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Apple’s iPhone Success Hides One Big Disappointment

Apple’s iPhone Success Hides One Big Disappointment

 Apple has announced that its quarterly investors call will take place on Wednesday January 27th at 2pm pacific time. Covering the holiday period, the iPhone 12 family will be under the spotlight, and there are expectations for a little bit of excitement, and a little bit of disappointment.

The latest report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners on iPhone sales show a clear split in the iPhone 12 range.

Top of the pile, unsurprisingly was the iPhone 12. Given its status as the titular iPhone of this generation, and hitting the high end of the mid-range (or the low end of the top range, take your pick) the 27 percent share of total iPhone sales should is not a shock. Neither is the 20 percent share that was taken by the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Plus handsets – those looking for the latest specs and features on an iOS powered smartphone effectively had only these two handsets to choose from.

It’s lower down the portfolio where Apple has a rare failure. Of all the new iPhones on sale, including the older models in Apple’s catalogue, CIRP have pegged the iPhone 12 Mini as the worst performing new iPhone.

The iPhone 12 Mini’s six percent share was barely ahead of the iPhone XR, iPhone 11, and the latest version of the iPhone SE. CIPR’s Mike Levin (via 9to5Mac):

“‘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.’”

Unlike other manufacturers who have extensive portfolios and can split up the market into small slices for highly targeted phones, Apple has traditionally kept its iPhone list as small as possible. 2020 saw a different approach with five different models pushed out to consumers. Given the huge push on the iPhone SE earlier in the year that emphasised both it’s power and it’s diminutive size, selling the iPhone 12 Mini on the same promise but at nearly twice the price was never going to be easy.

Throw in the the likes of the iPhone 11 and iPhone XR into the mix, both seen as ‘fully specced’ models but with a price discount, and you have the iPhone 12 Mini squeezed into a tiny part of the portfolio, satisfying neither the demand for power or the lust of a smaller sized iPhone.

The iPhone 12 Mini never found a clear home or purpose within the Apple community, with many noting the reduced battery life as a key consideration when considering a purchase. That the reduced retail performance of the Mini would be more than welcomed by other smartphone manufacturers speaks more to the juggernaut of Apple than it does to the desire or otherwise of a smaller phone.

After all, if you want a smaller phone, the iPhone SE has been quietly picking up sales for nearly nine months.

What do you think?

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