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Thread: Smartphone Vendors to Likely Revamp Strategies for Mini Models as iPhone Prevails

  1. #1
    MMi Staff Writer Akshay Masand's Avatar
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    Default Smartphone Vendors to Likely Revamp Strategies for Mini Models as iPhone Prevails


    Apple’s 4-inch iPhones are one of the hottest selling smartphones in the market but competitors like HTC and Samsung are having trouble getting consumers to buy into their own similarly sized devices. Smartphones like the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 which sport displays larger than those of their predecessors are a result of some consumers’ preference for larger screens. However, HTC and Samsung have released the One Mini and Galaxy S4 mini, both of which are smaller-screened “flagship” handsets with less powerful specs meant to compete with Apple’s iPhone. These “mini flagships” have seen slow sales according to DigiTimes.

    Citing industry sources, the folks over at DigiTimes claim that the S4 mini has seen lackluster sales. This is partly attributed to the middling specs of the smaller-screened device, which has to compete with an array of other mid-range offerings from Samsung. Consumers aren’t flocking towards the HTC One mini either and the manufacturer has reportedly been forced in some markets to cut nearly 20% off the device’s sales price just two months after its introduction.

    Another factor, aside from the competition from competition from larger-screened, equally specced devices, could potentially be Apple’s iPhone. The iPhone brings forth the high-end performance typically seen in larger devices with the smaller form factor that many consumers seem to prefer. Multiple studies have shown that more Android users switch to the iPhone than vice versa and the recent record-breaking sales of Apple’s newest iPhones indicate that there is still a demand for devices in its size range, despite the poor sales of competitors’ entries. Still, Android manufacturer’s smaller smartphones have found no traction among consumers, even though they are typically priced well below that of the iPhone.

    The Cupertino California company’s refusal to move beyond a four-inch screen is due in part to the company’s insistence that iPhone users should be able to operate their devices with just one hand. The screen size of the iPhone 5, 5S and 5C allow most users to hold the device in one hand and access each part of the screen with their thumb. Despite this, the company is still rumored to be working on an iPhone with a larger screen, though such rumors have persisted for quite some time. CEO Tim Cook has hinted that iPhones could potentially get bigger displays when Apple can produce them without making trade-offs in terms of battery life, color reproduction and other factors. We’ll have to wait and see what turns out to be true and what doesn’t by just being patient.

    Source: DigiTimes

    Twitter: @AkshayMasand

  2. #2
    The Android community continue to claim that most people want bigger screens, but fail to realize that may only be because those are the only phone with top-shelf specs.

    Then their excuse is that you can't get those top shelf components and capability in smaller phones, yet we see that the 5S has beaten down nearly all the Android quad core competition with their humble dual core A7 and also manage to jam in other great specs like one of the best camera phones, an integrated fingerprint read/home button, an amazing screen that doesn't kill battery like 1080, etc.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by fleurya View Post
    The Android community continue to claim that most people want bigger screens, but fail to realize that may only be because those are the only phone with top-shelf specs.

    Then their excuse is that you can't get those top shelf components and capability in smaller phones, yet we see that the 5S has beaten down nearly all the Android quad core competition with their humble dual core A7 and also manage to jam in other great specs like one of the best camera phones, an integrated fingerprint read/home button, an amazing screen that doesn't kill battery like 1080, etc.
    Or maybe the reason people aren't flocking to the mini versions is that they do want the larger screen. If I had to choose between my HTC One or the Mini (full size specs in Mini), I'd still pick the full size. A lot of the people I know that switched from the iPhone did so because of screen size. I also can't count the number of times I'd have people really like the screen on my One. Overall size difference between the HTC One and the iPhone 5s are miniscule.

  4. #4
    Livin the iPhone Life bigboyz's Avatar
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    We want specs. Hardware is nice but software is king. Apple combines both sexy and innovation. Not many other phone makers can say the same.

  5. #5
    why would anyone think that only one size fits all? don't we sell small, medium, and large cars? sporty, luxury, off road? fine dining, fastfood, diners? naturally there is a market for bigger screens. it's the only reason I left the iphone camp. I just wanted a bigger screen once it became available. if microsoft would have been the first one to release it, I would have jumped on that bandwagon instead. it ended up being Dell with the Streak. they marketed it poorly and made it slow with their launcher. i moved on from the streak to the galaxy note family but I gave that Streak to a family member and it's still alive and kicking despite being a first gen device.

    in the US the iphone is popular because it's still a status symbol and number two, americans are affluent enough to not only buy the iphone, but also give iphones to their kids. kids usually shun what the mainstream use, but in the case of the iphone, they are in love.

    in other countries people can't afford iphones so it's android and blackberries, though I have seen a shift to android in the past year or two, specifically in Colombia.

