Maybe Apple Really Does Need to Make a Smaller iPhone

Apple had an earnings call yesterday, and, as usually, they printed more money. I won’t go into any of the details here; it’s not my beat. But there was one comment that I noticed, which I actually found surprising. Tim Cook said, at one point, that:

the number of people who had an iPhone prior to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus announcements, so this was in September of ’14, that have not yet upgraded to a 6, 6 Plus, 6s, or 6s Plus is now 60 percent. So another way to think of that is, 40 percent have, 60 percent have not.

60% of people are using an iPhone prior to the iPhone 6. In other words, 60% of people are using smaller iPhones. I would really like a smaller iPhone. I grudgingly upgraded to the 6s, because I was using a 5s, two generations back, and I need to be up to date with the latest features. (Even though, in the end, there are no essential new features in the 6s, or even the 6). I know a lot of people haven’t upgraded because of cost, but I wonder how many put off upgrading because of size.

Rumors suggest that there will be another 4″ iPhone soon, but that it’ll be “the cheap model,” a replacement for the 5c. Apple should really consider offering the flagship iPhone in three sizes; I think there may be quite a large market for it; more than many people think.

26 thoughts on “Maybe Apple Really Does Need to Make a Smaller iPhone

  1. The three of us at my house have 5c and 5s phones. No one is lusting to upgrade to a new phone. But if I did want to upgrade and was given a choice, I’d take a smaller iPhone any day of the week. (Additionally, I just finished re-watching five seasons of “The Wire” and am now nostalgic for a palm-sized flip phone.)

    • “Flip phone.” Yep. Someone I know told me he was thinking of getting a “feature phone” and an iPad with cellular access. He said he rarely actually uses the phone, and it makes more sense to have a large device to use when he needs internet and apps. Kind of makes sense, when you think about it.

  2. The three of us at my house have 5c and 5s phones. No one is lusting to upgrade to a new phone. But if I did want to upgrade and was given a choice, I’d take a smaller iPhone any day of the week. (Additionally, I just finished re-watching five seasons of “The Wire” and am now nostalgic for a palm-sized flip phone.)

    • “Flip phone.” Yep. Someone I know told me he was thinking of getting a “feature phone” and an iPad with cellular access. He said he rarely actually uses the phone, and it makes more sense to have a large device to use when he needs internet and apps. Kind of makes sense, when you think about it.

  3. I’ve upgraded iPhones every year since the original one. I own iPhone 6 for over a year now and It’s the first model that I regret upgrading to. I feel a tiny bit of remorse every time I sit down in a car or to tie a shoe or when I run up the stairs. I have to take the phone out of my jeans pocket. Also I can’t walk and use it with one hand without a fear of dropping it. The grip is different and not as firm. It’s the first time in years I’m excitedly anticipating a new iPhone announcement.

    Please let it be a 4 inch with decent specs (at least like 6) and not a dumbed down cheap version. Fingers crossed.

  4. I’ve upgraded iPhones every year since the original one. I own iPhone 6 for over a year now and It’s the first model that I regret upgrading to. I feel a tiny bit of remorse every time I sit down in a car or to tie a shoe or when I run up the stairs. I have to take the phone out of my jeans pocket. Also I can’t walk and use it with one hand without a fear of dropping it. The grip is different and not as firm. It’s the first time in years I’m excitedly anticipating a new iPhone announcement.

    Please let it be a 4 inch with decent specs (at least like 6) and not a dumbed down cheap version. Fingers crossed.

  5. I have had the 6 Plus since launch and will seriously consider a 4″ iPhone again. The 6 Plus is just too bulky in my pocket. It was nice to have when I didn’t have an iPad, though.

  6. I have had the 6 Plus since launch and will seriously consider a 4″ iPhone again. The 6 Plus is just too bulky in my pocket. It was nice to have when I didn’t have an iPad, though.

  7. It might be that phones have hit a “stalling point” like desktops seem to have done. As of the 5s, phones had all the features one really needs in a “pocket computer” and the features added in the 6’es are pretty trivial, other than screen size. This seems to parallel the desktop situation.

  8. It might be that phones have hit a “stalling point” like desktops seem to have done. As of the 5s, phones had all the features one really needs in a “pocket computer” and the features added in the 6’es are pretty trivial, other than screen size. This seems to parallel the desktop situation.

  9. I like the 5s because it has flat edges and can stand on its side or upright. It’s an essential part of the design that I use every day. Curved edges looks cheap.
    I assume Apple made it curved partly to look smaller than they actually are.

  10. I like the 5s because it has flat edges and can stand on its side or upright. It’s an essential part of the design that I use every day. Curved edges looks cheap.
    I assume Apple made it curved partly to look smaller than they actually are.

  11. I am among that 60% who still use a pre-iPhone 6 model. And yes, while a good reason for not upgrading yet is price, the deal-breaker for me is size. The 4.7 and 5.5 iPhones are simply uncomfortable for me, and I also dislike their design. I’m really hoping Apple will introduce the purported 4-inch “iPhone 5se” — otherwise, since I’m still using an iPhone 5, I will look for a used 5s.

