We have spent months… or rather, we have been witnessing the drama of finding a compact Android mobile for years. Although there are some exceptions, the smallest sizes are around 6 inches on devices with the Google operating system. It is not that they are large devices with that size, but they are far from what Apple offered until yesterday.
As expected, Apple yesterday presented its new iPhone 14 and along the way it left the ‘mini’ models. Say goodbye to a range and this, although we are talking about Apple, is also bad news on Android. At least for those who still want compact smartphones.
The indirect consequences of Apple’s actions
As a technology analyst and with some specialization and knowledge of the Apple world, for years I witnessed the fervent desires of an important part of users to see a high-end iPhone with a compact size (Leaving the iPhone SE and its cutbacks in hardware and design out of the equation). Thus the iPhone 12 mini arrived in 2020 and after a few months its failure in sales was already predicted. Or at least less of an impact than Apple could have foreseen.
Despite everything, the iPhone 13 mini arrived in 2021. And to no one’s surprise, it didn’t have a good impact on sales either. The expression could be applied here eat with the eyes. And it is that many of us love compact mobiles, but then they do not buy them.
Be that as it may, at least as a personal opinion of this humble servant, Apple’s good intention of trying to penetrate the market with devices of this type is appreciated. Nevertheless, ending this range could cause other Android brands to reject the idea. If a big-calibre, market-savvy company like Apple fails, why shouldn’t others?
This last question is more rhetorical than anything else, but supported in the end by a fear of risk which may be more than evident in manufacturers that, at some point, would consider launching such compact Android phones. And it is that, not even market studies could be effective for it.
That perception that I commented on a few lines ago about the desire of consumers to see a compact iPhone, would probably also be reflected in internal studies handled by Apple. In fact, there would be no room for another explanation, given that it would never have launched a single ‘mini’ model if it was not with the certainty that it would have a niche audience that would buy it.
Little commitment to compact and folding in a rare middle ground
As we said at the beginning, the market standard is 6 inches. If we go to the highest range, it will be rare to find phones less than 6.5 inches. Hence, finding terminals like the ASUS Zenfone 9 is like finding a cola in the desert for lovers of compact mobiles that don’t want to give up great benefits. But that is it, an exception.
The aforementioned Asus phone, as well as its previous generations, are devices that we have loved to test and that, despite their negative points, offer very good features according to the most premium range of Android. But make no mistake, it’s not a bestseller.
Asus has greater recognition in other fields such as computers and hence we wonder what it would be like if a manufacturer with more renown in Android decided to make a similar bet. A Samsunga Xiaomi or any of the many other brands that are now fighting at the high end, but increasing sizes of their flagships as their specifications improve.
At one point we can get to wonder if folding phones are the new compact, especially those with a clamshell format such as the Galaxy Z Flip4, Huawei P50 Pocket or the Motorola Razr 2022. Phones that, being folded and not very heavy, are very comfortable to carry in any pocket and even in the hand . Mobiles that meet everything we ask of a compact and on top of that with high-end specifications. Until they fold. It is then that panels appear that, again, are closer to 7 than 6 inches.
Deluded or not, we will remain expectant before possible movements in the industry and if any brand dares to break their fears and try to achieve what Apple failed. Means to achieve good devices in reduced sizes exist. Now, spinning with what was said in the previous section, the fear is understandable. After all, nobody likes to fail. you already know that about when you see your neighbor’s beard grow…