America has almost no love for small iPhones


Apple finally gave us a phablet with iPhone 6 Plus.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Over 132 million Apple smartphones are now in use in the U.S., and the vast majority of those are larger devices.

According to the latest data from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, demand for the 5.5-inch Plus-sized iPhones is getting even stronger, with their share of the market rising 10 percent in just one year.

While rivals championed larger smartphones, Apple stuck by the iPhone’s 4-inch display for seven years. Samsung was one of the first to launch a handset with a display over 5 inches big in 2011, but it wasn’t until 2014 that Apple launched the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

It did so in response to demand for larger devices, and with fans switching to Android in pursuit of bigger displays. But while it may have been a little late to the game, Apple didn’t lose out. There are now over 135 million iPhones in the U.S., and they’re still selling like hot cakes.

Not only that, but demand for the largest iPhone is rising. Figures from CIRP show that 35 percent of the devices in use as of December 31, 2016 are Plus models, up from 25 percent on December 31, 2015.

Of that 135 million, 25 million, or 19 percent, are iPhone 7 series devices. 51 million, or 38 percent, are iPhone 6 series devices. The iPhone 6s series accounts for about 17 percent. That means just 26 percent of the iPhones in use in the U.S. today have 4-inch screens.

“Apple continues to increase its sales of larger format phones,” said Mike Levin, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP.

“It appears to have overcome initial doubts about their appeal. And given their premium prices and a trend toward purchasing greater storage capacity among all iPhone buyers, this added meaningfully to revenues and gross margin.”

Some rumors have claimed this year’s iPhone 8 could have an even larger display, though that seems a little unlikely. We will almost certainly see Apple switching to OLED this year, however, and introducing an all-new design made mostly out of glass.

  • TheMadTurtle

    Bad news….I LOVE my SE. I really hope there’s another SE ahead that keeps the small form factor and puts the guts of a 7 or 7S or whatever in it.

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    • Gorbag

      Personally I have a 7+, but wifie would not upgrade even to the 6 until the SE came out (she had a 5s). There’s something to be said for having something compact and I’m not sure I want to stay with the plus form factor either as I have to carry it on my belt in an otter box… though interestingly enough it did drive me to get the watch.

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  • Matt Vaughan

    I prefer the size of my 7 vs. the 7 Plus. It’s much more pocketable. If I need a bigger screen, I break out my iPad Pro 9.7. If I need bigger still, then it’s my MacBook Pro, connected to my 5K LG monitor. Now if I didn’t have an iPad, I’d probably deal with the 7 Plus. Each device has its purpose.

  • jerseylova

    I had the iPhone 6 Plus and was ready to upgrade to the iPhone 7 Plus. I got tired of the thumb constantly hurting, and have this gigantic phone in my pocket. Glad I bought the 7 instead!

    • Bradley Henriksen

      Same here! I’m 6’6 and it was still too big for my hands and was hurting my thumb and pinky (from resting it on there). Switched to the 7 and couldn’t be happier. It doesn’t seem that much smaller and it’s so much more convenient!

  • Tjosansa

    …..Only 26%? I think that number is high.
    I have iPhone 6+ now and i am really tempded to get an iPhone SE instead. That awesome fast speed in that little formfactor is sexy as hell. And the battery never seem to deplet either. And it is so light too. Im in love. And once again i will be able to operate my phone entirely with just one hand.

  • kavok

    Small all the way. No love for smaller phones because they aren’t being offered smaller phones. Duh. What a stupid headline. I still have my 5S until Apple makes a small iPhone 8.

  • Stetch

    Dont touch my 7 Plus :D

  • Ken Mitchell

    As I get older and my eyes get worse, I appreciate LARGE phones where the text is at least sort-of legible. My Nexus 6, for example is fairly easy to read. To read my iPhone 5S, I have to put on my 3X magnifying glasses.

  • George Lucas

    It was the iPhone 6Plus not the iPhone 6s Plus where Apple embraced the larger form factor. Article is misleading with impression Apple just jumped aboard last year.