iPhone 12 mini production reportedly slashed - Here's why

With the reveal of the iPhone 12 line last year, Apple announced a new phone called the iPhone 12 mini. As the name suggests, the iPhone 12 mini bucks the trend of growing phone sizes and goes in the opposite direction, decreasing the screen size for those who miss the days of smaller phones. Unfortunately, it looks like the iPhone 12 mini may not be the hit Apple was hoping for, as the company is rumored to have slashed orders for the smaller, less expensive counterpart to the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro.

That's according to Nikkei Asia, which reports that Apple has cut orders for iPhones in general by around 20% as compared to what they were in December. Nikkei says that the majority of those cut orders are for the iPhone 12 mini, with one unnamed source telling the outlet that Apple has even asked some of its suppliers to "temporarily stop building components specifically for the mini."

Nikkei spoke to multiple sources familiar with Apple's supply chain, and one of them says that Apple has cut planned production on the iPhone 12 mini by as much as 70% for the first half of 2021. Nikkei even describes that estimate as the "mildest" one it received from these sources, but doesn't say what the other estimates were.

On the whole, though, Apple has been telling suppliers that it still plans to build 230 million iPhones this year, but it only expects around 75 million of those phones to be produced in the first half of the year. It's clear that Apple is expecting most of its production to happen in the latter half of the year as it prepares to ship 2021's iPhones in the fall.

So, while Apple is expecting to have a pretty good year overall, this is a rather grim report for the iPhone 12 mini, with Nikkei's sources claiming that the iPhone 12 mini only accounted for around "10% to 15% of Apple's orders for the iPhone 12 series" by the end of 2020. Analysts Nikkei spoke to argue that 5G support could be a problem for the phone's smaller battery, but more importantly, when it comes down to phones that are similar in price – the iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 11, for instance – customers are more likely to opt for the phone with the larger display.

iPhone production isn't the only thing Apple has reportedly been changing either, with Nikkei saying that the company has moved mass production on two new MacBooks based on Apple silicon from May or June to the second half of the year. We'll see what happens from here, but this could be bad news for those who were hoping to see Apple continue to produce the mini line of phones moving forward.