iPhone 12 mini Sales Not Great

Sadly, it appears that the iPhone 12 mini is not selling well:

I’m loving mine, so this is annoying.

I think the next to the last paragraph in the article sums it up:

‘The new iPhone mini likely disappointed Apple with only 6% of sales in the period,’ said Mike Levin, CIRP Partner and cofounder. ‘It has most of the same features as the other iPhone 12 models, in a smaller form factor for $699. Its share was just above that of iPhone XR, launched in 2018 and now priced at $499, the one-year old iPhone 11, now selling for $599, and the 2nd generation iPhone SE, launched in April 2020 at $399. It seems that its higher price point compared to those three models limited the iPhone 12 mini appeal.’

It’s sad, but true.


Let’s have facts, not rumors, on this board. We can get wild guessing at many places on the web.

Since Apple doesn’t release unit sales by specific phone, we won’t be getting the facts from them. In their absence, reasoned analyses (not “rumors”) seem a perfectly reasonable thing to point out, especially given the past discussion about the potential popularity of a small iPhone.

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They are rumors, no matter what sort of euphemistic name you want to apply to them.

Speaking of rumors, the latest reasonable rumor for this year’s iPhones is that the camera system in the 12 Pro Max will be available in all models, including a presumed Mini sized model.

I had been planning to get one of the iPhones 12 but, so far, I have decided to put it off until this year’s models. I would have avoided the 12 Mini for two reasons, though. First, I do use the “telephoto” lens enough that I would probably miss it for the next three years. Second. I was worried that the battery life wouldn’t be good enough, particularly for a phone that I intend to use for three years before I upgrade. I am still waiting to see if AnandTech will do a full review of these models; their battery life test seem to match what I have seen from my devices, and they show a graph to compare with past device battery life.

So, if a presumed iPhone 13 Mini (or 12s Mini or whatever they call it) comes with the telephoto lens this fall, I will strongly consider it, but only if the battery life seems reasonable enough. The size would be preferable to me than to the standard iPhone 12/12 Pro.

I’ve found my mini’s battery life to be completely fine. I charge overnight and use all day without running into battery issues.

Yes, it is a good idea to check facts. The fact is that CIRP is short for Consumer intelligence Research Partners. They are a respected market research company that conducts consumer surveys:

Their methodology is available on their website. Their data is considered to be reliable. They are arriving at the iPhone numbers from a different angle than financial results, but their sample sizes are respectable and their results considered to be in the ballpark.


One way or another, there’s no way to know what Apple will do, so all we can do until next year is hope that the mini form factor is sufficiently popular for Apple to keep making it.

It’s by far the most popular model among TidBITS readers who responded to our survey, at least.


Obviously everybody’s use is different, but I can just tell you that I have yet to see my 12 mini drop below 50% when I plug it in before going to bed.

Thanks. This is good to know. I am still looking to see objective benchmark measures as compared with older devices. If I see that the Mini gets 10 hours on a particular benchmark while the iPhone X got 9, or vice versa, that tells me something I can relate to my own battery experience. Not that I will see that battery life myself, but if it is 10% worse or better than what I know about, that makes my decision easier.

Well, this comparison is probably a lot older than what you’re looking for, but for completeness here it is. On my 2016 SE (purchased brand new fall 2019) I usually saw about 25% battery remaining by evening under what is essentially the same use. However, once iOS 14 came along, its battery usually needed to be topped off by late afternoon, and that wassn’t just the first two days after installing iOS 14. It stayed that way all through 14.2. The 12 mini has no such issues. Most days it’s around 65% when I plug it in late at night.


This isn’t the last time a small factor iPhone has disappointing sales. However, the iPhone 12 mini really had the exact same feature set as the iPhone 12, and for $100 less, and the tech reviewers loved it. It’s Dieter Bohn of The Verge’s favorite iPhone.

And yet, the average customer comes in, looks at it, and is willing to spend $100 or more for the bigger phone. Maybe they’re compensating for something. Maybe it matches their big SUV. Maybe they want a more immersive screen when they watch movies and videos. Even women who cry and Screen about how phones are too big for their hands and pockets pass it over.

