The iPhone 12 Mini Isn’t a Top Seller — and That’s Just Fine for Apple

Apple finally created a phone for people who don’t really care about phones

Ernie Smith
Debugger
Published in
5 min readJan 22, 2021

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Photo: James D. Morgan/Getty Images

There’s been a lot of chatter lately about the iPhone 12 Mini failing to reach Apple’s lofty sales goals, selling well below estimates and well below competing phones. At first glance, this seems like evidence that Apple got the small-phone trend wrong and possibly split its user base.

“Apple not only launched a wider range of new models than ever before, and also divided that launch into two pairs of models, so comparison to earlier launches is tricky,” said Josh Lowitz, of Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, in comments to MacRumors earlier this month. “In addition, Apple launched a new ‌iPhone SE‌ earlier in the year, further complicating the lineup.”

But is that the full story? Maybe not, I’d argue. The problem with the analysis is the time of year that we’re talking about: just after releasing a bunch of competing models of differing quality.

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Ernie Smith
Debugger

Editor of @readtedium, the dull side of the internet. You may know me from @ShortFormBlog. Subscribe to my thought machine: http://tedium.co/