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Report: "Mini" versions of flagship phones are losing steam

Posted: , by Alan F.

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According to sources in Taiwan's handset supply chain, sales of  "mini" versions of flagship phones are declining. The reason for the drop in sales, and the falling momentum, has to do with a perceived lack of value for the smaller handsets. In other words, considering the prices for these models, buyers feel that they are not getting the performance that they are paying for.

And changing the name hasn't helped. Sales are said to be below expectations for the LG Beat (LG G3 mini) and the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact. In the case of the latter handset, this is not your traditional mini phone since it kept all of the specs from the full-sized version, except for a smaller, lower resolution screen, and a smaller battery. Truth be told, most consumers favor the screen on the Z1 Compact over the full-sized screen on the Sony Xperia Z1. Additionally, the lower capacity cell on the Z1 compact outlasted the battery on the Xperia Z1 during a test.

Part of the problem is that the "mini" handsets are priced at $400 to $500 as opposed to the $150-$200 for similar models being turned out by Chinese manufacturers. And with screen sizes on the rise, the idea of what constitutes a "mini" device is becoming blurred in our minds.

For example, about three years ago, the Samsung Galaxy S II was equipped with a 4.3 inch screen that was considered large back in the day. The Samsung Galaxy S II mini offered a 3.7 inch screen. Last year, the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini launched with a 4.3 inch screen, that was once considered to be humungous! Today, a "mini" handset is apt to have a larger than 4.3 inch screen. Consider that the LG Beat has a 5 inch display. No wonder LG decided not to call it the LG G3 mini!

source: DigiTimes

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posted on 31 Jul 2014, 23:39 12

1. Busyboy (unregistered)

Of course they are. That's what happens when you reduce the size of the device and make the internals sh1t. More phones should follow Sony and their compact phones. Compact on size not everything.

posted on 01 Aug 2014, 00:54 3

10. rd_nest (Posts: 1656; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)

Even Sony didn't sell.
The whole mini concept is stupid.

posted on 01 Aug 2014, 01:18

12. techperson211 (Posts: 1280; Member since: 27 Feb 2014)

Z1c didn't sell? Maybe you need to dig a little deeper on that statement . Z1c is a success in Japan . Here in Asia as well, and if I were to choose to buy a new mini phones of samsung lg and htc is still chose z1c , all of these so called minis are just crap.

posted on 01 Aug 2014, 01:55

14. WahyuWisnu (Posts: 1001; Member since: 29 May 2014)

Only japanese and american want mini/small. Other part of the world such as Asia, Europe, Africa WANT BIGGG!!! Big were IN.

posted on 01 Aug 2014, 02:00

16. rd_nest (Posts: 1656; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)

Sony can even sell phones with no screen in Japan if they wanted. You do know that world consists of more than 250 countries. Where is the sales number for Z1C worldwide? How much did they sell?

If the number is less than 5 million, I would say it's not a 'hit'.

Where are you getting these numbers from? If you think you know the numbers to prove me wrong, show it.

posted on 01 Aug 2014, 04:45 1

22. mixedfish (Posts: 1327; Member since: 17 Nov 2013)

LOL, talk about talking out of your ass. Before Sony had the Z1f (aka Z1c) Iphone 5 was the top seller. Now in Japan, Sony dominates the charts because of Z1f, not even Z2 can beat it.

posted on 02 Aug 2014, 01:23

24. techperson211 (Posts: 1280; Member since: 27 Feb 2014)

Selling 5 million not hit ? Maybe . But generalizing that z1c was not a success? Then start a phone company of your own and when you sell 5 million units tell yourself it's not a success.

posted on 01 Aug 2014, 02:29 2

18. Finalflash (Posts: 3498; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)

Well that is the thing, Sony is stupid to be the one to track for this but they're the only one with a competitive mini. They sold the compact in Japan and it was a success, and then that is practically it. They barely have a presence anywhere else and likewise, all of their handsets are somewhat failures because they aren't available widely. We need more companies to get in the super mini game so we can actually see their real market demand.

posted on 01 Aug 2014, 02:47 1

20. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)

Bro, you can deny all you want, but I've yet to see someone using a z1c here. I've seen many people owning galaxy s4 mini and hell even One mini (zero marketed phone). Average people don't care about specs. Also I don't like how you are comparing a z1c with other android minis. It could be a great rival to iphone, but sony failed. See my comment#19 below.

posted on 02 Aug 2014, 01:25

25. techperson211 (Posts: 1280; Member since: 27 Feb 2014)

I'm in no denial . The world does not consist of USA only. But I respect your opinion.

posted on 01 Aug 2014, 01:26

13. JC557 (Posts: 1789; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)

There are quite a few people want smaller phones. The problem with US sales is the fact that the phone wasn't really widely available. Elsewhere the phone had good sales. Then we've had some people wanting the next xperia compact to have a 4.5-4.7" display instead pf 4.3".

All the other mini phones had a high-ish price with internals that didn't even come close to their flagship namesake.