I was thinking of getting it for my wife to replace her iPhone 5C, but settled for the iPhone SE. Asking her to get used to a new phone and no home button was too much to ask.

I looked at the iPhone 12 Mini, but decided I wanted the telephoto lens.

I have VERY large (though slim) hands for a woman — on account of long fingers — and held onto my original SE for a long time, before I finally bit the bullet and got the XS. And though I really liked the telephoto lens, I hated the fact that the XS didn’t fit into any of my pockets — especially if I’m cycling.

Well, my very elderly mother also started with the 5C then stayed with the original SE, who never wanted a bigger phone. But as soon as the 12 Mini came out, I upgraded her to it because she is an excellent photographer. It took her only a couple of days to get used to swiping up to enter the passcode (since she’s not interested in Face ID!), and she’s been happy as a clam ever since.

In fact, my even more elderly father also started with a 5C but upgraded to a X because he did want a bigger phone. And just like my mom, he had no interest in Face ID, nor did he have any trouble going from home button to swiping up to enter the passcode. So maybe your wife would have lived up to the “challenge” after all, if… forced to?! :wink:

In any case, seeing how happy my mom has been with her 12 Mini, I also traded in my XS for a Mini instead. Which I really, really like, though I do miss the telephoto lens!

All in all, I would probably go for a Mini with the wide, ultra-wide and telephoto lenses as soon as one becomes available. So Apple, please do keep us in mind!

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My wife kept her phone in her purse. She either couldn’t hear the phone or had the ringer off. The result is I became her social secretary. Her friends and family called me or texted me with messages for her.

My main plan was to get her a watch. It was more for me than her. She could keep her phone in her purse, but at least she would know if someone texted her or Facebook Message her or called her. However to do that required a new phone.

She does not handle change well. One friend even told me I should get her a new phone, give her a year to get use to it and then get her a watch. Since the whole point is to get her a watch, that plan was no go.

I got her an SE because I could tell her it literally works exactly the same as her old phone. It even looks more or less the same. It’s just slightly bigger and red instead of blue.

She ended up liking the watch after months of protest that it’d be a leash. People text her rather than call her at work. That’s less distracting. She’s using the watch to track her exercise and is proud she fills her rings. She even answered the phone on her watch. It wasn’t as distracting as she thought it would be.

And to my surprise, she’s using the phone a lot more. She’s even learned to take pictures with it. Next week, we’ll try Apple Pay.

The biggest irony is that she said how I would track her with the watch, but I I had turned on Find My on her old phone because she never picked it up. This way, I could see if she’s at work, or at a particular store or friend’s house and call the friend or store to give her a message. I didn’t turn on Find My on this phone because I can actually get in touch with her when I need to.

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Yeah, I got my Mom an iPhone 8 (just before the intro of the new iPhone SE) because she’d been using an iPad and so the ‘language’ was the same. After being skeptical about it (I had to blackmail her into getting it. Don’t ask), she’s doing most of her email and reading on it, and has even dipped into text messages!


I’m very happy with my iPhone 12 mini. It replaced the iPhone 8 that my wife is now using. I’d think the 12 mini, like the SE will sell more steadily through the year, as it isn’t the type of phone that early adopters typically choose. As someone who only upgrades every 2-3 years, I just hope that in 2-3 years there will be something similar to move to. If not, frankly, I’d move backwards (feature-wise) to today’s SE before moving to a larger form factor phone. I carry a full-size iPad if I need a larger screen.


From your mouth to G-d’s ears. I love my mini. The small size is great, and I’ve literally been waiting years for Apple to go back to the flat sides. As soon as it came out, my wife sighed and said “you’re getting one, aren’t you?” I would have answered but I was too busy chuckling as I sprinted to my laptop to order one.


It appears that Apple is, year over year, selling ~ 30% more Pro and Pro Max models than last year, and those models no doubt have higher margins than the lower cost ones. If so, I suspect Apple is crying its way to the bank.

That’s too bad. I prefer a smaller phone. Loved my old SE, so I got the somewhat larger new SE when it came out because I really needed a new phone and it seemed to be the smallest option, but if I’d thought they were bringing out the iPhone Mini just a few months later I would have waited and gotten that instead.