  6. #6
    Regardless of the debate... which does seem to go on and on and on.... for me it boils down to one thing.... Does it fit in my pocket. If I wanted to use a tablet as a phone I would. iphone is the only that fits and is packed with tech.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Harambur View Post
    why would anyone think that only one size fits all? don't we sell small, medium, and large cars? sporty, luxury, off road? fine dining, fastfood, diners? naturally there is a market for bigger screens. it's the only reason I left the iphone camp. I just wanted a bigger screen once it became available. if microsoft would have been the first one to release it, I would have jumped on that bandwagon instead. it ended up being Dell with the Streak. they marketed it poorly and made it slow with their launcher. i moved on from the streak to the galaxy note family but I gave that Streak to a family member and it's still alive and kicking despite being a first gen device.

    in the US the iphone is popular because it's still a status symbol and number two, americans are affluent enough to not only buy the iphone, but also give iphones to their kids. kids usually shun what the mainstream use, but in the case of the iphone, they are in love.

    in other countries people can't afford iphones so it's android and blackberries, though I have seen a shift to android in the past year or two, specifically in Colombia.
    This is so true.

    I do know this though. I spend 2 1/2 years with my squadron in Japan. And I can count the number of iPhone's I saw in peoples hands on my fingers and toes. They were no where. No one used iPhone's. Most the time the only time I saw them were people who were new to Japan, or were there awaiting deployment. And believe me, it isn't because the Japanese can't afford it. They just for whatever reason, don't buy them.

    I personally bought the 5s this year after using Android since the iPhone 4, (when I came to Japan.) and I'm happy with it. But I don't find it all that intuitive and innovative like people seem to want you to believe it is. But it is quite good. I can't complain. I just prefer Android at this point.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by pygar View Post
    Regardless of the debate... which does seem to go on and on and on.... for me it boils down to one thing.... Does it fit in my pocket. If I wanted to use a tablet as a phone I would. iphone is the only that fits and is packed with tech.
    Only one that fits your pockets?
    Are you high?

    Or are you just sporting a pair of Apple jeans atop your Apple undies, where there is only an Apple sized compartment they call a pocket....
    Geez, many other models of current phones fit in skinny jeans...

    I personally own an iPhone 5s and love it to bits but jesus open your eyes/mind.

  9. #9
    My iPhone is a Part of Me Donnutt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harambur View Post
    in the US the iphone is popular because it's still a status symbol and number two, americans are affluent enough to not only buy the iphone, but also give iphones to their kids. kids usually shun what the mainstream use, but in the case of the iphone, they are in love.

    in other countries people can't afford iphones so it's android and blackberries, though I have seen a shift to android in the past year or two, specifically in Colombia.
    I agree with you on the whole "one size doesn't fit all" issue but I really think the whole "status symbol" thing is come and gone. It used to be one but now you only get made fun of for being so mainstream and iSheep-ish.
    On the subject of other countries, cost doesn't seem to matter. They sold a ton when they sold to India for god'd sake! And "flagship" androids STILL cost a butt ton of money too...

  10. #10
    As someone who does prefer smaller phones, I personally don't think a preference for smaller phones is what's making people buy iPhones. I think people are buying iPhones because they're iPhones. More specifically, they want the Apple iPhone branding, iOS, vast array of apps, and a lot of people just stick to iPhone out of brand loyalty.

    If there WERE a larger iPhone option, I wouldn't be surprised if it outsold the smaller one.

    Everybody wants BIG BIG BIG these days. I don't really think the lack of sales of the "Mini" versions of Android phones is necessarily due to middling specs. I doubt many people even know what the specs mean. People just like big phones, big screens. I like a small phone, and I feel like a minority because I don't see a lot of people echoing my sentiments.

    FWIW, I don't care about screen size as much as body size. One Mini doesn't appeal to me at all, because it may have a small-ish 4.3" screen, but its body is huge. It's longer than 4.7" phones like the Moto X. I want a phone with tiny bezels, the biggest screen you can fit on the smallest body. The smallest Android to me that seems even slightly appealing is the Moto Droid Mini. Shame it doesn't have a MicroSD slot and is made of cheap smooth plastic.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Slimz View Post
    This is so true.

    I do know this though. I spend 2 1/2 years with my squadron in Japan. And I can count the number of iPhone's I saw in peoples hands on my fingers and toes. They were no where. No one used iPhone's. Most the time the only time I saw them were people who were new to Japan, or were there awaiting deployment. And believe me, it isn't because the Japanese can't afford it. They just for whatever reason, don't buy them.

    I personally bought the 5s this year after using Android since the iPhone 4, (when I came to Japan.) and I'm happy with it. But I don't find it all that intuitive and innovative like people seem to want you to believe it is. But it is quite good. I can't complain. I just prefer Android at this point.
    In my 2 years study in Tokyo, I saw countless iPhone on people's hands, especially when they were on train. Almost all students in my campus used iPhone. The fact that Docomo "surrendered" to Apple shows that iPhone is one of the most selling phones in Japan.
    I own Samsung Galaxy SIII Docomo because of its aggressive campaign. It's a great smartphone. But apparently, Softbank and AU gain more subscribers every month because of iPhone.

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