The current trend and research of the market shows that people are now taking interest in smartphones that are smaller in size. Does size really matter and how will smartphone giants deal with this turn around in the trend.
A lot of you think that a bigger screen can turn out to be a big selling point for a lot of phones. You are wrong – in 2015 a whopping thirty million people bought an iPhone that was just 4-inches. Let us not forget the success of S6 and S6 Edge – two of the flagship phones from Samsung that are on the smaller side as compared to the other devices by the smartphone giant. All this seems to be pointing at something really important – the market and the consumers are all in for smaller handsets. However, an important question plagues my mind. If the above mentioned statement is really the truth, then why has it taken Apple to break a three-year niche market hiatus? Moreover, why only now manufacturers of smartphones are waking up and clambering all over each other to compete in the compact end of the market? Let us find out.
When you sit and take note of the smartphone market outwardly, it might seem to be quite dull as if it’s almost lethargic. Smartphones may seem to be created to bring about a revolution in the communication world, but let us not forget that their main aim and target is simple – to sell. This means that most of the manufacturers want to avoid undue risks and play things safe. Let us take up the case of Samsung S7.
This is a smartphone that is actually fantastic and is a success-story all round the world. However, when you look at the specs and try to find something new in it you will be disappointed because it brings nothing new to the table. In fact, I will go as far as to say that if smartphone giants thought for one moment that they could keep producing S7 for Kingdom come – they would.
Most of the time it takes one trailblazer to get things moving a bit. HTC for instance, took a risk with metal and glass construction and found that consumers loved it. And this was then taken up by Apple, Samsung and everybody else until it almost became a given that a good smartphone was supposed to be a metal and glass creation
The Predictable Rat Race
There was a time Android was putting in everything it had to find a chink in Apple’s armour and they were successful eventually – screen size. The market trends and research showed that consumers wanted phones with bigger screens and at the time Apple only provided 3.5 inches and 4 inch screen. This lead to Android creating phones with larger screens (5.1 inches and larger) and the results were clear. Samsung tasted success and quickly rose to compete alongside Apple which also gave Android its very solid footing in the world of smartphones that still remains unbeatable. The reason behind the success of Android was simple – cheaper hardware and bigger screens.
Sadly, the success meant that manufacturers are now acting as though small devices can no longer be created. In fact, Sony Xperia Z Compact series is still the smallest Android available (4.6 inches).
The trend of following the rat race is so strong that even Apple joined the bandwagon. The success of bigger screens meant that iPhone jumped from 4 inches to 4.7 inches and then 5.5 inches on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, respectively.
iPhone SE – Why Now
The best thing about small phones is the fact that they are cheaper to produce. Apple, for instance, showed their renowned sharpness by using what are actually the leftover parts from the iPhone 6s –its processor most notably – to create the iPhone SE. The result was a device that was powerful as you will expect it to be and it is available to users at an appealing price. The starting price of iPhone SE is $400 – for a powerful device in the market; this is a very hard deal to argue with
The time to enter the market is really ripe for iPhone SE. I am not saying that iPhone SE is a budget device, but come on- it is an iPhone for $400. iPhone SE is an honest attempt by Apple to break into the airtight markets of China and India, where users largely opt for Android as they want smartphones that are affordable.
The new Trend
What’s happening now is as I said expected. Smartphone giants are on the lookout for ways to respond to this kind of unexpected competition. As far as rumours are concerned the market might be alright with a Samsung Galaxy S7 Mini and a Xiaomi Mi 5 Mini series in the foreseeable future