Is there really a market for a new four-inch iPhone?

“There has been a lot of talk lately about an alleged new iPhone model that is thought might launch this spring,” Charles Martin writes for MacNN. “As is the case with rumors not based on hard evidence, the supposed specs of the device change nearly hourly, and resemble more closely someone’s wish list than a practical or sensible device at times. Two things have stayed constant in the various versions of the rumor, however: a four-inch display, and that it is based on the idea of a revamp of the iPhone 5s.”

“Why would Apple take a step back in this manner to a smaller device?” Martin writes. “Various reasons have been given, but for a device that is claimed to be in production right now for an alleged launch in March, it’s suspicious and unusual that no parts or shell leaks, or prototypes of this hybrid device (borrowing, as the report claim, elements from the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 6 or 6s) have surfaced.”

“That’s not to say there isn’t some potential motivation for a new iPhone model that emerges in the spring,” Martin writes. ” If the findings of our survey of 1,000 shoppers holds up as generally true for the market as a whole, there is very little motivation for Apple to expend the effort to retool a new, smaller device. That’s not to say there aren’t people who genuinely want a four-inch iPhone or to dismiss their preference, but to point out that 90 percent of the people we polled indicated they’d like the current sizes or larger, not smaller. Further, we’ve found anecdotally that many of the people who say they prefer the four-inch size will change their minds after actually using the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 or 6s for a short period — a common resistance to change that prefers the familiar to the new.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Again, there’s not enough meh in the universe to express how we feel about this one. The “iPhone 5se” is simply not for us.

“In general, the only people who still think they want a 4-inch iPhone are those who do not yet own a 4.7-inch iPhone 6 or 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus.” — MacDailyNews Take, December 5, 2014

SEE ALSO:
Why Apple’s rumored 4-inch iPhone 5se may well be worth seriously considering – January 25, 2016
‘iPhone 5se’ likely to have faster A9/M9 chips and always-on Siri – January 25, 2016
Apple ‘iPhone 5se’ compared to an iPhone 5 in leaked image – January 25, 2016

44 Comments

  1. Again…..There are tons of people who prefer the smaller form factor….
    And it completes the lineup and pricepoint…. imho…

    Many did not or do not acknowledge the ipad mini… But yet it seems to be a very strong seller for apple, specially last holiday….

    1. @Yojimbo007

      Where do I begin… in order to have a humble opinion one would actually have to be humble; yet you are THE most annoying fanboy on this site, and you also happen to be about as humble as Adolf Hitler!

      You’re also a poor writer, you lack the ability to construct a proper sentence, and you have a tendency to misspell words! I’m guessing you also have a language barrier, as well as an accent you can quite possibly cut with a f*cking chainsaw!

      The last thing Apple needs is another 4-inch iPhone (buy a used iPhone 4S for Pete’s sake).

      Actually, what that incompetent in charge in Cupertino needs to do is make an entry level iPhone with more than 16GB of RAM.

      Oh, that’s right, then Cook couldn’t gouge you for a $200 RAM upgrade (when it actually costs Apple pennies for storage), and/or have Apple force you to pay for more iCloud storage!

      Oh yeah, Apple also needs a new CEO!

      1. I do not understand why some folks who prefer larger phones feel it necessary to insult those who don’t I am an average sized American male with hands in proportion. I find the 4.7″ iPhones too large. If your preferences differ, good for you! I do not have the silly notion that everyone has the same use case.

        Over a year ago when MDN first made the comment that only people who have never used a 4.7 claim to prefer a 4..0, I was one of many who wrote in to give ourselves as counter examples. Yet they keep repeating the same obvious untruth. I tried out an iPhone 6 for over a year, and have used a 6s almost exclusively since October, and I would still prefer a smaller full-featured iPhone.

        I cannot use the 4.7 models unless I have both hands free. If I try typing one handed, I hit s about half the time when I am headed for a. If I try to use the phone as a flashlight while doing anything else, I drop the phone as often as not. About the only thing it does better than my old phone is ebooks. All the extra features could easily be put into a premium 4.0 inch phone.

        Sure the small-phone crowd may be a minority, but there are still enough of us to make Apple a lot of money. Why not?

        1. The question is what does “enough of us” amount to? I use the 6+ without problems, I’ve adjusted my grip for one-handed typing, which admittedly isn’t ideal, but it doesn’t really matter that much. Unless there are at least 10 million new buyers a quarter that absolutely cannot use the 4.7″ phone (doubtful) Apple shouldn’t bother.

      2. How cordial and nice of you..maybe i should learn humility from you, ha?
        It seens more people agree with me than you poor soul ..at least on this post.
        And exactly which sentences of mine have confused you to such desperate levels for you to insult me.?
        Please feel free to quote them.
        It seems most here understand what i say and write Except you…..a fact that is its more telling about you than me !…..
        (Spelling on ios comes hard to me.. And i appologize for typos when i catch them. ios spell checker could be a bit more astute too.. But its not )….
        Anyways,
        You even go as far as insulting my accent… Lol… Have you heard my accent ?.
        And is an accent a bad thing? .. Maybe it is to a Hillbilly who has not been farther away than 20 miles from home cousins .. Yet he is feeling worldly pouring trash out of his mount on the net.

