Strategy Analytics: Apple could launch ‘iPhone Mini’ next year to blunt Samsung market share threat

“Is an ‘iPhone Mini’ on the horizon? Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston thinks so. But why?” Lance Whitney writes for CNET.

“Samsung has been the clear winner in the smartphone wars, with Apple playing second fiddle,” Whitney writes. “And that lead may wider further in 2013.”


MacDailyNews Take: “Clear winner” in unit share, Lance. Apple is the clear winner in profit share (see: Apple utterly dominates mobile device market with 6% market share – and 77% of the profits). Now, which would you rather have?

Don’t be a dummy, Lance.

In this case, “market share” is unit share, not profit share. It’s only one metric and not even the most important one. Apple owns the profit in the modern smartphone industry and has the loyal customers willing pay for apps and who are most desired by developers and advertisers. All Samsung has are empty unit share figures from dumping Buy One Get X Free fake iPhones into the market and a bunch of disengaged customers (many of whom do not even use the phone for much beyond phone calls) who’ll dump Samsung in a split second to save a nickel.

Apple doesn’t want crap customers. Developers don’t want crap customers. Advertisers don’t want crap customers. Accessory makers don’t want crap customers. Samsung et al. can have them.

Look up “winning” in the dictionary, Lance, lest you continue to sound like an idiot.

Whitney writes, “The Korean handset maker has the edge over Apple in large part because it ‘plays in more segments,’ Mawston told Reuters, allowing it to ‘capture more volume than Apple.’ To fight back, Apple may try to win over a larger base of consumers by launching a smaller, cheaper variant of the iPhone, dubbed the ‘iPhone Mini’ by the analyst.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Strategy Analytics has a fundamental lack of understanding about what motivates Apple Inc. and how they approach markets.

Apple wants to delight customers, not scrape the bottom of the barrel in an empty quest to pad unit share numbers.

Again, for those who haven’t been paying attention for the past three decades: Apple sells premium products at premium prices to premium customers.

Related articles:
Android, schmandroid: Apple’s iOS platform is the undisputed app cash king – December 18, 2012
Developers overwhelmingly choose iOS first as interest in Android wanes for third time in last four quarters – October 2, 2012
Study: iPhone users vastly outspent Android users on apps, respond much better to ads – August 20, 2012
Apple utterly dominates mobile device market with 6% market share – and 77% of the profits – August 6, 2012
Apple’s iOS crushes Google’s Android with 52% higher app loyalty rates – June 27, 2012
Apple’s iOS over 4 times more valuable to developers than Android – June 7, 2012
Game over, Android: Apple owns 84% of mobile gaming revenue – May 7, 2012
Wealthy smartphone users more likely to have iPhones; less likely to play games, tweet – April 2, 2012
U.S. Apple product users split evenly between Republicans and Democrats; Half of U.S. households own at least one Apple product – March 28, 2012
Study: iPad users more likely to buy – and buy more – online than traditional PC users – September 29, 2011
Apple iPhone users most open to mobile payments – August 22, 2011
iPhone users smarter, richer, less conservative than Android phone users – August 16, 2011
Apple iPhone users spend significantly more on their credit cards than non-iPhone users – November 5, 2010
Study: Apple iPhone users richer, younger, more productive than other so-called ‘smartphone’ users – June 12, 2009
Nielsen: Mac users are better educated and make more money than PC users – July 12, 2002


  1. No, no no NO!

    Let’s think this through — the trend in smartphones is a larger screen. So Apple is going to release an iPhone mini with a smaller screen? AND a smaller battery? Battery life is one of the big problems with smartphones right now.

    Apple is not interested in winning the unit volume title. Samsung can have it, so long as they don’t rip off the iPhone. Pole is very happy winning the profitability title.

    1. Ummm…. Wouldn’t you think a smaller screen would equal lower battery consumption? Less battery needed. Same for the circuitry. Smaller internals including CPU fabrication at smaller nanometer size = lower battery consumption.

      History has shown that when there is a drive to reduce the overall size, the technology developed to create it, spurs on much more capability and further innovation for it’s upfront R&D investment.

