The real reason why 4-inch phones are back in fashion

“Last week, Apple unveiled the newest iteration of the iPhone, a product line that accounts for two thirds of the company’s revenue: the iPhone 5SE,” Matthew Hussey writes for TNW.

“Unlike previous announcements, in which Apple has steadily increased the size of its phones, it went smaller. Not only did the company go smaller, it also recycled the chassis of an older model, the iPhone 5,” Hussey writes. “A week later, pre-order figures emerged from China – with more than three million of the handsets purchased before the phone hit the shelves according to CNBC.”

“No sooner had everyone in Cupertino slapped themselves on the back for working out how to sell the marketplace a bit of old rope, Samsung is allegedly doing the same. The South Korean chaebol is shrinking its flagship Galaxy S7 to 4.6-inches and calling it the ‘Mini,'” Hussey writes. “Xiaomi, Apple’s Chinese shadow is also supposed to be jumping into the shrunken screen pool.”

Hussey writes, “Apple’s SE, while a smaller phone, is also an embodiment of how Apple will continue to grow: through incremental changes and improvements to its existing line up.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The iPhone is a decades-long story. We’ve only had them for less than 8 years. The iPhone hand-wringing is overwrought.


    1. I have a MacBook Pro, but use the 6 Plus for 90% of my computing needs because it’s much more convenient to use. Plus, the larger screen on the 6+ gives me less headaches than the smaller screens, but if I was developing then the MacBook Pro would get much more use.

  1. The naysayers are wrong again. Apple has another iPhone category that’s a big hit, and I can’t wait to trade my monster-sized 6 Plus for the smaller size I prefer.

  2. ““No sooner had everyone in Cupertino slapped themselves on the back for working out how to sell the marketplace a bit of old rope,”

    Holy hell this is old and tiring. Yes, the smaller outside shell is a reuse thing, but all of the insides where it really counts are newer/newest tech. we go through this with every “s” model. The media, wallstreet, pundits, naysayers and other assorted analcysts whine moan and complain that Apple has somehow “lost it” because the outer case remained the same, even though all the inside tech is new and shiny. And some people wonder why Apple won’t bring back the G5 style MacPro tower…

      1. Best industrial design
        I had it apart for repairs (video card fan failed, the only fan on the thing, i wound up yanking the video card and using it as a headless VNC connected music server)
        Still humming with a 3TB hard drive, and max ram, but all it has to do is play my music into the stereo. And look good !-)

    1. The hypocrisy does stink I agree, first you get the decrying of the loss of a design that many people prefer and when a new version is launched suddenly it all changes to old rehashed tech. Simple fact is that quite rightly wanting to launch a second line of iPhone six months apart to even out sales which was also deemed a sensible move I seem to remember, they were hardly likely to present the new ‘look’ prior to their new upmarket models later are they. In which case rework the existing case to the new size or stick with an existing one that’s already the right size. Either way they will be ‘old’ designs so the choice was a no brainer unless they decide to give it a new unique body which would seem like overkill at present as it is most like only going to be a niche product though hopefully a decent sized one, but one that will certainly be cost/price sensitive. So a new design was rightfully rejected.

  3. Let’s face it: Ive did a nice design job with the “tube Mac Pro”… Yet, it’s a pure nonsense for pros. Actually, i feel a little the same (or rather the opposite) with oversized smartphones. It’s just smarter to have it handy and small…

  4. I’ve currently got a iPhone 6 but will be “upgrading” to the SE shortly. I may go through withdrawal going to a slightly smaller screen. But I’m pretty sure I’ll get over it quickly. I’m also thrilled that the SE will fit in the center console cradle of my BMW, which I bought in early 2014 when I still had a 5. I was slightly bummed when the 6 came out and no longer fit my expensive BMW iPhone cradle. But now it lives again!

  5. News Flash: 4″ never went out of fashion. Jonny and Steve settled on the 3.5″ phone after much thought, trial and error and prototype-iteration. Nothing has changed to the ideal *phone* size just because Samsung introduced a drunk-at-the-door sized craptacular ‘phablet’ that a lot of peopled liked it because it doubled poorly as a tablet.

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