It Already Has a Smaller iPhone

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It Already Has a Smaller iPhone

All of this talk of a smaller iPhone seems to ignore the fact that the company already has one. Apple's iPhone 5 comes with a 4-inch screen. The iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, which are both still on sale, come with a 3.5-inch display. Those devices are also much cheaper than the iPhone 5. Apple really already has the "Mini." It just doesn't use that name.

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The Market's Moving Toward 5-Inch Screens

At the Consumer Electronics Show, many companies have shown off devices featuring 5-inch screens. The market generally believes that customers want devices that have larger and larger screens. If that's the case, why would Apple want to deliver products with smaller displays?

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Apple's Margins Can't Take It

Apple spends more time agonizing over margins than anything else. And the problem with an iPhone Mini is that such a device will likely come with margins that are much lower than the threshold the company would accept. After all, a cheaper handset means less room to make a profit. That alone should scuttle the market prospects of an iPhone Mini.

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Tablets Are Different

Some believe that because the iPad Mini has proven so successful, the iPhone will, too. But that's a falsehood. The tablet market is an entirely different space than the smartphone market. And customers are looking for much different things. Apple understands that, which is why the company hasn't launched any new "Mini" products.

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Think About the Developers

Developers matter greatly in any decision to launch a smaller smartphone. Right now, developers need to worry about screen resolution for four different Apple devices. If Apple launches an iPhone Mini with a screen size of 3 inches, it'll add another one to the mix. Developers won't like that. If nothing else, developers want uniformity in the marketplace.

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It Sounds Like a Nokia Strategy

Nokia has tried a strategy of delivering what it thinks is every notable smartphone design to appeal to as many customers as possible. Yet the company is in deep trouble. A little exclusivity goes a long way in the smartphone market. Apple knows it. That's why it won't launch a smaller, underpowered smartphone.

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The iPhone's Sales Are Strong

What would make Apple actually need to launch a new iPhone Mini? After all, the company's larger products are already selling quite well with sales rising each quarter. Until sales start to fall, Apple has no reason to change its strategy in the smartphone market.

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Emerging Markets Don't Matter as Much to Apple

If Apple wanted to appeal to emerging markets looking for cheaper smartphones from the company, launching an iPhone Mini might make some sense. However, Apple isn't trying to do that. Apple wants to build its customer base in developed countries. In those markets, miniature smartphones aren't necessarily appealing.

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Focus On iPhone 6

The thing that Apple needs to do right now is focus on the iPhone 6. That smartphone will likely be the most important device Apple has launched in a long time. Android is performing exceedingly well, and Samsung is putting a lot of pressure on Apple. The iPhone 6 could either hold those products off or cause some real issues for Apple. Ignoring that and working on an iPhone Mini would be an extremely bad move.

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'Mini' Implies Lower Quality

Apple is a company that has thrived by delivering products that are of the highest quality. "Mini" implies lower quality with fewer features, at least in the smartphone market, where lower quality is bad news. The tablet space is slightly different, since a cheaper, smaller slate can appeal to a profitable customer base. In smartphones, that's not the case.

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