For years, Apple remained steadfast in its position that smartphones with bigger screens were unwieldy and not user friendly. In fact, Apple in 2012 released an iPhone 5 commercial boasting that the device, on account of its 4-inch form factor, could be operated comfortably with one’s thumb.
“That’s either a) an amazing coincidence,” the commercial says, “or b) a dazzling display of common sense.”
Despite Apple’s best efforts to persuade people that larger screened devices were unnecessary, it eventually became apparent that Apple could no longer continue to ignore a market that was seemingly itching for devices with huge displays.
And so Apple in 2014 decided to dive in head first into the world of larger screened smartphones, unveiling the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus.
Since then, Apple has broken numerous iPhone sales records as consumers flocked to these bigger devices in unprecedented numbers. Indeed, Apple’s larger iPhones proved to be so popular that we haven’t even seen the release of a more accommodating 4-inch iPhone model in nearly two and a half years.
With that said, one might reasonably assume that no one is really using smaller iPhone models anymore. Recently compiled data from Mixpanel, however, reveals that older iPhone models that predate 2014’s iPhone 6 are still in use and, in fact, quite popular.
In fact, you might be surprised to learn that the second most used iPhone on the planet is the iPhone 5s, a device that was released all the way back in 2013.
Broken down by model, here are the most used iPhone devices as of Saturday, February 6.
Is the iPhone 5s’ enduring popularity the result of people not wanting to trade up for a larger model? Or, perhaps, does it speak to the durability of Apple hardware, which is to say most iPhone 5s models are still running smoothly, thereby negating any performance issues that typically motivate an upgrade?
Either way, the data here is interesting and perhaps suggests that smartphones have advanced to a degree such that upgrade cycles are now a little bit longer than the traditional 2-year time frame we’ve known since the original iPhone was introduced back in 2007.
What will really be interesting to keep an eye on is how the public takes to the iPhone 5se. If iPhone 5se sales come in at the high range of expectations, it would indicate that the market for 4-inch iPhones is much larger than people might have otherwise assumed.