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 23:45 11

2. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)

But the "Compact" version still remains strong, and that's only from Sony. Other manufacturers should follow Sony's style if they want to make a "Mini" version of their flagship.

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 23:53 3

3. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3800; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)

Let's be honest here though. The whole "mini" craze was only started as a way for OEMs (Sony & Motorola withstanding) to sell more mid-rangers. The "minis" have always existed, just under a different name than the actual flagships. The difference now is that people are actually starting to catch on.

posted on 01 Aug 2014, 00:44

8. AfterShock (Posts: 3698; Member since: 02 Nov 2012)

True enough, HTC led/started us down this path IMO.(Desire/DesireHD)

posted on 31 Jul 2014, 23:56 1

4. wilsong17 (unregistered)

Mini why lame spec no thanx

posted on 01 Aug 2014, 00:10 1

5. VJo003 (Posts: 360; Member since: 11 Mar 2012)

Mini = Useless

posted on 01 Aug 2014, 00:26 2

6. 0xFFFF (Posts: 3806; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)

Compact > Mini
Compact = Useful

Sony defines what "mini" needs to be to be interesting to people. Not many people want a crippled "mini" phone.

posted on 01 Aug 2014, 00:55

11. rd_nest (Posts: 1656; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)

Not many either got Sony Compact either. The article itself states that.

posted on 01 Aug 2014, 00:27

7. hurrycanger (Posts: 1625; Member since: 01 Dec 2013)

"$150-$200 for similar models being turned out by Chinese manufacturers"
No. Actually, taking Samsung as an example, they have their own phones to compete with their own Mini's. What if I tell you the Samsung Galaxy Light used to be $240, is $100 now, and it beats most Chinese phones in the price range of $150-$200?
Same thing for LG. They have some nice phones in that price range, too.

Chinese models are just crap, and it's stupid especially when people say the Chinese phones are just as good just because they have a quad-core clocked at 1.2 to 1.5ghz or something. It's just so wrong. The quad-core CPUs like MTK6589 1.2ghz and MTK6582 1.3ghz are both craps when comparing to the Snapdragon 400 dual-core 1.7ghz in the S4 mini, the Snapdragon 400 quad-core 1.2ghz in the Moto G and the L90, and the Samsung's something quad-core 1.4ghz in the Galaxy Light.

Those Mini's really suck for the price. I get it. But please stop with the "similar models being turned out by Chinese manufacturers" BS. Most of those models suck and aren't similar at all. Please look at the better options from the bigger and better companies first.

posted on 01 Aug 2014, 00:52

9. Goldeneye (Posts: 419; Member since: 22 Jan 2011)

Minis are pretty pointless, when I first heard the concept I thought it was interesting to have a flagship with a smaller screen and that's it and keeping the rest intact, oh so wrong I was.

I clear example is the GS4 mini, I could not find a reason to buy that phone when you could get a GS3 way cheaper and even better on some points, GS5 mini? Might as well get a real GS4! And so on.

posted on 01 Aug 2014, 01:56

15. WahyuWisnu (Posts: 1001; Member since: 29 May 2014)

They should try what the watchmaker do. Defining 'for men' and 'for woman' with phone size. i.e. Galaxy 5 for men, Galaxy 5 for woman. LOL


posted on 01 Aug 2014, 02:13

17. WahyuWisnu (Posts: 1001; Member since: 29 May 2014)

The whole mini/small will losing MORE steam. This whole mini/small were introduced as a way Samsung/LG/Sony/HTC/etc fight Apple marketing hype that we should be able to use smartphone one handed. With Apple starting to sell 4.7"+ iphone, and apple will say "this will REVOLUTIONIZE phone industry", mini/small will suddenly equal bad.

That is why the mini/small ONLY sell in a country that Apple iphone market share is high. Such as USA & Japan.

posted on 01 Aug 2014, 02:32

19. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)

I'm confused tbh. Mini powerhouses would have made sense till last year. Android OEMs never got it. They should have targeted their mini flagships against iPhones. They should have made phones with small (4.3-4.5") but high quality displays, top notch chipsets, premium design and build quality coupled with comfortable ergonomics, And software close to stock and optimised, with proper worldwide execution and marketing. But the time's past now, the new iphone is coming with a larger screen.... :(

posted on 01 Aug 2014, 03:22

21. GreekGeek (Posts: 1276; Member since: 22 Mar 2014)

Because they are insanely overpriced! The pieces of turd like the G2 mini and the S4 mini are prime examples

posted on 01 Aug 2014, 11:53

23. zennacko (Posts: 237; Member since: 16 Jun 2013)

I own a z1 compact. Can't be happier than I am (well, unless they add a SD 805 and a 4k 240 fps camera with RAW pic/video capability..,) And I was tempted to get an iPhone before this phone came into life. I mean, I can't imagine myself using a phone bigger than 5 inches, it's ridiculously big, won't fit in my pocket, neither in my hand... Let's hope the manufacturers understand that there ARE people who still think that cell phones are meant to be smaller than satellite phones, not just slimmer. And also, I hope they understand that Sony is doing it right by reducing SIZE, and NOT SPECS from their phones!

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