Over quarter of U.S. iPhone owners still use small 4-inch handsets

“More than two years since Apple shifted its focus to larger-screen iPhones (4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models), 26% of U.S. iPhone owners still use handsets with 4-inch screens, according to a December survey by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners,” Patrick Seitz reports for Investor’s Business Daily.

“The Chicago-based research firm said 110 million iPhones were in use in the fourth quarter in the U.S., up from 100 million in Q3 and 78 million in the year-earlier period,” Seitz reports. “Of the 110 million iPhones in use last quarter, 74% were iPhone 6 or 6S model handsets, CIRP said. They included 62 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus units and 19 million iPhone 6S and 6S Plus units. The remainder (29 million) were mostly 4-inch iPhone 5C and 5S models.”

“Apple continues to sell the iPhone 5S, a model that hasn’t changed since its introduction in September 2013. What isn’t known is how many of the current users simply prefer a 4-inch handset over the larger-screen models and how many have just not yet upgraded. Apple is about to find out,” Seitz reports. “Apple is expected to introduce a new 4-inch handset, dubbed the iPhone 5SE, at a product launch event next month.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: They’d sell more if they named it with a “6,” instead of a “5.”

‘iPhone 6se’ price, full specification, battery life features – February 14, 2016
With iPhone 5se release date, Apple gets aggressive – February 13, 2016
Apple to launch sales of 4-inch iPhone 5se and iPad Air 3 on March 18th – February 12, 2016


  1. Interesting, though the iPhone 5S is a very reliable phone. Most people just don’t need or require larger phones. That’s for the geeks, & probably gamers in the population. I’d keep the small phones in the pipeline, they’ll sell just great.

    1. Well said. If I replaced my 5S’s battery, I would probably never need a thing.

      Again, when 3D touch becomes a ‘must-have’ feature, I’m there. Also, the ApplePay stuff is cool, but I can just get that with AppleWatch, if I really want.

    2. While I personally prefer the smaller phone (and I have a 6), I think the larger phones did address a fairly large audience that had no other smartphone option besides Android. After Apple increased the size, a LOT of Android users switched. I think Apple should offer 3 sizes (small, large, and extra-large), like they plan to with the 7. Covering all 3 bases is a smart move.

  2. 29 Million users on iPhone 5s or older. That is a huge group that Apple should not ignore.
    What part of that prefer the 4″ screen vs penny pinchers that stick with older iPhones to save money?

    1. Small screen is the way forward for me and I’ve been arguing for smaller form factor iPhones since the larger ones were first rumoured.

      Before smartphones, one of the biggest selling points for a new phone was how small it was. It seems strange that one of the biggest marketing points these days is how large a phone is.

      I’ve been using cellphones for a very long time. My employer gave me a Motorola 8000 in the late 1980s, prior to that, cellphones were of the ‘brick with a handset on top’ design. I remember in 1990 buying an NEC P3 cellphone, which seemed unbelievably small by comparison to previous cellphones, but was still far too big for anything smaller than a fairly large jacket pocket.

      Incrementally I upgraded to one new phone after another and each one was smaller than it’s predecessor. One highlight in 2003 was the Sony Ericsson T68i, which was the first phone I owned that comfortably fitted in my shirt pocket ( it was also my first cellphone that offered automatic sync with the address book and calendar on my Mac ).

      After that I had iPhones and would still prefer a smaller iPhone. If I need to do something on a large screen, I use my cellular iPad. Otherwise I prefer the convenience of having a compact iPhone always with me.

      It’s worth bearing in mind that my first NEC P3 had to be purchased outright for about the same as a top of the line current iPhone and that I also had to sign a 24 month contract just for the service at a cost of about double the monthly cost of a modern day inclusive phone rental, service charge and calls deal and on top of all that, I had to pay quite a significant fee per call – there were no inclusive calls.

      I’ve been used to spending reasonable sums of money to be in touch and I expect to continue to do so. My preference would be for a small, but fully featured iPhone, which would obviously not be much cheaper than a larger iPhone.

  3. While in Paris recently, I was surprised to see 4-inch screen iPhones out numbered large screen iPhones like 5 to 1. Also, I saw only one Apple Watch. It was also the only Gold Apple Watch I’ve ever seen out in public. Ah, the French..

  4. The 6s/6s Plus wasn’t that compelling of an upgrade from the 6 Plus, and the 6 Plus has been such an incredible device that I decided to get a new MacBook Pro instead (my first Apple “computer”). I will definitely be getting the 7 Plus in the fall, which will be my third iPhone.

    My Mom has a 5s and her two year contract expires in the Fall. In addition to the 5s she uses an iPad in her home and an iPad Mini when she is mobile. I asked her if she is excited about the new 4 inch iPhone, and she told me that the Mini will be handed down and the 5s will be replaced with an iPhone 7 Plus. She will use the Plus as her go to device when she is mobile. If Apple didn’t offer a phablet she would just continue with her current setup. The 7 Plus will be her fourth iPhone – 3GS, 4, 5s, 7 Plus.

    My Dad has the 6 Plus and will also be getting the 7 Plus in the Fall. My Uncle still has the 4s and my Aunt has a 5s. My Uncle will probably get the new 4 inch iPhone and my Aunt will probably get the 7.

    I’m still waiting to hear from others in my immediate circle, but based on this limited survey three pre iPhone 6 devices will be replaced with 2016 iPhones (new 4 inch, 7 and 7 Plus) and two 2014 iPhone 6 Plus units will be replaced with two 2016 iPhone 7 Plus units. So, all five people in this survey will be getting new iPhones sometime in 2016.

  5. I am android user and after switching over to iPad I now what to switch over to iPhone but it price that is stopping me.
    I live in Australia and apple are selling iPhone 5s for $778.00 for a phone that will be 3 years old in September. I don’t need a big phone. This sounds like the perfect phone but only if the price is right. The phone that got me wanting to switch over to iPhone was 5s. Best looking iPhone ever.

  6. This article is dead wrong. The iPhone 6 was released in September 19, 2014. Two years will be sept 2016. The iPhone 5S (which I have) has a 4 inch screen. Why is it surprising that 26% of users still have a 4 inch screen? Most people are on 2 year cycles at the minimum and the 6 has only been out for 1.5 years.

  7. It is amazing that a phone, the 5s, from September 2013 is STILL number two in individual iPhone model market share. I guess the public, unlike MDN, really wants a 4 inch phone.

    The four inch phone is the perfect one hand usable pocketable phone. I’ll keep my 5s until I can get a better 4 inch phone.

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