31 percent of iPhone users still use a device with a 4-inch screen

Patrick O'Rourke

February 4, 2016 5:40pm

Data like this is a significant reason why recent 4-inch iPhone 5se rumours continue to make sense.

Approximately 31.22 percent of iPhone owners still use Apple smartphones that feature 4-inch displays, according to a recent report from device survey platform Mixpanel.

Since 2013, Apple has released three 4-inch screens: the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 5s. It seems some iPhone users still prefer smaller displays, despite the rise in popularity of devices that feature larger 5-inch and above screens.

Mixpanel
Delving deeper into the stats, Apple’s most recent 4-inch iPhone, the iPhone 5s, represents just under 20 percent of current phones in use, followed by the iPhone 5 at 7.35 percent, and the plastic iPhone 5c at just 5.66 percent.

During the company’s latest earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that 60 percent of older generation iPhone users still have not upgraded to the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, or iPhone 6s Plus.

Currently, anyone looking for a 4-inch iPhone is forced to settle for the rapidly outdated iPhone 5s, which features Apple’s A7 processor and isn’t capable of Apple Pay, 3D Touch or Live Photos.

While some may find the iPhone 5se rumours strange given the proliferation of enormous smartphones, data like this continues to point to the fact that there is a demand for smaller devices.

Related reading: Why the iPhone 5se will be great for upgrade-shy Canadians

SourceMixpanel
  • Techguru86

    Or maybe partly because IPhones have become so expensive and contracts are now outrageously priced, people are holding onto their devices longer and can’t afford to upgrade or buy outright.

    • Hmm, possible, but I don’t think so. iPhone users tend to stick to the iOS ecosystem.

    • Techguru86

      A lot do but a lot are moving to Android because there so much cheaper and offer more, but nobody wants to pay 300-$600 on a contract just to get a 6s or 6s plus let alone $1050 for a 16gb 6s+

    • Vito R.

      That doesn’t seem to be the case as iPhones continue to sell in record numbers.

    • Mo Dabbas

      When the % of the iphone 5C (which is considered a flop in Apple’s books) is higher than one of the company’s latest model, you’d know right away this growth is from the 6 and 5S. As a matter of fact, there are almost as many user’s of the 4S than the 6S plus. Also, there are still more user’s of the 5S than the 6S which I would consider alarming if I am managing the company. Coz this is really showing a lack of interest in the 6S models.

      Regarding the sales numbers. This quarter was barely a record (about 400 thousand unit difference from last year Q1). With many expecting a halt in iPhone sales growth for the next two quarters. Which further points my first point, the 6S models seem to have a great lack of interest. and those who are upgrading are going mostly for either the 6 or 5S.

    • Vito R.

      I think you’re jumping to conclusions. A certain percentage of owners upgrade every or two – the rest keep the phone till it no longer works – like my mother. She’ll replace it when it stops working. I don’t think people are buying an iPhone 6 over a 6S – there’s no point. I think some people like the size and Apple is right to cater to them. They’re also right to try and make a less expensive phone.

      And “barely a record”? Yes, but a record none the less – which is infinitely better than anyone else in the industry has managed to pull off – 9 generations of phones that outsell the previous generation and do nothing but bring in record profits. Haha. Poor them. Samsung’s sales have been down 8 quarters in a row. Their flagships still haven’t outsold the Galaxy S3! The smartphone market is saturated – what goes up must come down, just like the tablet market. It’s amazing that Apple’s been able to keep up their torrid pace for this long.

    • Mo Dabbas

      “I don’t think people are buying an iPhone 6 over a 6S – there’s no point” — there is the price part of it. Most will see two phones that look the same, and will pick the cheaper. Most won’t care about paying more for the few extra features on the S. Actually, most even won’t know about those extra features.

      I never mentioned samsung in my comment. Why are you trying to divert the conversation from the point I’m trying to point out. The 6S in my opinion is not an enticing product as previous iPhones. Apple really has to deliver on the iPhone 7 otherwise they’ll be in trouble considering iPhones makes most of their profit. I’m stating what I think, I’m not comparing to other companies.

      And (since you mentioned samsung) Im not a fan of the company when it comes to phones, they have lost their way for a while now. The S3 was good, but I think their record making was the S4 (not sure about that though).

    • Vito R.

      Samsung S3 was the high water mark for Samsung – it was also the height of their marketing spend. I brought up Samsung as an example that Apple’s been growing in the premium priced market relative to their closest peer. It seems that the market is now saturated and growth is over and sales will shrink. Apple will still be crazy profitable – just not stupid crazy profitable.

      Your comment could also apply to the 3GS, 4s and 5s when comparing looks and price – the ‘s’ series of iPhones always cost $100 more yet always sell better than the non ‘s’ and are always kept in use longer.

      People always want the “new one” if they can afford it – the price hasn’t changed so the number of people upgrading to the 6s shouldn’t be dramatically different this year.

