We’ve seen the trend of mini versions of flagship phones growing over the past year or two, starting with the Galaxy S III Mini. We’ve seen an HTC One Mini and a few other manufacturers produce lesser versions of their flagship models with a squished screen and, problematically, a similar price tag. DigiTimes is reporting that many of these manufacturers are going to be rethinking that strategy in the coming months after poor sales of these “miniature” phones; both Samsung and HTC have had to cut the price of their Mini phones soon after launching, partly because of their inflated pricing, and partly because of stiff competition from other smaller, cheaper mid-range phones.
I’ve always thought these manufacturers missed a great opportunity with mini phones. Most of them release smaller versions of their flagship phones with slower processors, less memory, lower resolution screens, but with a price that matched their superior, bigger models. If the phones had identical specs as the bigger flagship phones with a slightly smaller screen, they would be much more competitive. Excluding the Motorola X (sorta) there just aren’t any cutting edge, high-end phones with smaller screens and sizes. There’s clearly a market for premium devices with smaller sizes, and you don’t have to look much farther than Apple to see that.
If Sony’s rumored Xperia Z1 f phone turns out to match the rumors, it will essentially be an Xperia Z1 with a slightly smaller screen. It would be one of the first devices to match it’s high-end brother like that, and I think it would stand a great shot at being a successful device. Regardless, the current Mini models don’t work well, so there’s no doubt we’re going to see something different from manufacturers in the near future.