    Cheers,
    Rick

  12. I am among that 60% who still use a pre-iPhone 6 model. And yes, while a good reason for not upgrading yet is price, the deal-breaker for me is size. The 4.7 and 5.5 iPhones are simply uncomfortable for me, and I also dislike their design. I’m really hoping Apple will introduce the purported 4-inch “iPhone 5se” — otherwise, since I’m still using an iPhone 5, I will look for a used 5s.

    Cheers,
    Rick

  13. I replaced my 4s with an 5s, but iPhone 6 which I bought later on couldn’t replace 5s, because it dropped from a height about knee high one day and the screen was completely cracked and needed to be replaced. Maybe it’s due to size difference, in addition to different material used? Now I still carrying my 5s with me for everyday use, and leaving the iPhone 6 at home for games and spare use.

  14. I replaced my 4s with an 5s, but iPhone 6 which I bought later on couldn’t replace 5s, because it dropped from a height about knee high one day and the screen was completely cracked and needed to be replaced. Maybe it’s due to size difference, in addition to different material used? Now I still carrying my 5s with me for everyday use, and leaving the iPhone 6 at home for games and spare use.

  15. I have a 6s. It is my first iPhone and I only bought it because T-Mobile’s network upgrade made by other phone a brick. (T-Mobed offered a free LG, but I never go that route again!) Yes, I would have rather went with the 5s, but much like Kirk I wanted to be up to date with the latest features and then keep the phone for a couple of years. Much like many have stated on this post, the 6s is much too big for my tastes and I need to wear something with a gigantic pocket to carry it around. As I expected, I think I will pass on the proposed, upcoming smaller phone until Apple at least delivers a smaller phone with top-of-the-line features.

  16. I have a 6s. It is my first iPhone and I only bought it because T-Mobile’s network upgrade made by other phone a brick. (T-Mobed offered a free LG, but I never go that route again!) Yes, I would have rather went with the 5s, but much like Kirk I wanted to be up to date with the latest features and then keep the phone for a couple of years. Much like many have stated on this post, the 6s is much too big for my tastes and I need to wear something with a gigantic pocket to carry it around. As I expected, I think I will pass on the proposed, upcoming smaller phone until Apple at least delivers a smaller phone with top-of-the-line features.

  17. I upgraded from a 4s and I’m actually loving the larger screen of the 6s. I can read articles on flipboard which was just not happening on the 4s tiny screen. While it’s not fair to compare the non retina screen of the 4s to 6s It’s noticeable. Maybe I would not be so pleased if the match up was a 5s to a 6s but there you are. The 4s was getting really old and cranky. I will admit that I never considered the 6s plus, that thing is ridiculous.

  18. I upgraded from a 4s and I’m actually loving the larger screen of the 6s. I can read articles on flipboard which was just not happening on the 4s tiny screen. While it’s not fair to compare the non retina screen of the 4s to 6s It’s noticeable. Maybe I would not be so pleased if the match up was a 5s to a 6s but there you are. The 4s was getting really old and cranky. I will admit that I never considered the 6s plus, that thing is ridiculous.

  19. I remember well my first “mobile phone”. And it wasn’t an iPone, I can tell you that. It was a car phone that you could take with you outside the car. Going thru the evolution of the mobile phones (or cell phones depending where you live), I’m still amazed by what they can do. Before my first iPhone 3G, I bought an unlocked Motorola Razr. At that time, the ultimate cell (mobile) phone on the market. I was in Singapore and paid USD 600.
    Once the iPhone come on the market, I instantly forgot all the Nokia’s and Motorola’s I ever owned. Just adding a phone number to your contact list was such a breeze on an iPhone compared to Nokia and Motorola.
    Now, I own an iPhone 6s and I just love what it can do. But I agree with all the above that it is a bit too big in my pocket. The iPhone 4s was just about the right seize for me. If that 4 inch iPhone comes with all the features of the 6s, I’m sold….

    • In the early 1990s, I worked for someone in France who had one of the early car phones. It was humungous, incredibly expensive, and not very reliable.

  20. I remember well my first “mobile phone”. And it wasn’t an iPone, I can tell you that. It was a car phone that you could take with you outside the car. Going thru the evolution of the mobile phones (or cell phones depending where you live), I’m still amazed by what they can do. Before my first iPhone 3G, I bought an unlocked Motorola Razr. At that time, the ultimate cell (mobile) phone on the market. I was in Singapore and paid USD 600.
    Once the iPhone come on the market, I instantly forgot all the Nokia’s and Motorola’s I ever owned. Just adding a phone number to your contact list was such a breeze on an iPhone compared to Nokia and Motorola.
    Now, I own an iPhone 6s and I just love what it can do. But I agree with all the above that it is a bit too big in my pocket. The iPhone 4s was just about the right seize for me. If that 4 inch iPhone comes with all the features of the 6s, I’m sold….

    • In the early 1990s, I worked for someone in France who had one of the early car phones. It was humungous, incredibly expensive, and not very reliable.

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