iPhone 12 claims US sales crown, while iPhone 12 mini stumbles

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2021
The iPhone 12 was the highest-selling iPhone of the current generation in the two months after launch, according to a new survey -- but the iPhone 12 mini is falling behind.

iPhone 12


In its annual breakdown of iPhone sales, CIRP analysts claim the current generation of iPhones are selling proportionately better after launch than the iPhone 11 range did in its first month of sales. New iPhone models like the iPhone 12 Pro accounted for 76% of iPhone sales in the United States in the October and November after launch, compared to the 69% share the 2019 releases managed in September 2019.

Of the four new models, the iPhone 12 performed the best with a 27% share of US iPhone sales over the period, with the iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max being relatively close in proportion. This fairly even distribution of sales between the three models, as well as Apple producing four models instead of three for 2020, means the highest proportional percentage isn't as great as what was observed for the previous generation.

A graph showing iPhone sales distribution in the fall post-launch period of 2020 and 2019 [CIRP]
A graph showing iPhone sales distribution in the fall post-launch period of 2020 and 2019 [CIRP]


In the iPhone 11 generation, the iPhone 11 itself took the bulk of sales, acquiring 39% of total US iPhone sales in the period, while the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max secured a combined 30% share.

The exception to the roster is the iPhone 12 mini, which "seems to have been lost among the other models," according to CIRP partner and co-founder Josh Lowitz. "Apple not only launched a wider range of new models than ever before, it also divided that launch into two pairs of models, so comparison to earlier launches is tricky."

The iPhone 12 mini only secured 6% of US iPhone sales in the period, despite having a smaller form factor and lower price. According to CIRP, its share is only slightly higher than the iPhone XR, the iPhone 11, and the second-generation iPhone SE, which are all sold at a slightly lower price than the mini.

"It seems that its higher price point compared to those three models limited the iPhone 12 mini appeal," CIRP offers.

The data is based on a survey of 243 US Apple customers who bought an iPhone in the four weeks following the launch of the iPhone Pro Max and iPhone 12 mini. By opting to analyze a survey rather than sales figures, the results could be viewed with some skepticism, both due to the accuracy of answers from participants, and from the relatively small number of people surveyed. There is some support for the premise from other sources, however.

While the iPhone 12 mini initially seemed to be driving stronger demand for iPhones, other analysts have suggested it is the weakest of the range. TF Securities' Ming-Chi Kuo saw lower than expected demand for the model in November, while UBS saw stable supply and demand for it in December, something it took as a sign of softer overall demand.

JP Morgan saw a moderate increase in lead time for the mini in December, though well below the Pro counterparts, again indicating weaker demand.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    mobirdmobird Posts: 709member
    The Mini should have been stainless steel.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 32
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,160member
    So much for theory that there is a large market for small phones. Just because a few squawkers on tech blogs said there was doesn’t mean there is. Tech blogs are about as far away from reality as it gets. 
    canukstormNotoriousDEVdewmewatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 3 of 32
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,250member
    The mini is a great size. It's my opinion that smaller phones are better for one handed use, making them more practical for multitasking. It is a portable device after all.

    However does the Mini really offer much of an experience change from the iPhone X? Sure it brings over the new materials and 5G - but those don't translate into much of a real world change for most users.
    All the new hardware that lays the ground work for future Apple innovation only came in the pro models. The mini didn't even get lidar which seems to be an area of intense interest for apple, and thus likely leaving the mini out of the 'next big thing'.
    edited January 2021 watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 32
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,603member
    lkrupp said:
    So much for theory that there is a large market for small phones. Just because a few squawkers on tech blogs said there was doesn’t mean there is. Tech blogs are about as far away from reality as it gets. 
    That's definitely one way of looking at it.  The other way of looking at it is that the iPhone SE 2020 stole a lot of the thunder of the 12 mini with respect to small iPhone sizes

    9 of Top 10 U.S. Smartphone Activations on Christmas Day 2020 Were iPhones - MacRumors
    edited January 2021 watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 32
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,072member
    Looks like somebody is trying to skewer the Mini.
    You can try to manipulate the numbers to serve any agenda, but consider...

    This survey only accounted for October and November sales. The Mini didn't ship until 11/13.
    So, for 6 out of 8 -9 weeks, the iPhone 12 Mini captured 6% of iPhone sales.

    Could the headline then read "iPhone 12 Mini captures 6% of iPhone sales after two weeks."

    The plethora of older models at lower price points certainly dilutes sales a bit.
    The year before, there were only two older models and no SE with which to share sales. Yet, the Mini outsold the XR which is less money and has a bigger screen.

    Before jumping to conclusions about the long term success and viability of the mini, more data should be available.
    We will likely get a better idea of the run rate in comparison to the other models after the initial launch euphoria and holiday demand subsides.

    mattinozwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 32
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,072member
    mike1 said:
    Looks like somebody is trying to skewer the Mini.
    You can try to manipulate the numbers to serve any agenda, but consider...

