With high-end smartphone markets in the west beginning to saturate, the concept of “mini” smartphones seemed to make sense. Since displays are a large part of the cost of manufacturing smartphones, smaller versions of top-tier devices could be made for less and sold to consumers aspiring to the latest models. It seems, though, that these mini versions of the best phones on the market did not take off as well as manufacturers had hoped.
A DigiTimes report today reveals that Android handset manufacturers are reconsidering their “mini” strategies. The report’s unnamed “industry sources” revealed that sales of such devices have been slow.
The cause of the slow “mini” sales wasn’t pinpointed by DigiTimes, though its sources did cite several possibilities. Samsung’s Galaxy S4 Mini, for example, may have been a victim of the Galaxy S4 missing its high sales targets. Also, the Galaxy brand may not be so entrenched in the minds of consumers that they won’t consider one of the many low-end smartphones Samsung offers with comparable features at a lower price.
When it comes to HTC, the report simply blames pricing, pointing out that the HTC One Mini was not significantly less expensive than the HTC One. HTC may have been hit harder by this than most, with its recent financial report reflecting the difficulties it has had competing in the high-end smartphone market.
Sony is expected to release a “mini” version of its Xperia Z1 smartphone by the end of the year. DigiTimes’ sources state that the company has had to create a new marketing strategy for the device after seeing Samsung’s and HTC’s slow-selling “minis.”