KEY POINTS

  • Apple released the iPhone 12 Mini, its smallest flagship yet, a few months ago
  • A report reveals it comprised only 5% of all the iPhones sold during the first half of January
  • This suggests weak demand for the device, which might have repercussions

Apple is selling fewer iPhone 12 Mini units compared to other new models, indicating what appears to be weak demand for smaller smartphones, a report says.

According to market research company Counterpoint Research, the iPhone 12 Mini comprised only 5% of all the iPhones sold during the first half of January this year, Reuters reported. This suggests a “muted” demand for the small smartphone – the smallest non-iPhone SE model the company has launched in years.

Counterpoint noted how market demand for the larger iPhone 12 models was higher compared to the demand for the smaller iPhone 12 Mini, which was expected to appeal to those who preferred the size of the original iPhone SE released in 2016.

Tom Kang, analyst for Counterpoint, said that smaller smartphones are far outpaced by larger-screened devices. This applies to devices created by other brands as well, not just Apple.

“This is in line with what we’re seeing in the broader global market, where screens under 6.0” now account for around 10% share of all smartphones sold,” Kang said.

Reuters did not indicate the factors that could’ve added to the reasons why the iPhone 12 Mini suffered from lackluster sales numbers. While larger screens allow users to do more things, such as watch videos, view photos, work on documents on the go or play mobile games such as “Among Us,” smaller phones have their own appeal to some users, particularly those who want a simple device.

The Wall Street Journal, for one, pointed out prior to the release of the 2020 iPhone SE that “small” devices were needed. Quartz agreed with the WSJ and emphasized how smaller devices will work well for those with small hands, most of whom are women.

While it’s worth noting that the iPhone 12 Mini sales statistics presented in the report only covered half a month’s sales, it still indicates a weaker demand that have a rippling effect in the future. William Yang, an analyst with J.P. Morgan, said in a note last week that the weak demand might prompt Apple to stop iPhone 12 Mini production in the second quarter.

Should Yang be accurate, this, of course, means the device might be discontinued in the near future.

iPhone 12 and mini Apple's iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini are compared in this promotional image. Photo: Apple