Three reasons for the decline of the small-screen smartphones

At the unveiling of the iPhone 4S, which occurred more than 10 years ago, Steve Jobs was quoted as stating, “3.5 inches is the perfect golden size, no one will buy a big-screen phone!” I vividly remember what he said to this day. My memory of that moment is as clear as it was when it happened. Taking a glance at the overall smartphone sector now, we can see that just a small handful of firms are adamant about continuing to produce mobile phones with smaller screens. Despite this, there is a relatively tiny population that seems to have a strong preference for cellphones with smaller screens. They continue to purchase such products even after they have been released onto the market. Sadly, the size of a smartphone’s screen is by no means the only distinguishing feature of these devices. You may need a smartphone that’s compact enough to hold with a single hand. On the other hand, you might also require certain capabilities that the smartphone possesses but does not offer by default.

The 6-inch screen size is becoming the standard in the smartphone business. You’ll have a hard time finding a brand-new smartphone with a screen that’s any smaller than 6 inches. As a result of this, a lot of people are curious about the falling popularity of smartphones with smaller screens. The popularity of smartphones with small screens is on the decline, and this trend can be seen across the industry, from producers to end consumers. There are three primary factors contributing to the decline in popularity of devices with relatively small screens.



The market for smartphones ten years ago was considerably different from the market that exists today. In the past, very few people were concerned about the various features that a smartphone may have. Simply make a gorgeous and well-functional smartphone, and that will be sufficient. But things have changed, and this is no longer the case. Users will immediately begin comparing various characteristics of a newly released smartphone, including the CPU, the storage capacity, the camera, the screen, the battery, and other features.

It makes no difference how well the device works in practice if the specifications aren’t very good on paper; this could hurt the sales of the smartphone. When it comes to the dimensions of the screen, there is a current movement toward ever-increasing display sizes. Foldable screens are available in sizes ranging from 6 inches to 6.5 inches to 6.8 inches and even up to 8 inches. Because users of smartphones now engage in a wider variety of activities with their devices, the formerly adequate little screen no longer suffices. These days, people use their smartphones to do things like browse the web, play games, participate in online lectures or meetings, and many other things. As a result, the requirements of users cannot possibly be satisfied by a display that is just 4 inches.

On the one hand, there is an ever-increasing trend among customers to purchase mobile devices with increasingly larger screens. Therefore, the only option left for the makers is to provide the features that the customers demand. In addition, from the point of view of the manufacturer, the creation of mobile phones with smaller screens is genuinely a tough endeavor. This is because a significant number of people who want smartphones with smaller screens also require larger batteries and excellent heat dissipation. The manufacturing industry faces a very difficult challenge in achieving this goal. Therefore, it is in the best interest of the makers to adapt to the needs of the market and create more popular large-screen mobile phones.


Some customers desire smartphones with smaller screens, but at the same time, they are interested in cutting-edge technology. A good number of these technological advancements call for a substantial amount of room. Take, for example, a periscope telephoto camera; on the back of a 6-inch smartphone, it can take up more than 25 percent of the available space. If we want to fit all of this into a smartphone with a 4-inch screen, we are going to run out of room for the battery, the speakers, and any other components.

We are all aware that the vast majority of consumers who are interested in small-screen mobile phones just want a portable gadget that they can effortlessly operate using one hand. For this reason, users with small hands have traditionally favored mobile phones with smaller screens. This applies to both male and female users.

The interior space of the mobile phone can only be “squeezed” to a limited extent due to the small size of the mobile phone itself, which limits the amount of room available for expansion. Because of the phone’s dense internal layout, there will inevitably be concerns with heat dissipation at some point in the future. Because there is not enough room for heat to dissipate, the performance of the smartphone will dramatically decrease. This will also have the effect of reducing the overall functionality of the gadget.

In addition, dual-SIM dual-standby support has been removed from devices with smaller screens, like Apple the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 13 mini, and iPhone SE 3. This prevents many customers who utilize two SIM cards from making a purchase. As a result, we find ourselves in a scenario where it is impossible to “have cake and eat it too.” Although smartphones with smaller screens are easier to carry and grasp, their performance is constrained.

3. Weak market performance

The third explanation revolves primarily around the actions of the producer. A producer will be forced to reduce the production of a product if it is not selling as expected and there is nothing more they can do. If we take the iPhone as an example, the iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 13 mini, with their more compact displays, had the lowest sales of either series. Apple was forced to take action as a result of the disappointing sales performance of the iPhone 13 small, and the company decided to discontinue production of the iPhone 14 tiny model. Therefore, all of the displays on the iPhone 14 series will be at least 6 inches in size.

The accessories of these small-screen mobile phone items that are visible to the naked eye will, at some point in the future, be decreased or discontinued entirely. If you start off with a mobile phone that has a small screen, for instance, it’s likely that in the future you won’t be able to replace the main screen, the battery, or any of the other parts with anything other than an official stock accessory or a third-party accessory.

Displays on the smallest-screen smartphones are now available on the market ranging in size from 6.0 inches to 6.3 inches. Regarding the huge screens, each one has a display that is between 6.7 and 6.9 inches in size. Displays of between 6.7 and 6.9 inches used to be reserved for the Max series, which are more comparable to tablets. Nevertheless, several firms, such as Xiaomi, have now stopped producing new entries in their Max series.


It is indisputable that people who can handle their mobile phones with one hand are the primary consumers of small-screen mobile phones. At this time, firms that can insist on creating mobile phones with small screens are also launching associated items from the users’ point of view. Despite this, the sales of small-screen mobile phones continue to drop, which means that small-screen mobile phones will eventually be removed from the historical stage of mobile phones.

Smartphones that have displays that are too small are having a hard time competing in today’s market. Users are very likely to complain either about problems with the battery or with the way heat is dissipated. This is because these devices have a limited amount of storage space. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly important for manufacturers to shift their attention away from smartphones with smaller screens and toward those with larger displays. The market seems to place a lot of value on this particular aspect.

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