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‘Mini’ smartphones aren’t working out for Samsung, HTC and others

Samsung Mini Smartphone Sales

Bigger is apparently better in the competitive world of smartphones. The size of the average smartphone has increased dramatically over the past few years to the point where manageable smartphones are now called “mini” by most of the vendors that sell them. As it turns out, Android users apparently have precious little interest in these smaller smartphones. While Apple’s comparatively small iPhone models continue to sell as fast as Apple’s manufacturing partners can build them, sales of handsets like the Galaxy S4 mini and HTC One mini have reportedly been so slow that the companies building them are now forced to rethink their strategies.

According to a report from Digitimes on Wednesday, vendors including Samsung, HTC, Sony and ZTE have not found much success with their respective “mini” phones. The report suggests that larger mid-range phones are preventing smaller handsets from gaining much traction, even when the tinier phones might be as appealing or even slightly more appealing on paper. As a result, sales of phones like the Galaxy S4 mini and the HTC One mini have been very disappointing, according to Digitimes’ unnamed industry sources.

Sony has taken note of the “mini” situation its rivals are facing, and it will apparently make its next mini phone just as powerful as its flagship counterpart. Whereas the Galaxy S4 mini and HTC One mini were mid-range devices offered at lower price points, Sony’s upcoming new mini phone, reportedly called the “Xperia Z1 f,” will feature just as much power as the flagship Z1 but in a smaller case. Whether or not Android users will be receptive to a high-end “mini” phone remains to be seen.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.