If wishes were iPhones: Don’t blame the small form factor

Let the Macalope just begin this week’s column by noting this is all his fault. If you were wondering what happens when you wish on a monkey’s paw for Apple to make a smaller phone again, the answer is the the company doesn’t make one, it makes two, but in the wrong order.

Just last week the horny one was marveling that we haven’t had any rumors of iPhone production cuts. Well, now we have one and it’s annoyingly specific.

“Another supply-chain report says iPhone 12 mini production cut”

The Macalope is what the kids would call an iPhone 12 mini stan (which is short for “Stanley Superfan”, a long-time fan of the Detroit Tigers whose last name just happened to be “Superfan”) so hearing that demand for his favorite phone is supposedly “weaker than expected” is slightly rage-inducing as he bought 20 of them, what else is supposed to do? Tile his bathroom with them? Because he’ll do that if that’s what it takes to get Apple to keep making a smaller phone.

The Verge’s Dieter Bohn opined:

  1. Apple only makes ever bigger phones
  2. People loudly demand smaller phones
  3. Every five years Apple relents and makes a smaller phone in response to that apparent demand
  4. The demand is an illusion, not enough people buy them
  5. Go to 1

Well, yes, except for this being, you know, not right at all. The 2016 iPhone SE sold very well, as did the 2020 replacement. If we’re going to take these production cut rumors seriously, there’s a more reasonable explanation than “no one wants small phones”. As the Macalope has already suggested, the problem is more likely that the pent up demand for a smaller phone broke for the 2020 SE because it came out first. Then when the iPhone 12 mini was released, no one wanted to buy another phone in the middle of a pandemic, even if it was one they wanted more. You can’t expect people to hang on to a phone for four years, then finally release its purported replacement only to expect them to buy yet another phone six months later.

Other than the Macalope, of course. He’d dive headfirst into a swimming pool full of deer ticks for a slightly small phone. He hopes it doesn’t come to that but that’s where the line is in case Tim Cook is wondering.

Ideally Apple will see the conundrum it created. The fault lies not in the iPhone 12 mini, Apple, but in thyself.