With iPhone 12 Mini, Apple tests a new market for smaller flagship smartphones


New Delhi, Oct 25: In a few days from now, Apple will start selling the iPhone 12 Mini, the smallest flagship iPhone Cupertino has released in recent years. Starting at Rs 69,900, the iPhone 12 Mini has grabbed more headlines than any other iPhone in the iPhone 12 lineup. It makes us wonder why there is a craze for a 5.4-inch iPhone when the market has already moved to large-screen smartphones. Is Apple responding to consumer demand by launching the iPhone 12 Mini, or is there an untapped market for compact flagships that the competition failed to notice?
“I expect the iPhone 12 Mini to be very popular,” Ben Wood, chief of research at analyst firm CCS Insight, “Flagship smartphones have gradually got bigger over the last few years and the larger design is not to everyone’s taste – particularly people with smaller hands and pockets,” he added.
Apple’s decision to launch a 5.4-inch iPhone 12 Mini marks a key transition for a smartphone market that has accepted that consumers don’t want compact flagships anymore. But that’s not entirely true. There have been earlier efforts to bring compact high-end smartphones to the market, but somehow those devices lacked ambition. In fact, Sony, Samsung and HTC did try to create a market for the high-end ‘mini’ smartphones that brings the design and style of a flagship but in a smaller footprint. Unfortunately, all three major Android manufacturers failed to convince consumers to buy “small” phones, partly because the devices made many compromises.
Wood suggested that for long people wanting a compact smartphone had to compromise on features and specification. However, the iPhone 12 Mini brings the exact same processor, a dual-camera system, an OLED screen to a phone that can be used with one hand. In Apple’s own words, the iPhone 12 Mini is the smallest and thinnest 5G capable smartphone in the world.
The problem is that the industry has always dictated what consumers should look for in a smartphone and the big screen-size phone is better than a smaller one. That’s exactly the reason why you won’t find compact smartphones in the market anymore. When you search “small phones” on Amazon or Flipkart, a couple of feature phones show up on the first page of search results. It means either these e-commerce sites don’t understand what a consumer is searching for or they currently don’t have a small “smartphone” available for sale.
But how do you determine a compact phone – when an average smartphone these days has a screen size of 6.1-inches.

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