How big? 3.5-inches. Diagonal. Or, put another way, about half the size of an iPhone XS Max or iPhone XR, and with far fewer than half the pixels. 3.5-inches? The much beloved iPhone SE was a mere 4-inches. Diagonal. Everything smart today is huge by those standards from yesteryear. What happened?
There wasn’t much to the early era of iPhones. Flat glass, rounded corners, big battery, small circuit board, very big screen. Not much has changed other than overall dimensions. One method that iPhone competitors used to differentiate their smartphones from iPhone was a larger display. It took Apple until iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to get into the large screen business.
Today’s iPhones make the 3.5-inch screen look positively quaint, and iPhone SE’s 4-inch screen apparently was not better at attracting customers; Apple discontinued the diminutive device.
What happened to small smartphones?
Famed market analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the future of iPhones is, well, bigger. Jacob Siegal:
Apple will once again release three iPhone models in 2020, but will make significant changes to the designs of the high-end models. The successors to the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max will supposedly feature 5.4-inch and 6.7-inch displays, respectively
Look for 5G, too, but the rumor mill says iPhone XR’s screen size will be similar to today’s popular 6.1-inch model, but everything is going OLED– not LCD– in 2020.
What is happening is obvious. The death of small smartphone screens for the great unwashed masses of iPhone customers.
Only Apple knows exactly how many iPhone SE models were manufactured and sold in the few short years of its existence, but it seems plausible that sales– and gross margins, which make up the profits needed to keep a model in the line– were just too small for Apple to bother with its existence.
Small smartphone fanatics think iPhone 7’s 4.7-inch display makes it too large. Later this year, when Apple introduces the next iPhone line, that 4.7-inch display may be the last run, as all new iPhones, according to rumor mongers– last year and this year– will have much larger displays. iPhone XS, the smallest of last year’s crop of iPhones, is a huge 5.8-inch screen in a package only slightly larger than iPhone 8’s entry-level model; 5.65-inches vs. 5.45-inches. iPhone SE’s height was 4.87-inches.
Apple has managed to put a larger display into a small package, thanks to micro-bezels, but the obvious is evident.
Small smartphones are a dying breed.