For years, the clamour for Apple to make larger handsets was intense among mobile fanatics. And their demand for Cupertino to release more capacious phones was finally realised this year.
The move has been a huge success, with Apple selling 10 million iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus units in their first weekend on sale.
The tech giant is now on course for more than 70 million iPhone sales in the final three months of the year.
But that’s not to say demand for smaller iPhones has diminished.
The iPhone 5C, so long dismissed as a failure, has had a new lease of life at its lower price point, outselling the larger handsets via uSwitch channels in November.
The smaller phone can be used one–handed and remains an excellent option for those not fussed by NFC and a swanky camera.
A new rumour claims that Apple is not only planning on keeping its older iPhones on sale once it launches new models next year, it’s actually planning on launching a new phone with a 4–inch screen.
Aimed at those who want to use their phone with one hand, the handset is said to be in the pipeline for late 2015.
At this stage, it’s a sketchy rumour, but new Kantar research shows that 18% of sales of iOS handsets in the US this year have been of the iPhone 5C.
Apple will not want to ignore those numbers, as it knows it’s not about the medium, but the message.
Get more users using iPhones, and it can make a healthy cut from the apps they buy and services they use.
More than that, it’s a chance to prove that smaller phones are still in demand.
Users want them, as the Kantar numbers show,
And despite the clamour for so–called phablets, they remain a niche proposition, accounting for just 10% of all smartphones sold in the States this year.
That’s a small rise from 8% in 2013 and suggests they’re not the be all and end all they’re made out to be.
Most of all, users want a solid phone that works. The iPhone 5C can fill that hole and a new 4–inch iPhone would doubtless do the same.
It would be foolish to dub this new phone a budget device, and too soon, but Apple knows that if it can sew this end of the market up too, it’ll hold a massive sway over its major rivals.
In all, these rumours and stats represent a worrying time for Apple’s competitors. It remains strong, while Samsung, especially, is struggling terribly.
If it launches a new small iPhone, it’ll unquestionably continue that domination.