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In short supply: Why compact mobile phones are dying out & More Latest News Here

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“It should be small” is a common answer to the question of what properties the new cell phone should have. Only to then have to realize that small cell phones are now in short supply.

Apple was one of the last major manufacturers to focus on smaller smartphones. But with the current generation, the iPhone Mini has now also been discontinued and replaced by the larger iPhone Plus. But why are there no more handy devices?

A look at the sales figures using Apple as an example speaks for itself: the mini model was a classic flop. In the first quarter of this year, iPhone 13 Mini sales accounted for just three percent of all iPhone sales. Similar numbers are available for the iPhone 12 Mini. Compact mobile phones from other manufacturers are also pretty bad: According to analysts, all devices with a display diagonal of less than 6 inches account for only ten percent of the global sales figures for all smartphones combined. This six-inch (approx. 15 cm) screen diagonal is considered a yardstick for compact smartphones: everything below that is considered handy, devices with larger screens are difficult to operate with one hand.

The increasing popularity of large mobile phones is also related to changing user behavior. Because people are doing more and more things with their cell phones (e.g. watching entire films and series, TikTok and Instagram), large displays bring advantages.

Tight portfolio

Serving a small market for small cell phones is not very attractive for manufacturers. A streamlined portfolio offers advantages: Due to the elimination of the mini model, Apple, for example, only offers its current iPhones in two different sizes. This is advantageous not only in the production and procurement of the display panels. The adaptation of the software and the respective apps can also be organized more efficiently. If compact cell phones sell poorly, it also means that they are only manufactured in small numbers, which also applies to the individual parts required for them. This leads to higher production prices for the small mobile phones. In retail it will then be difficult to justify why small smartphones are offered at the same or even higher prices than significantly larger devices. Another challenge in production is the limited space available for mini smartphones. This primarily affects the capacity of the battery. Of course, a smaller battery also means a shorter runtime.

Asus Zenfone 9
Display: 5.9 inches
Price: from 788 euros
The last remaining Android phone with flagship features

iPhone 13 mini
Display: 5.4 inches
Price: from 715 euros
The last mini model from Apple comes with a high-quality camera

iPhone SE (2022)
Display: 4.7 inches
Price: from 467 euros
Losses in camera quality and performance are to be accepted

Samsung Galaxy Xcover 5
Display: 5.3 inches
Price: from 254 euros
Mid-range cell phone with a focus on a robust housing

Sony Xperia 10 IV
Display: 6 inches
Price: from 445 euros
Waterproof mid-range phone

The little cell phones

Even if they are hard to find anymore, there are a few smartphones with a screen diagonal of less than 6 inches. The iPhone 12 and 13 mini models, which are no longer up-to-date, should be mentioned here. The weaker iPhone SE also has a small screen.

With Android phones, the choice is even smaller. There are hardly any noteworthy devices that can be operated with one hand.

In short supply: Why compact mobile phones are dying out
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