Newsletter Issue #986: The Return of the “Small” iPhone — More or Less

April 16th, 2020

For several years after a tremendous growth curve, iPhone sales began to hit a wall due to size; the physical size of the device that is. Although Samsung and other companies delivered handsets with displays of five inches or more, compared to the iPhone with four inches, Apple had an argument against that approach.

The argument, that those devices were too large for easy one-handed use — well except for basketball players I suppose — was perfectly logical. But customers don’t generally make purchase decisions mainly or even partly on logic. There’s a lot of emotion involved, and the attraction of a larger display was also perfectly logical.

The iPhone 5s, for example, was in many respects superior to its Android competition, but the limitations of its relatively tiny four-inch display loomed in bold relief. Even though I became accustomed to the original 3.5-inch iPhones, writing any email of more than a few works proved a chore. I compensated by looking real close. But this approach wouldn’t work so well even with reading glasses when my contacts were on. My regular glasses, with progressive lenses, also didn’t fare so well, so I usually removed them whenever that move was convenient — or safe.

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