Nearly one third of iPhone users still rock 4-inch handsets, anticipating an upgrade

Nearly one third of iPhone users still rock 4-inch handsets, anticipating an upgrade
Come March 15, Apple will likely announce what will certainly be the biggest-name smartphone with the smallest screen size in 2016. Many wonder whether releasing the alleged 4-inch iPhone 5se makes business sense, or represents a mere nostalgic throwback. The researchers at Mixpanel offer another perspective at the matter – an encouraging one, in fact. According to their intel, approximately 32.22% of active iPhone users are rocking one of the three 4-inch models still in circulation - the 5, 5c, and 5s. The breakdown says the iPhone 5s represents 19.03% of all iPhones in use, while the iPhone 5 and 5c follow through with 7.53% and 5.66%, respectively.

That's nearly one third of the iPhone user base, and we're not merely talking about a bunch of small screen-loving individuals, but also a significant amount of customers who are eager to upgrade to newer hardware, but didn't end up getting the iPhone 6 or 6s because they didn't want to compromise screen size. We suspect the iPhone 5se (or however it ends up called) will be a no-brainer of an upgrade for these patient folks. We also assume that Apple executives are well aware of the sheer number of people with 4-inch iPhones out there, which makes the iPhone 5se's release seem like a calculated, deliberate move. Typical Apple!



20. Suo.Eno

Posts: 556; Member since: Feb 17, 2013

It's easy. Bring over that 2GB RAM, fit in at least a 2500mAh batt or somehow cram a 3000mAh batt life in a 1650mAh then watch all one third drop theirs in a dime for the upgrade

16. ProblemSolver15

Posts: 372; Member since: Jun 14, 2010

I'm 25 and my Pops who is in his 50's still rocks a 4S. Not because he's anticipating any kind of an upgrade, but just because he has an "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." mentality and his 4S ain't broke yet. Before that he had an old Verizon LG flip phone for the longest. We had to pry that thing out of his hands to get him to the 4S years ago. Lol

9. Be_Mine unregistered

There is a somewhat sort of a trend here in India. People who don't have enough money to always buy the latest iPhone model very often end up buying the iPhone 4s or a refurbished 5 & 5s, instead of going for a Mid-range to flagship android just for the sake of having an apple product. Hence, most of the people using an iPhone here are using the older models.

13. tanush

Posts: 15; Member since: Aug 26, 2015

Nailed it!

6. guest

Posts: 372; Member since: Jun 13, 2012

Unfortunately Apple is the only game in town so I will be upgrading to the new 5se :-/ a nexus at the 4.3"-4.7" level would get me back.

4. pmsap

Posts: 105; Member since: May 26, 2015

Like me and my wife. But we are both moving to Galaxy line. Sorry apple, it's not you, it's me.

5. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

I have a feeling you will be back. Like a relationship, the grass can seem greener on the other side. After six months, the person shows their real colors. You will be begging to come back!

7. tedkord

Posts: 17519; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

The grass is equally green. I know several who switched to Android years ago and never went back. I also know some who went the other way. There are tons of great phones these days.

8. darkkjedii

Posts: 31798; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I tried to give up my iPhone once, and it just didn't work. Now I just use both, iPhones are too good to simply abandon.

3. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

My wife is one of those 5S users hanging on because of screen size, and this will be her first new phone since 2013. Her 5S is still in mint condition and runs like a champ, but now she is starting to feel the battery life pinch because of the age of the phone.

10. stanislav

Posts: 136; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

You can replace the battery you know right ?

14. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

I know how, and I have done it on other iPhones. She's just ready for new hardware. The battery life isn't poor, it has just seen a slight decrease.

12. oozz009

Posts: 520; Member since: Jun 22, 2015

Here a trick for your wife, she only needs to get the habit to manually enable "low power mode" when the battery goes below 50%. Furthermore: she can disable unnecessary feautures such as "automatic app updates" and LTE, and if she uses another browser instead of safari, she should try "opera for mobile" or "firefox". Other browsers such as Google Chrome drain battery much quicker.

15. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

It's not quite that bad, yet. She wants newer hardware, but in a size that is better for her hands and pockets, more than anything else.

18. AlikMalix unregistered

I love the new low power mode. Ivan easily notice the improvement when on - yet no difference in performance other than the always listening Siri is off. I've been requesting Apple to include low power mode toggle in the control center - they can remove airplane mode - never use that.

2. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

This isn't that surprising, 5S still runs like a champ, some of my friends still have it while only one has iPhone 6. Also I see many people with 4S, they just use it like a phone, not tablet or notebook replacement. I myself have 4S and I actually still don't see a reason to upgrade, I hope 5se will give me one, if priced right

11. oozz009

Posts: 520; Member since: Jun 22, 2015

For the record, I'm using an iPhone 5S and yes, indeed it runs like a champ. Runs iOS 9 nearly as battery-smooth as the 6 does and it will also get all feautures when 9.3 comes out (hence it's support is also at the max). Though, what I meant was that it's impressive that there is so many millions who prefer to stick with a "4" inch smartphone instead of going for a smartphone with a bigger screen. I'm actually glad to see that because friends of mine don't stop bothering me due to the fact that I stay with a 4-inch phone and they think I'm one of the few rare ones who still prefer the 4-inch:D

1. oozz009

Posts: 520; Member since: Jun 22, 2015

19.2% are using the iPhone 5S, impressive!

17. MedLEB unregistered

I liked the design of that phone (instead of the iPhone's 6/6s design) + the fingerprint which the 5 lacks It. Personally I recommend people who wants iPhone to buy the 5s.

19. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

I hear that iPhone have high resale value.. and you'll only need to add a little to get newer model.. so, why does those people still stuck with old model? :-/

21. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

There are a lot of people who don't like the sizes of the two newest models.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless