iPhone 12 Mini Sales Could Imply Bigger is Better

Big is the new bling

Key Takeaways

  • Apple is reportedly cutting production of the iPhone 12 mini.
  • Many users say bigger is better when it comes to screen size.
  • For those with poor eyesight, bigger screens can be easier to see.
A customer at the Apple Store on George Street on November 13, 2020 in Sydney, Australia
James D. Morgan / Getty Images

Apple is slashing production of the iPhone 12 mini, and observers say it’s because users want bigger phones. 

The iPhone 12 mini was released last year, and Apple was hoping people would find a place for it in pockets bulging from giant screens. The mini features a pint-sized 5.4-inch display compared to its 6.1-inch big brother, the iPhone 12. But for many people, bigger is better when it comes to screen size. 

"Almost all of my work is online, and so I always have at least one device with me for work purposes," Francesca Nicasio, a content marketer at Payment Depot, said in an email interview. "I don’t always like carrying a laptop around, so when I’m going light with just my phone, the larger display that bigger phones give me is essential. Sometimes I’m putting content together, and I need to see how it looks, and other times I’m showing somebody else some content, and the bigger screen gives them a better view."

Apple Reportedly Slashing Production

Users like Nicasio are driving down demand for the mini. Nikkei Asia reports that production of the smallest iPhone 12 model will be cut by 70% or more in the first half of this year. The news site said suppliers had been asked to temporarily stop producing iPhone 12 mini-specific components while other parts are being reallocated to the Pro and Pro Max. 

"When I’m going light with just my phone, the larger display that bigger phones give me is essential."

Big screens are best for entertainment, Todd Ramlin, the manager of Cable Compare, a cable service comparison site, said in an email interview.

"When it comes to watching shows or movies on a phone, the bigger the screen is, the more enjoyable it’s going to be to watch," he added. "Even if I didn’t work in this industry, I still like watching stuff, and I’d still do it on my phone, so even as a consumer, I’d much prefer a bigger phone to a smaller one, for the same reason. Obviously, being able to sit in front of a big TV or movie screen is ideal, but if a phone is your only option, the bigger, the better."

For those with poor eyesight, bigger screens can also be easier to see.

"When younger, I was fascinated by jumbo playing cards and large-print Reader's Digest," Jason R. Escamilla, CEO of ImpactAdvisor, said in an email interview. "Now that I'm older, I appreciate not having to squint or hold a menu far away just to read it. As the phone becomes more the part of daily living for all age groups, it helps to be easy on the eyes."

Customers looking at the new products on sale inside the Apple Store on George Street on November 13, 2020 in Sydney, Australia
James D. Morgan / Getty Images

Escamilla noted that a big phone also means there’s room for better camera hardware or longer battery life, something increasingly crucial as daily screen time increases. 

"Perhaps the biggest downside for me with a large phone is the pressure on my right pinky-finger," Escamilla said.

Some Like Them Small

But not everyone agrees that big phones are better. Mike Arman, 74, said in an email interview that big phones are awkward and inconvenient. 

"I don't carry my phone in my back pocket," he added. "Besides, it interferes with getting in and out of my car, my airplane, and on and off my tractor. It will absolutely get lost if I ride one of my motorcycles."

Arman said he likes to put small phones in his shirt pocket. "I don't need a GPS," he added. "I can read a map. I don't want to play games on the phone. I have a life. I don't plan to use my phone to tell the time. I have a wristwatch that has a comma in the price tag to do that for me.”

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