        You have been on my case since a long time of ago… Under different unregistard names….. Trying to discredit me on every turn..
        Having a good time looking ignorant and foolish?
        Im sure you are. Its typical of people like you..
        You are a frightened little cowered, a nobody, hiding behind an unregistered id.. you are laughable.

        Please go ahead.. Insult me, and also Tim Cook… I dont mind being bundled in that company…..
        And dont waste your time reading what i write…its beyond your comprehension..obviously .
        Those who count listen, Trust me. … Way more than You can imagine .
        Get a life… Get a brain… Get a personality…

    2. There is a sizable market for a smaller iPhone form factor. Some people just want smaller; some want one that fits into a particular size of pocket. We need to respect that market.

      I love my 6s Plus and I would not want a smaller iPhone, but I know a few people who feel differently. We’ve grown so conditioned to the larger models that we forget those who are left behind and want smaller.

      And the readers of this site are not necessarily indicative of the market as a whole; here readers are fans of tech and Apple, and most will go with the latest and greatest, the biggest and baddest equipment.

    1. Amen. That is where Apple’s high growth will come from.

      The more Apple watches sold, the less need there is for some people to carry a “big” iPhone, too.

      What I have found is that the big iPhone 6 is just not big enough to deal with large documents I want to read or edit. Hence, an iPad is my only solution that makes sense … to go with my 5S.

  2. I’m still using my iPhone 5S. A new smaller phone (with 128gb of storage) would get me buying on the first day again. I want a phone that fits in my pocket, not a phone that needs a laptop bag.

  3. Two of the four people in my family who have used both the 6 and the 6S would immediately trade in their phone for a full featured 4 inch phone. I would imagine there are plenty of others feeling similarly.

  4. It doesn’t matter what other think is right. But there is a market for 4″ iPhones. Polls show that clearly and I know many people who just don’t want a bigger phone. Cook made a big mistake not releasing an iPhone 6s 4″ for the past Christmas season. BIG MISTAKE!

      1. I haven’t upgraded from my 5S, either. I was in the store back in November, ready to pull the trigger on a 6S+ and then I realized I didn’t want to buy a murse just to carry my phone with me in the summer.

        BUT, if they do come out with a smaller version, it should have the same specs as the 6S, If they stick it with last year’s tech I might as well keep my 5S AND my unlmited data plan.

      2. Agreed. I’ve had an iPhone from the very start. I upgraded each year, until I got the iPhone 6. I tried it out for a week then returned it. AAPL is missing out on my yearly upgrade by not making a phone with a 4″ screen or smaller.

        The original iPhone had a 3.5″ screen for a reason. That’s the size I’d really prefer. I use my phone a lot throughout the day. That size feels best in my hand. And, for what it’s worth, I don’t use a protective case and I have an  WATCH.

  5. I would agree with MDN’s assessment unless Apple can offer an adequately functional “iPhone 5se” for considerable less than other models and still maintain their margins. Since it is so small, its low price would be unlikely to bleed sales from existing models too much as it will not be attractive to people who have used or tried a larger iPhone. However it would allow new smartphone users, children and Androidians to partake in Apple’s full ecosystem more easily while expanding Apple’s sales profitably.

  6. When somebody writes that a smaller iPhone is a step back, you know they’re an idiot.

    It all depends on how you use your iPhone. Some people also have an iPad or an Apple Watch. Either of those make you less dependent on looking at your iPhone, but in different ways.

    As far as I’m concerned, a smaller iPhone would be preferable, especially if it’s fully featured. What I don’t want is a stripped down iPhone lite. All iPhones should have all the main features, but some with bigger screens than others.

    1. Perfect reply, imo.

      I haven’t tried the 4.7″ model. And I will. But I’m still perfectly content with my 4″ 5S. I was even resistant to the change to the 4″ screen until I saw that it merely increased the length of the phone by like a quarter of an inch. If the 4.7″ is still pretty small, I might go there. But I know they didn’t pull off that 4″ for 1/4″ magic on it, so I’m doubtful.

      But I still want it small.

      My mom? She needs larger print, so a bigger screen will be better for her, and she carries it in her purse. Jumbo for her.

      My sister? Well, I think she is the one in our family who would actually use the added real estate for more than blown up text. Jumbo for her.

      My wife? Carried in her purse, the 4.7″ would be fine. She doesn’t want the bigger model. She isn’t concerned about it being too bulky. 4.7″

      My son? Well, I’m buying, so he’s stuck with what I get him. 😀

      But me? I want the small one, light and easy in my pocket. Full featured, though. Not last year’s model in a plastic case.

  7. A huge LOT of women will love a faster, better 4 inch iPhone. Women, you know, these funny persons what it is all about in the world. My wife will ask me to buy one the very first day.

    1. I still own the 4s, with its “tiny” 3.5 inch screen. It’s fine. I don’t understand these histrionic Size Wars. Don’t people have better things to do with their time? It’s a phone; I use it as a phone. Smaller is better for a phone. The fact that I can ask it for directions, or remind me to pick up groceries later, is a bonus. It’s hard to believe what whiny, spoilt children we’ve become in just a few years since being handed a golden chalice.

  8. I have a 6s and can’t reach the far bottom and far top corners with my thumb. I need to use two hands. If I’m gonna use two hands, I may as well have an iPad. Thumbs up on a 4″ model. I need a one-handed phone.

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