Some humans have smaller hands and tighter jeans butt pockets than others. Apple seems to think everyone who has an Apple product wants a bigger one. From what I can tell, we are witnessing the last small iPhone ever.
Numbers Don’t Lie
Maybe larger displays are just easier to make and priced lower than smaller smartphone displays. That doesn’t make much sense, does it? Maybe Apple did the math and the number of customers who purchase larger displays is getting smaller– as a percentage of overall buyers– so the handwriting is on the wall.
It may be that less is more and small is beautiful, but numbers don’t lie and Apple knows the math. iPhone SE did not make Apple enough money to keep it around because 1) small means lower profits, 2) customers moved on to bigger iPhones.
That sums it up, right?
So, what’s left? The last small iPhone ever; and by small, I mean the gargantuan iPhone by early smartphone standards. iPhone 8.
Here’s the math that makes the numbers.
The original iPhone from 2007 had a 3.5-inch display. That was considered huge. It did not take long for customers to become App Happy and for competitors to attempt to differentiate their cheap-assed Android look-a-likes; with larger displays.
iPhone jumped to a 4-inch display with iPhone 4, 4s, 5, and 5s while Android competitors moved to ever-larger displays. Apple saw the numbers written on the wall and moved iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to a 4.7-inch and 5.5-inches, respectively. Those iPhones took Apple to record-setting sales.
So much for small is beautiful and less is more, right?
Alright, let’s say you don’t really care for the gargantuan iPhone XR or iPhone 11, both at more than 6-inches; or, put another way, larger than the Plus iPhones of just a few years ago. If you don’t like those you won’t like iPhone 8 Plus or iPhone 11 Pro Max, either.
That leaves you with two choices.
The Apple Clearance Bin. Or, the Apple Store.
The Clearance Bin is where you might find an iPhone 7 with the 4.7-inch display; still larger than the iPhone SE, but that’s your best bet for the lowest price. Otherwise, you’re stuck with the Apple Store and that means another 4.7-inch display for a mere $449.
Yes, that $449 gets you a better iPhone than many mid-range Android smartphones that will never see an upgrade or update; Apple’s iOS is likely to be upgradeable on an iPhone 8 for three, perhaps four years.
Is iPhone 8’s 4.7-inch display the last ever small iPhone?
I think so. The next iPhone to drop into the third year tier is iPhone XR, and that display is over 6-inches, a long distance from iPhone 8’s already too large 4.7-inch display.
Unless Apple is ready to pull a One More Thing out of a spring announcement for new Macs, the era of small iPhones that will fit into a butt pocket are gone.