Apple’s iPhone was notorious, at least for a while, for keeping a smaller form factor when many other big name manufacturers were trying to figure out how to make their phones bigger and better. At first it seemed to have played out well for Apple as the amount of “smaller” smartphones quickly began to vanish from the market. However, over time it became abundantly clear that Apple needed to start appeasing to the demand for phones with larger screens or risk losing its status. Thus, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were born.
Those who still preferred the smaller 4-inch form-factor of past iPhones were still good to go, at least for a couple of years, with the iPhone 5s. iPhones typically have a 3-year shelf life, with the ability to upgrade to the newest iOS version for all 3 years. (But just because an iPhone can be upgraded doesn’t necessarily mean that it should. The iPhone 4s, for example, didn’t do so hot when upgraded to iOS 8, and while minor improvements were made when upgraded to iOS 9, it was still a far cry from its better days on iOS 6 or 7.)
Regardless, this year marks the 3rd year since the release of the iPhone 5s, which means that without a new 4-inch iPhone the days of a 4-inch iPhone are over. Fortunately, that may not be the case. As many a-rumor have suggested at this point, it would appear that Apple still finds value in smaller smartphones. The iPhone 5se, as many tech blogs are calling it, is rumored to launch on March 15.
And I would be lying if I said I wasn’t at least a little bit interested in it.
I feel very on the fence about it. I like larger displays and I recognize the value in having more real estate, but I also enjoy being able to use my phone with one hand. While I would say that the old old 3.5-inch display iPhones used to have are too small at this point, perhaps Apple’s miniscule upgrade to a 4-inch display wasn’t as ridiculous as I made it out to be when the iPhone 5 first appeared on the market. When it comes down to what feels better in the hand between my old iPhone 5s and my iPhone 6, my vote goes to the iPhone 5s. Although it’s purely subjective, I know I’m not alone in my feelings on this.
I’m sold on the size, but the one thing that remains to be seen – assuming all of this actually happens, that is – is what the specs of the 5se are like. If they’re too similar to the iPhone 6, then I have little reason to go back to a smaller display – certainly not enough to justify the trouble in my opinion. But if the 5se features specs that are closer to the 6s, I may seriously consider getting the 5se anyway for its smaller form factor and boost in performance.
I’m not too confident that the 5se would amount to be much more than an iPhone 6 in a smaller form factor, as I think the entire purpose of the 5se would be to keep the 40-60% of iPhone users who have been holding out for another small iPhone. As long as the 5se includes a better camera, a bump in specs, and Apple Pay, then you’re probably going to have a lot of happy campers. However, as somebody who “sold out” for the larger iPhone 6, I would be more than happy to return to a smaller iPhone if the spec bump was big enough.
Readers who have moved on from the smaller smartphone screens, what are the chances that you’ll ever switch back? Have you grown accustomed to larger screens at this point, or do you miss having a smaller display on your smartphone?