For the last few years, HTC has sold a smaller, mini version of its flagship phone, but that trend is apparently ending this year, according to HTC’s president of the North Asia region Jack Tong. Why? Tong says the market just isn’t interested in mid-size phones anymore, and prefers to purchase big-screen devices instead.
Speaking to Focus Taiwan at the launch of the new One M9+ in Taiwan, Tong said the HTC One Mini 2 from last year was the last of the line. “Overall, the industry is moving towards new phones over 5-inches in size,” he told the publication, and said the HTC line-up was being tailored to fit in with that trend.
Since the end of last year, almost all HTC’s new devices have had screens at least 5-inches in size, including several Desire models with displays measuring 5.5-inches. The One Mini 2 was launched in May 2014, and still managed to pack a 4.5-inch screen, just half-an-inch smaller than the One M8 on which it was based.
Earlier in May, HTC reported a sizable 39-percent reduction in revenue over this time last year. Analysts blamed a poor response to the new HTC One M9, and while HTC apparently has no plans for a small version to bolster the range, it hasn’t been shy about remixing the flagship phone, producing the One M9+ and the similarly styled J Butterfly since then.
Interestingly, there haven’t been any rumors regarding an HTC One M9 Mini (or One Mini 3, as it may have been named), nor a Galaxy S6 Mini. Talk has also cooled regarding a new small screen iPhone recently. The decision to abandon the One Mini may be sound, based on recent research showing 21-percent of smartphones sold in the first three months of this year were classed as phablets, up from 6-percent during the same period in 2014. Also, at the beginning of 2015, Juniper Research stated big-screen phone shipments would increase by five times this year, and become the standard within three years.
However, LG may end up standing apart from its competitors. It’s linked with a smaller, mini version of the LG G4, rumored to arrive in the next few months. At this rate, it may be the only small screen flagship spin-off coming out this summer.