For more such insightful articles around smartphone sales, check out our Stat Stories hub.

“The (iPhone 12) mini might easily slip into the palm of your hand and into most pockets but it might not be an ideal match for those who either turn to their smartphones to binge-watch shows on Netflix or who like to put both hands on display for playing games. We found ourselves going back to our iPhone 12 far too often in these cases.”

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Initial sales in the US seem to have borne out our initial impressions of the iPhone 12 mini. It might have made reviewers go “awww sooo chweet and cuuuuttte” but early indications are that the iPhone 12 mini has not got off to the kind of sales start in the US (the iPhone’s largest market) that its reviews had indicated.

PCMag’s mobile analyst, Sascha Segan, has written that as per analysts Wave7 Research, the iPhone 12 mini has been the least in demand of the new iPhones. It accounts for about 4-5 percent of sales at all major carriers. Incidentally, the most popular of the new models is the iPhone 12, which accounts for 24 to 33 percent of sales at major carriers.

A couple of weeks ago, Flurry Analytics had hinted at a similar lack of demand for the smallest new iPhone, claiming that it captured the smallest part of the installed iPhone base in its launch week, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max had the largest part (oh, the irony). In fact, the report had gone on to hint that the 12 mini had got the lowest percentage of installed base numbers of any iPhone in its launch week since 2018.

Although these are early days and the mini was made available for sale after the 12 and 12 Pro, to say that these numbers are a surprise is putting it mildly. The iPhone 12 mini has not just attracted positive reviews but is also the most affordable of the iPhone 12 series, priced a full USD 100 below the iPhone 12. Considering that the most affordable iPhones in the past, most notably the iPhone 11 and XR have been bestsellers, many expected the 12 mini to follow in its footsteps. However, that does not seem to have happened. Not yet, at any rate.

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The reasons for this relatively quiet reception of the iPhone 12 mini are of course, unclear at the moment. Flurry said that the numbers might indicate that “consumers may be signaling that a more pocket-friendly device is not as important as once thought.” It also hinted that consumers might have preferred paying extra for the larger display and the better battery life that the 12 delivered as compared to the mini. It also said that iPhone SE launched earlier in 2020 might have harmed the prospects of the iPhone 12 mini, as those looking for a smaller phone might have been attracted to its much lower price – USD 399 compared to USD 699 of the iPhone 12 mini.

Of course, we would need to stress these are early days. Things could change.

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