    This survey only accounted for October and November sales. The Mini didn't ship until 11/13.
    So, for 6 out of 8 -9 weeks, the iPhone 12 Mini captured 6% of iPhone sales.

    Could the headline then read "iPhone 12 Mini captures 6% of iPhone sales after two weeks."

    The plethora of older models at lower price points certainly dilutes sales a bit.
    The year before, there were only two older models and no SE with which to share sales. Yet, the Mini outsold the XR which is less money and has a bigger screen.

    Before jumping to conclusions about the long term success and viability of the mini, more data should be available.
    We will likely get a better idea of the run rate in comparison to the other models after the initial launch euphoria and holiday demand subsides.

    Here's another data set showing top ten smartphone activations in the USA on Christmas Day.  The 12 mini is not even on the list.  And surprisingly (or not) the iPhone 11 is #1.

    9 of Top 10 U.S. Smartphone Activations on Christmas Day 2020 Were iPhones - MacRumors

    I can definitely understand that. The Cell companies have been promoting the heck out of the 11 and XR and many people who are buying as gifts for parents or younger children don't know or care that they are older models. The are iPhones with really good deals.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 32
    Purely anecdotal but I work for a regional carrier in Western Canada and the 12 mini was def a swing and a miss this holiday season.  SE is priced so much cheaper than the 12 mini and majority of users wanting a smaller phone still use a 5/5s/6/7/8. Like for like upgrade.

    Next holiday season the 12 mini will get the promo push that the 11 got this year and we will be back here saying people wrote off the 12mini to early :)
    Beatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 32
    lkrupp said:
    So much for theory that there is a large market for small phones. Just because a few squawkers on tech blogs said there was doesn’t mean there is. Tech blogs are about as far away from reality as it gets. 

    Agree. Fine if you only text, talk, email. But anyone who watches videos, surfs Safari, plays games,  etc - welcomes the larger screen. And as a Dev, more screen means more room for objects (w/o forcing the user to have to scroll).

    canukstormmacguiwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 32
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,704member
    Well I am very glad that Apple made the mini and I love mine. Incredible upgrade from my old iPhone 7. And smaller!

    My “mini” review

    I have had one for five weeks and absolutely love the performance in a small package. Upgraded from a battery degraded performance managed iPhone 7 and I am amazed at the difference in performance of even simple things like scrolling and launching apps. Something you don’t notice until you use a newer more powerful phone but still. Photo quality is fantastic too, and the screen of course is larger in a smaller form factor than the iPhone 7 I had previously.
    There are only two negs for me, and they aren’t biggies. 
    I don’t use a case, and the blue glass on the back really shows finger smudges (a case of course would fix this). 
    The other is the battery life. This is the obvious trade off for a phone this size, as a smaller form factor must have a smaller battery. That said, it gets me through most days without effort and I end the day with half a charge, even using wireless CarPaly on my commute (half hour each way).
    The only day it struggled to do so, I had web browsed for four hours, streamcasted a a 39 minute Vimeo video wirelessly to a Samsung TV, used wireless Carplay for an hour, travelled in the afternoon to the spotty coverage area of The Channon and took multiple photos and slow motion videos of Protest Falls and Terrania Creek (the late afternoon rainforest is wonderful after rain, and this day was enhanced with a bunch of Brazilian-bikini clad backpackers at the foot of the falls (who knew there are still a few around in this Covid world?), a few phone calls and texts and dealt with about 40 emails. I say it struggled because it dipped down below halfway which it had not done since I bought it, and It still had 28% at the end of the day. 
    But you will keep an eye on charge more than on a larger phone because you know it will be more of an issue than a larger battery in a larger phone. And even though I find it isn’t a problem now, what will it be like in three years’ time with newer, heavier demand versions of iOS and apps than now, when the battery will be getting old and degraded? A first world problem to be sure, but it is a very small back of the mind worry none the less when otherwise you just love using this great little phone.
    edited January 2021 bikerduderight_said_fredEsquireCatswatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 32
    The iPhone 12 mini is far more "niche" than the rest.  Even if it serves 10% of iPhone buyers, Apple can adjust production accordingly, but keep it in the lineup for future models to appeal to that user base.  The people that buy that phone buy it 100% on purpose and passionately.
    mike1entropyswatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 32
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,603member
    lkrupp said:
    So much for theory that there is a large market for small phones. Just because a few squawkers on tech blogs said there was doesn’t mean there is. Tech blogs are about as far away from reality as it gets. 

    Agree. Fine if you only text, talk, email. But anyone who watches videos, surfs Safari, plays games,  etc - welcomes the larger screen. And as a Dev, more screen means more room for objects (w/o forcing the user to have to scroll).

