iPhone 12 mini production reportedly killed ahead of iPhone 13 launch

iPhone 12 mini review
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If you're a fan of smaller phones, but have held off on picking up a 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini, you may want to start shopping sooner rather than later. Apple has reportedly stopped producing its most compact iPhone 12 model, with plans to sell the remaining inventory it has on hand.

That's the word from Taiwan-based TrendForce, which put out a report picked up by MacRumors. In that report, the research firm says the iPhone 12 mini "reached End-of-Life ahead of time" during the just-completed second quarter of 2021. Apple declined comment on the report when we asked the company about it.

The report blames slow sales for the decision to pull the plug on further iPhone 12 mini production, and indeed, we've heard numerous reports that the iPhone 12 mini didn't enjoy the widespread adoption seen by the other iPhone models. That could reflect shoppers' appetite for larger displays as well as the fact that were few differences between the iPhone 12 mini and the standard iPhone 12, which cost just $100 more than Apple's $699 phone. 

Then again, the iPhone SE was a strong seller for Apple when that phone came out last year, and its screen is even smaller than what you get with the iPhone 12 mini. The SE's $399 price — $300 less than what Apple charges for the iPhone 12 mini — likely helped its appeal.

Of course, slow sales may not the only reason Apple has reportedly put a stop to iPhone 12 mini production. The company is also working on its fall phone release, and the iPhone 13 is expected to include a mini model of its own. Apple would be unlikely to keep two 5.4-inch phones around, so the iPhone 12 mini was never likely to be one of the phones Apple keeps around after the iPhone 13 launch.

While earlier rumors had suggested Apple might scuttle its iPhone 13 mini plans, the latest rumors suggest the smaller phone is still a go for the fall. However, reports of Apple's 2022 iPhone plans indicate that there won't be a mini phone in the iPhone 14 lineup.

The iPhone 12 mini remains in stock at Apple, with no delays in delivery no matter what model you order. That includes the purple version of the iPhone 12 mini Apple introduced this spring.

In addition to its iPhone 12 mini info, TrendForce also looks ahead to the new iPhones coming this fall. TrendForce identifies the upcoming model as the iPhone 12s — that name's been rumored in other reports — while adding that the official name is not yet set. "Apple will prioritize the optimization of existing functions with the iPhone 12s series, while retail prices are expected to remain on par with last year’s release of iPhone 12 models," the report claims.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.