Sales of iPhone 12 mini seems not to reach forecast

Several media reported that Apple will decrease its planned production of iPhone 12 mini for the first half of 2021. Apple seems to reduce orders for all iPhones by around 20% compared to the forecast in last December. In addition, the major part of this reduction will come from iPhone 12 mini, which is the cheapest 5G model. In 2020, Apple told suppliers to secure components and parts for up to 96 million handsets including iPhone 12 series. This order covers the amount for the first six months of 2021, and includes iPhone 11 and SE models, too.

Nonetheless, the production target becomes around 75 million units. This number is slightly higher than iPhone shipments in the same period last year. Apple seems to be planning to produce 230 million iPhones for 2021, which is 11% increase from last year.

Based on IDC data, Apple sold 206 million iPhones, of which 90.1 million were shipped from October to December. Even though the global smartphone market was shrunk by 5.9%, Apple’s shipments rose 7.9% in 2020.

The problem of iPhone 12 mini

The problem here is the sales of iPhone 12 mini, which has 5.4-inch display and retails for around $699. Thus, Apple will possibly cut planned production by more than 70% for the six months through June. This is because Apple estimated that the sales of iPhone 12 mini accounted for around 10% to 15%, as of the end of 2020.

There are three key factors in the sales drop: 5G, screen size and battery. Customers will not feel any big difference 5G wireless communication performance and others now. Therefore, they value screen size and battery more. The iPhone 11 and 12 are almost the same price. Thus, customers rather choose older models, which have a larger screen. In addition, the performance of battery in older models are better than in iPhone 12 mini. They consume more power to use 5G networks.

Other iPhone 12 models have demand

Fortunately, the adjustment of production levels for iPhone 12, Pro and Pro Max was relatively mild. This is because the demand for these models remains high. Furthermore, iPhone 12, Pro and Pro Max can use some of the components and parts for 12 mini.

What is 5G?

According BBC, 5G is the fifth generation of mobile internet connection. 5G can offer much faster data download and upload speeds. The network makes greater use of the radio spectrum. Thus, it will allow far more devices to access the mobile internet without delay at the same time.

Are 5G networks necessary for our society?

When we know this news, we can recall the other article about the initial disappointment with 5G in South Korea. Of course, we just start using the 5G networks, but there are few good news relating to the technology, in fact. Therefore, do we need the 5G networks to improve our society? The answer is “Yes”.

First of all, there are many other ways to make use of 5G other than using our smartphones. Even though consumers still do not purchase 5G-enabled smartphones, we will receive benefits from 5G without noticing. Remote surgery is a possibility. The advantages of 5G networks are higher peak data speeds, ultralow latency, more reliability, and massive network capacity. Therefore, the industries such as healthcare and automotive need the high standards of safety, and will utilize 5G networks more.

It is true that the news of 12 mini shows that it needs more time for consumer to enjoy 5G. However, we must see how 5G networks improve our society as well as disrupt the industries.