Gone are the days when mobile phone manufacturers fought to create the smallest smartphone they could. In fact, in today’s market we’ve seen an influx in larger screened devices take a hold of the sales charts – to the point where it could mean the end of mini smartphones.
But are miniature phones really on their way out? Or is this just a minor blip for our smaller screened phones?
The End of Mini Smartphones
To say that smaller phones are on the way out is actually a bit of an understatement, as more and more are getting put out to pasture on a yearly basis. The evidence of this is in plain sight as well, with even the biggest names ditching smaller screens.
Apple, one of the advocates of small screened devices has even jumped aboard the larger screen model with the iPhone 6 Plus, even after the late Steve Jobs claimed that ‘no-one’s going to buy’ a big phone. However, today’s evidence seems to prove this statement wrong – with our love for sizeable displays at its peak.
Look back two years and the differences are telling; the most popular devices’ (iPhone 4s, HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4, Sony Xperia Z1 and LG G2) average screen size was at 4.7”. Back to the present day, and this has grown to 5.1”, with the iPhone 6 being the smallest of the bunch at 4.7” by itself, with no miniature variation in tow.
Samsung’s once-popular S Mini line-up proves this, as its latest model, the S5 Mini has underperformed compared to its flagship counterpart. The standard S5 saw a huge underperformance in general, selling 40% under expectation. However, the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini was even less successful than its larger-screened brother, suggesting that when it comes to smartphones, bigger is certainly better.
A number of other mini smartphones have also seen a drop in sales, including the likes of the HTC One Mini and Sony Xperia Compact lines. But is this echoing in a new brand of smartphones?
Growth of the Mid-Ranger
If mini smartphones aren’t going to last long, what are the mobile trends of 2015?
Whilst small phones have seen sales figures plummet downward, mid-range devices have seen something of a rebirth. Evidence of this can be seen by manufacturers’ intentions to release handsets which might not cater for your high-end consumers, but instead cut costs.
The likes of the Microsoft Lumia and HTC Desire product lines have shown that success can be found on the mid-range market, without sticking a smaller screen on a flagship handset. In fact, for those customers who can’t afford flagship handsets, these are the best option for a mix of power, price and design whilst keeping a decent sized display.
Some consumers have even forgone this option and have targeted older flagship handsets for their two-year contracts. In fact, the iPhone 4s sold so well years after its initial launch, Apple even re-released it with a smaller storage option, which helped it outsell the likes of the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5. Over 10 million 4s smartphones were sold in 2014; a number which is quite astonishing considering that it was originally launched in 2011.
Part of this comes down to brand, but it also shows that beneath the high-end market – there’s plenty of competition between different handsets, and the miniature phone is failing to cut it. Plus, with an over-saturation of mid-range phones becoming commonplace, it won’t be getting any easier for manufacturers to weasel their way into the top spot behind their flagship efforts.
Where’s the Galaxy S6 Mini?
Planning on grabbing a Samsung flagship phone? Check out the Samsung Galaxy S6 here!
Samsung’s Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge handsets have arrived, and the S6 Mini is sure to follow at one point or another. But will it really be able to compete with mid-range phones with higher specs for what’s often a cheaper price tag?
Whilst recognition of the flagship phone will draw some attention from customers, its dumbed down specs may well see the Galaxy S6 Mini result in the same fate as its predecessor.
Is it time to say goodbye to the mini smartphone?
It’s definitely not looking promising for the likes of the mini flagship phones, given their smaller screens and watered down specs. With an ever growing love of mid-range smartphones and their more affordable price tags, it’s hard to picture a smaller screened smartphone performing as well as this year.