Many analysts agree that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) needs an iPhone with a bigger screen to address that growing segment of the market. But as it turns out, the company’s doing pretty well with the current 4-inch iPhone.
Mini devices not selling well
Daniel Shen and Steve Shen of DigiTimes report that industry sources say makers of so-called “mini” devices are having trouble selling those devices. Now they’re having to consider revamping their strategies. Both Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) and HTC Corp (TPE:2498) have launched mini versions of their flagship devices.
The HTC One Mini and the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini have smaller screens than their flagship full-size counterparts, along with lower specs. Sales of these handsets have apparently been lackluster, possibly due to their middle-of-the-road specs. In some markets, HTC has had to slash the device’s price by almost 20 percent within just a couple of months of its launch.
Apple beats mini devices
Another problem these so-called mini devices have is Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and its iPhone. It has the high-end performance with a smaller size, which some consumers still prefer. Kevin Bostic of Apple Insider points to several studies which suggest more Android users switch over to the iPhone than the other way around. In addition, the fact that Apple set a new record with the launch of its iPhone 5S and 5C in September shows that consumers still want 4-inch handsets.
However, apparently they’re not willing to sacrifice specs, and they are willing to pay more for a 4-inch handset with the higher specs. Apple’s iPhone is priced quite a bit higher than Samsung’s and HTC’s mini handsets.
Why Apple hasn’t gone to a bigger screen
The main reason Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) hasn’t gone to a bigger screen is because of worries about quality. Management said earlier this year that they weren’t willing to sacrifice performance or battery life for screen size. Another big reason for remaining with a 4-inch size is the company’s belief that users should be able to navigate their smartphones with just one hand, using the thumb. This can be difficult to do with a larger screen.
Of course there have been reports from Apple’s supply chain suggesting that the company is testing larger screens for its iPhone and that we could see an iPhone 6 with a screen size approaching 5 inches.