    Agree.  And if that's all one uses their iPhone for then they're better off saving $300 and getting the iPhone SE.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 32
    lkrupp said:
    So much for theory that there is a large market for small phones. Just because a few squawkers on tech blogs said there was doesn’t mean there is. Tech blogs are about as far away from reality as it gets. 
    12 Mini shoppers also consider the SE. I wanted a small, cheap phone because my iPad is my main iOS device. I prefer touch ID so I went with the SE.
    canukstormwatto_cobrapulseimages
  • Reply 13 of 32
    netroxnetrox Posts: 1,265member
    Small is beautiful and simple. I bought Mini... I am so disgusted with Americans being such size queens. 
    Beatswatto_cobrapulseimagesbaconstang
  • Reply 14 of 32
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,704member
    Even though I love my mini, Mrs Entropys goes for as large a phone as she can. And has an XS max. It is her main device, she rarely uses a PC. I also match my mini with an iPad Pro as my main away from the workplace device, and use a HP dragonfly at work otherwise
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 32
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,931member
    lkrupp said:
    So much for theory that there is a large market for small phones. Just because a few squawkers on tech blogs said there was doesn’t mean there is. Tech blogs are about as far away from reality as it gets. 
    You really don't get it, do you?

    These are US iPhone sales projections. The smaller/less expensive iPhones are primarily targeted to emerging markets, not the USA.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 32
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,945member
    mike1 said:
    mike1 said:
    Looks like somebody is trying to skewer the Mini.
    You can try to manipulate the numbers to serve any agenda, but consider...

    This survey only accounted for October and November sales. The Mini didn't ship until 11/13.
    So, for 6 out of 8 -9 weeks, the iPhone 12 Mini captured 6% of iPhone sales.

    Could the headline then read "iPhone 12 Mini captures 6% of iPhone sales after two weeks."

    The plethora of older models at lower price points certainly dilutes sales a bit.
    The year before, there were only two older models and no SE with which to share sales. Yet, the Mini outsold the XR which is less money and has a bigger screen.

    Before jumping to conclusions about the long term success and viability of the mini, more data should be available.
    We will likely get a better idea of the run rate in comparison to the other models after the initial launch euphoria and holiday demand subsides.

    Here's another data set showing top ten smartphone activations in the USA on Christmas Day.  The 12 mini is not even on the list.  And surprisingly (or not) the iPhone 11 is #1.

    9 of Top 10 U.S. Smartphone Activations on Christmas Day 2020 Were iPhones - MacRumors

    I can definitely understand that. The Cell companies have been promoting the heck out of the 11 and XR and many people who are buying as gifts for parents or younger children don't know or care that they are older models. The are iPhones with really good deals.

    Which could suggest they were sitting on lots of inventory and wanted to move it before the new models came in. 


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 32
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member

    The Mini is freaking GIGANTIC!!


    I can't tell you how many compliments I get when I pull out my iPhone 5s. Just today someone I know who has the latest iKnockoff told me "where do you think I can get one of those?"

    I've been waiting for an iPhione 5 sized all screen iPhone forever. When I saw how large the mini is I shook my head in disapppointment.

    lkrupp said:
    So much for theory that there is a large market for small phones. Just because a few squawkers on tech blogs said there was doesn’t mean there is. Tech blogs are about as far away from reality as it gets. 

    Because the iPhone "Mini" is freaking HUGE. For years we've been wanting something like this:









    These would have been a massive hit in Japan where mobile gaming and Kawaii(cute) has been in since the 1980s.

    The current Mini is no smaller than the 2020 iPhone SE I believe.
    edited January 2021 EsquireCats
  • Reply 18 of 32
    Beats said:

    The Mini is freaking GIGANTIC!!


    I can't tell you how many compliments I get when I pull out my iPhone 5s. Just today someone I know who has the latest iKnockoff told me "where do you think I can get one of those?"

    I've been waiting for an iPhione 5 sized all screen iPhone forever. When I saw how large the mini is I shook my head in disapppointment.

    lkrupp said:
    So much for theory that there is a large market for small phones. Just because a few squawkers on tech blogs said there was doesn’t mean there is. Tech blogs are about as far away from reality as it gets. 

    Because the iPhone "Mini" is freaking HUGE. For years we've been wanting something like this:









    These would have been a massive hit in Japan where mobile gaming and Kawaii(cute) has been in since the 1980s.

    The current Mini is no smaller than the 2020 iPhone SE I believe.
    Compare Apple iPhone 12 mini vs. Apple iPhone 5s - GSMArena.com 

    iPhone 12 mini is 7.7mm taller and 5.6mm wider than iPhone 5s. That amounts to about 16% increase in footprint. BUT, it has 63% more display area than iPhone 5s. 
    watto_cobramike1Hank2.0entropysbaconstang
  • Reply 19 of 32
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    lkrupp said:
    So much for theory that there is a large market for small phones. Just because a few squawkers on tech blogs said there was doesn’t mean there is. Tech blogs are about as far away from reality as it gets. 
    6% of all iPhones sold in the US is a large market.

    And then then's everywhere that isn't the US to add in.

    Keep squawking.
  • Reply 20 of 32
    I traded in my 7 for the awesome 12 mini.
    watto_cobra
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