Apple slashes iPhone 12 mini production orders

Apple is slashing its planned production of the iPhone 12 mini for the first half of this year as part of a broader adjustment to output plans that the company formulated late last year, Nikkei Asia reports Wednesday.

Left to right: Apple's 4.0-inch iPhone SE (1st generation), 4.7-inch iPhone SE (2nd generation), and the new 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini
Left to right: Apple’s 4.0-inch iPhone SE (1st generation), 4.7-inch iPhone SE (2nd generation), and the new 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini

Apple is cutting orders for all iPhones by around 20% vs. the prior holiday quarter, Nikkei Asia reports, citing “sources familiar with the matter,” with the majority of cuts attributed to the iPhone 12 mini, Apple’s smallest and lowest-priced 5G-enabled iPhone.

Cheng Ting-Fang and Lauly Li for Nikkei Asia:

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. The company told suppliers that it still intends to build 230 million iPhones for 2021, an increase of more than 11% from last year, sources said.

The biggest revision is for components and parts for the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini, multiple sources said, which retails for around $699. Some suppliers were even asked to temporarily stop building components specifically for the mini, a source told Nikkei. The mildest estimate was that Apple will cut planned [iPhone 12 mini] production by more than 70% for the six months through June.

The adjustment of production levels for the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max was comparatively mild and demand for those models remains relatively healthy, several people said. “Some of the components and parts for the mini have been reallocated to the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max,” said another person with direct knowledge of the matter.

The change in production plans poses a major challenge for Apple suppliers, who will be forced to quickly adjust their production utilization rates and labor resources, especially those that primarily supply parts for the iPhone 12 mini. Apple itself, meanwhile, is still enjoying healthy demand for its premium models. Demand for the iPhone 11, first launched in autumn 2019, moreover, remains robust in emerging markets like India.

MacDailyNews Take: As expected, Apple is adjusting production based on the iPhone mix they’ve seen and are extrapolating for the coming quarters. It’s been known for some time that the response to the iPhone 12 mini was tepid vs. Apple’s flagship iPhone 12 Pro Max and the other iPhone 12 models.

And, so, yes, this is as we predicted many years ago; people gravitate to larger displays (with their attendant larger batteries):

In general, the only people who still think they want a 4-inch iPhone are those who do not yet own a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 or 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus.MacDailyNews, December 5, 2014


  1. Ok MDN, here’s what you don’t say; Apple shot themselves in the foot with the mini by releasing and SE a couple of months before. The market for the mini is not the zealot mac fan. It is the casual user who has other things in life but to shrine on his iPhone. The mini user is a tempered one who want to stay in the Apple-eco world but has other things to do in life other than changing his iPhone every years to have the latest model. Apple have produced enough mini now. It might be the next SE. Then it will

    1. I almost agree. I am close to a zealot user and I love my mini because I find 6.1″ phones are ridiculously big and can’t be used with one hand easily. I’m 6’3″ with large hands so its not a small hand thing.
      Also, the mini’s price is definitely in zealot territory.

        1. As a recently self-outed transbipolar person, I feel it’s also time to admit that I also have a mini brush for my brushstrokes. I’m definitely smaller than I’d like. Apologies to all, I have been trolling myself and you all as a coping mechanism.

    2. I like my mini because I spend much of my time in front of my computer. I use my phone mainly for making phone calls, listening to music, and text messaging. I don’t need a big phone for that. The 12 mini is the perfect replacement for my iPhone 7, slightly smaller case, slightly larger screen.

  2. Come on MDN you can’t post that 4″ phone comment anymore. The Mini is 5.4″ and is actually quite big. Screen width identical to the 8 and SE but taller, but the overall body is smaller. Its freaking brilliant!
    Its also selling well. All iPhones sell. Apple making adjustments doesn’t mean its selling poorly, its just not selling as they hoped. As mentioned above give it the Pro camera and see how it does.
    I find the battery perfectly fine. Never had to recharge it the same day.

    1. Exactly! Give it the pro camera and I’d never buy a big phone. The only reason I’m buying the pro is because of camera and storage. Give me both and I’ll pay whatever apple ask me to.

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