      Therefore, a mini iPhone is a good thing.

      Haven’t you seen I-Robot or Minority Report. The phones they used were super small. (Alright, they were probably the Bluetooth accessory piece)

  2. The iPod mini helped apple dominate the music player field. It also helped them capture supply of critical components and get lower pricing as a result.
    The question is are any of these factors important for apple now. Component wise apple is the leader. With the advent of the touch screen size is important as well.
    In my view apple are addressing the low end market with selling the previous models are low or no cost with contract.
    If apple were to come out with a smaller and thinner phone that totally changes the market then that is a different story. But of course they would charge top dollar for that.

  3. No iPhone mini ever.
    But we will see a larger iPhone. That is only obvious and inevitable. That is the only market Apple has ceded to Samsung. There is no need for an iPhone mini. No one is saying “gee I wish the iPhone was smaller” or made of less quality. People who WANT an iPhone, want a quality phone, a lesser phone would marginalize the brand. There is no way.

  4. I heard a rumor that there is going to be an iPad mini mini that has the same aspect ratio as its larger family members but sports a screen that is only .5″ x .5″.

    You use it by swallowing it whole

  5. There is no doubt that Apple will need to respond to these larger phablets but they have time. Samsung isn’t exactly hurting Apple despite them having a huge advantage in terms of market share. Apple is selling every phone they make with a healthy profit margin at that and their sales continue to grow. Samsung’s market share comes at the expense of other Android competitors, not Apple.

    Analysts that predict Samsung is going to dominate this year are greatly underestimating Apple. Apple’s current market share is all down to a single iPhone model which is amazing when you think how many models Samsung makes.

    You only have to look at the history of the iPod and the effect the iPod mini had to Apple’s MP3 player market share. Apple went from 35% to 75% within two quarters. The same thing could very well happen as Apple expands the iPhone lineup.

    This coming year rather than releasing a smaller iPhone, Apple is far more likely to release a dedicated, low cost 3.5/4-inch iPhone to target the low end, pre-paid market and a larger, more expensive 4.5-4.7-inch iPhone model for the high end market.

    This will allow Apple to address both the high-volume pre-paid market and the growing phablet market that Samsung dominates.

  6. Yep. Right.
    And the iPhone mini will have little plastic keys, and come with a variety of decals so that owners can personalise their phones. And Apple will sell them BOGO, and also include them in cereal boxes.

  7. Contrary Opinion Based on Facts:

    1. Screen resolutions have gone dramatically up.

    2. iPhone 3 has more than adequate readability at its resolution it was made at.

    3. Shrinking the size by 25% with smaller pixels would let the phone use all existing apps and would give a smaller pocket iPhone a more reasonable size.

    4. For people with good eyes, the smaller pixels are not a problem.

    5. More easily carried items are more desirable overall.

    Apple could do it. Consumers could use it. No idea if Apple will do it.

    1. Are you sure Mercedes won’t put out a rusty Mercedes bicycle in order to increase market share? Mumbai has a hell of lot of consumers, so Mercedes could be missing a great chance. I’m sure there’s an analyst out there calling for it.

      On Wall Street, it seems to be all about market share but I’m not certain why. Highest market share has never guaranteed lasting success. If that was the case, Palm, Nokia and RIM wouldn’t be where they are now.

      As an Apple shareholder, I’m torn. I know it’s not Apple’s fault for the share price being in the toilet, and I don’t want Apple to start selling crap merely to compete with Samsung. However, Wall Street doesn’t seem to value anything Apple is doing to stay as a high-quality, branded company. I don’t want Apple to enter a race to the bottom. That’s why I feel Apple needs to use its cash hoard to get into another business that Samsung doesn’t compete in such as media content subscriptions or cloud services.

    2. Mercedes sells cars at different price levels. In different sizes. With different types of engines. In different colors. Clearly targeting different buyers for each. They seem to be doing quite well. They make more on the high-end models but seem to make enough on all models to keep all available. If it didn’t make sense they would not do it. They sell more cars and are more profitable than they were 20 years ago.

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