With the iPhone XR, Xs, and Xs Max, the small phone is officially dead

“So long, small phones! It’s been real,” Lynn La writes for CNET. “On Wednesday, Apple announced its trio of new iPhones, and with it, the company put the final nail in the coffin for rebooting a small, pocketable iPhone.”

“That’s because the new lineup includes the 5.8-inch iPhone XS, the 6.1-inch iPhone XR and the 6.5-inch XS Max,” La writes. “Suddenly, last year’s biggest iPhone is now this year’s smallest option.”

MacDailyNews Take: Well, the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 are still on sale, so those are the smallest options Apple offers.

“Couple that with the fact that Apple is discontinuing the 4-inch iPhone SE, and this all means one thing: abandon all hope of ever owning a new small smartphone, iOS, Android or what have you,” La writes. “Personally, as an owner of baby hands myself, that’s downright disappointing. And I’m not alone.”

MacDailyNews Take: Unite, Lilliputians!

“Wth the 4-inch SE gone, small screens are feeling as old-fashioned in Apple’s line as the now quaint home button,” La writes. “I think seeing a true iPhone SE 2 next spring — say, a Face ID phone with a 4.7-inch screen fit into a 4-inch body — would be a great niche for Apple to return to. Maybe even something the company could sell at a bit of a premium. But in my heart, I know that’s a pipe dream.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: According to a November 29, 2017 forecast from IDC, overall smartphone shipments will grow from 1.5 billion units in 2017 to 1.7 billion units in 2021. Meanwhile, smartphones with a screen size of 5.5 inches to 7 inches will far outpace total market growth by climbing from 611 million units in 2017 to 1 billion units in 2021, representing a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.1%. In comparison, the total smartphone market is expected to grow at a 3.0% CAGR during the same period, while normal smartphones (under 5.5 inches) will decline 7.4%.

In the following table, IDC defines “Phablet” as smartphones with a display sizes of 5.5 inches to 7 inches:

smartphones with a screen size of 5.5 inches to <7 inches) will far outpace total market growth by climbing from 611 million units in 2017 to 1 billion units in 2021

SEE ALSO:
Women criticize Apple for designing iPhones that are too big for women’s small hands – September 14, 2018
Apple discontinues low-end 4-inch iPhone SE, replaces it with a much better ‘budget’ iPhone – September 14, 2018

22 Comments

    1. There is another possibility.. maybe they will hold off on smaller form-factors untill they can miniaturize the face id sys further for it not to be too intrusive on a smaller screen…… and at same time creat some pent up demand..then maybe in couple years or so introduce an X style SE.
      Just dreaming out loud ..🤔😀

  1. If proof was needed that these are not phones, this is it. I got my order in on the Xs Max, and my considerations in the choice of phone put phone calls (quaint term) last. Sure, I talk on my 6 Plus (flogged to dying) a few times a week, but I use it constantly for text, email, news, games, and photography. When doing research in libraries and depositories, the scan function in Notes has become indispensable. My “phone” is also a briefcase of documents, my stash of passwords, and sometimes my TV. In the car, it is usually easier to access Maps than to mess with the expensive sat-nav devices in our cars. So, what is this issue with a small phone? If you want small, find a flip-phone.

    1. A *good* product designer doesn’t deny entire customer segments from their products because they couldn’t be bothered to design to 5th to 95th percentile male & female anthropometric dimensions.

      **drops mic**

    2. Fanboy, we don’t love old phones. We would love to buy new phones, but they aren’t available. We need small phones for our use case.

      Our money is just as green as the cash from people who want a 7-inch (!) phone. We can afford tablets for watching films, playing games, etc. So we don’t need our interface with the telephone network and Internet to be the size of a pie plate, so that we have to drop whatever we were holding in both hands every time it comes out of our coat pocket. Note: coat pocket because it doesn’t fit in a shirt or pants pocket. Women with clutch bags would like room for something else in there, and they don’t want to put the bag down so it can be stolen while they are using both hands just to operate their phone.

      Calling us dinosaurs is just as accurate as all the insults about nearsighted porn-loving large-phone advocates that used to fly around this forum when Apple just made 3.5 inch devices.

  2. There are many people that will not or cannot carry a phone that won’t fit into a front jeans pocket, and comfortably. My iPhone 6, in its Defender case, can reside in my jeans pocket 10-12 hours a day. How hard of a concept is this to grasp? I’ll keep what I have thanks very much…

    1. Apparently, it is really hard to understand. I can’t understand the argument that—although an iPad does what it does really well, and a small iPhone does what it does really well—I should spend several hundred extra dollars for a single device that can do both things, but not as well.

    2. My iPhone 6s, the same dimensions as your 6, do not fit in the front pockets of my Levi’s 515s, because women’s garments have tinier pockets than men’s. That’s why you see so many women and girls with phones stuck into their back pockets. I refuse to do that. I use a case clipped to a beltloop.

      Back when I used the iPhone 3GS and then the 4s, they did fit in my jeans pockets, but Apple followed the Android herd into monster territory, and dwells there ever since.

  3. My new iPhone SE would beg to differ with that article. It’s running great for me, and it is a relief to have a phone that fits into my hand again, and that easily fits into a shirt pocket without sticking up like a submarine periscope.

    Small phones DO have a place in the market. Apple will realize that eventually if they don’t already have plans for a new small phone (which is still a possibility).

    Not everybody wants a giant phablet.

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