Kuo: The iPhone 12 mini screen is too small to appeal to the mass market

Ming-Chi Kuo, who has made a name for himself as the most accurate Apple analyst out there, believes that the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 will be the most popular new model rather than its 5.4-inch counterpart (despite being more affordable) or a flagship 6.7-inch variant.

The rumor-mill is expecting four different iPhone models to be unveiled tomorrow.

On the non-Pro side, there should be a 5.4-inch device starting a $699 (iPhone 12) and a 6.1-inch one starting at $799 (iPhone 12 Max). As for Pro models, expect a 6.1-inch model starting at $999 (iPhone 12 Pro) and a 6.7-inch flagship one (iPhone 12 Pro Max) starting at $1,099.

The reliable TF Securities’ analyst predicted that the mid-sized $799 iPhone 12 will be the best-selling new model expected to make up around forty percent of shipments at launch. In a note to clients seen by AppleInsider, Kuo predicted that the iPhone 12 mini, the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max will have a twenty percent allocation each of total shipments.

AppleInsider writes:

Kuo believes the compact 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini will be the cheapest model, but won’t sell highly as its size won’t be appealing to consumers. It is also claimed by Kuo that the inclusion of 5G won’t be that important to consumers. Instead, price will be the primary consideration for consumers.

I agree with Kuo on both points.

A combination of the new normal means people are scrutinizing their spending heavily. And people feel $1,000 is a lot of money to pay for a smartphone in today’s economically challenging climate. Apple must have realized so itself because this year’s iPhones may be a $50 cheaper than last year’s iPhone 11 lineup. And I think that expensive 5G parts is the reason why we’ll be seeing a 5.4-inch iPhone soon because a smaller panel costing less than a 5.8-inch OLED panel in the iPhone X/XS is helping them offset the high 5G cost.

Kuo also doubts reports that put iPhone 12 sales at around 80 million, believing actual iPhone sales will vary from that figure. The 80 million figure apparently relates to component orders, which do not directly correlate to iPhone sales.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic delaying the launch and shipments of the 2020 iPhones versus 2019, Kuo thinks demand for the iPhone 12 family be lower than the iPhone 11 sales during the same period last year. As AppleInsider notes, the prediction from Kuo that a mid-ranged model will be the highest seller goes against the last few generations of devices. “For the iPhone X and iPhone 8 generation, the high-priced iPhone X was the best-selling device in that group for early 2018, but was beaten by the iPhone 8 by the end of the year,” the site observed.