    • Mo Dabbas

      “the price hasn’t changed” — It didn’t only in the US you mean.

    • Vito R.

      Where did it change other than Canada and Australia – two relatively tiny markets?

    • Mo Dabbas

      Europe…. I guess that’s also a small market.

      anyways, If these small markets are tiny and not important why does apple always release the iPhone first in those markets??

      From my understanding apple prices the iPhones based on US prices. So USD is up, that means prices of iPhones going up. I’m not the type of person who would spend my day over a blog argument for a company that I have nothing to do with. I was pointing what I thought is the obvious, but that’s fine if you don’t think the same. So I’m not gonna bother searching which country raised the prices of iPhones and which one didn’t.

    • Vito R.

      US dollar is up relative to Canadian dollar which took a big hit because of oil, it’s price relative to the Euro has been within a few cents over the past year.

    • Mo Dabbas

      The USD was around .7 Euro and now its around .9 to almost 1. The economic crisis started around late summer of 2014 by the way (when the prices of oil started dropping). Phone companies waited for the 2015 cycle to adjust the prices.

      You are viewing it wrong. The Canadian dollar didn’t weaken, it actually did, but the main impact is because the USD got stronger since oil is being pumped at record rates AND oil is only traded with the USD. Sure Canadian economy is in trouble which makes the currency impact worse compared to Euro which has countries like Germany as an economical powerhouse.

    • ShaBi

      Actually it has already been reported that more people are moving to iOS than vice versa.

    • Techguru86

      Literally almost most of Apple’s sales numbers are probably coming from China, where Android rules for years.

    • ShaBi

      ….and some of those users are moving over to iOS. What’s your point? They don’t need to be accounted for because they’re from China?

    • Mo Dabbas

      It depends on the market actually. Some reports suggests in US and UK iOS users are actually dropping for android.
      His point is when there was close to 0% user’s in a country, then people are allowed to buy iPhones, they’ll jump en masses. So in China, yes there are more moving to iOS than android.

    • Mo Dabbas

      It has also been reported that in the US and UK (two of the biggest markets for apple) people are moving from iOS to android. So it depends what kind of report you’re seeing.

    • Mo Dabbas

      To be honest, those who used an OS from it’s initial years usually stick with it. You get used to it and you invest in apps within it. So it becomes harder to switch OS’s.
      The rest who don’t care usually jump from one OS to the other without really knowing what they’re talking about. I get a lot of customers who come to me to buy iPhones cursing Samsung after their bad experience with the Samsung Ace 2 or HTC Desire 510 (duh, those things are garbage). Others do the other way around telling me how much they hated iPhones (because of whatever nonsense reason) when they’re buying an android device.
      Believe me I even still get some blackberry 10 buyers who tell me they’re tired from android and iPhones so they want blackberry. Is that a good reason?? for them maybe.

    • cartfan88

      The 5se is getting into Ipad Pro niche markets. The market for a brand new higher priced version of the 5s is limited. The whole idea here is to be able to bump the ASP of the 4″ model and plump up profits. There’s a small subset that is willing to ditch there 5s for a newer higher priced 5se with 6 month old internals that will be superseded by the fall.

    • One good thing about iPhone devices, is they hold their value really well on places like Craigslist.
      I’m not arguing the fact that they’re expensive, but if you have an older model to sell and reinvest to the next one, it really doesn’t hurt all that bad.

      I sold my iPhone 6 for $900 when the 6s came out, after tax, it costed me roughly 1,200 for the next one. So if you’re smart about it, it really isn’t that bad. It’s the initial purchase that hurts the most of it is your first iPhone.

    • Grizzly Beard

      I’ll tell you this, I went to price out 2 iPhone 6s’ 64GB and I would probably have to take out a loan or 2nd mortgage on my house. It is by far the most expensive manufacturer in the world. They make good products but NOT for the money. It really is disappointing.

  • Morgan Freeman Lookalike

    “Approximately 31.22 percent of…”

    Approximately? that seems like a pretty exact number.

  • Techguru86

    More then likely it’s because carriers and Apple are heavily discounting the units, to get rid of them sitting on the shelves. So majority of people are grabbing the 5s and 5c for much cheaper

  • GPman

    Not everybody upgrades every year. They are implying they didn’t upgrade for the size reasons, but the power of those phones are plenty for most people’s needs ie email , Facebook and candy crush.

    This does NOT show demand for 4inch it shows they didn’t upgrade, not why they didn’t.

  • Se-renity

    As a rep Working for one of the big 3’s I can tell you the price is what drives the choice of customers.
    80% of customers come in asking for the iphone @ 0$ (5s) or the Iphone 6 (when on sale).
    very few people go for the 6s…to the extent that our 6s stocks have been reduced to no more than 2-3 of each (I work in a small store)
    Yeah it is anecdotal but I have learned in the last year that customers do not know what they buy or the impact of getting an almost 3 year old phone on a 2 year contract! Even after I explain…they still vote with their wallets 95% of the time.