A few weeks ago, my colleague Brad Ward asked “What’s up with all these Mini smartphone editions?” At the time, we knew about Samsung’s Galaxy S4 Mini and HTC’s rumored One Mini, and we had heard rumors about a Mini edition of the Oppo Find 5. While the Find Mini turned out to be nothing more than a rumor, the One Mini is definitely real, although HTC still hasn’t acknowledged its existence.
Samsung, HTC, and now Lenovo and Huawei
According to the ever in-the-know rumor purveyors at Digitimes, two other Android smartphone makers are gearing up to launch their own Mini smartphones in the second half of the year. These devices will be mid-range to high-end and will boast displays of 4.3-inch to 4.5-inch.
So, getting back to Brad’s question, what’s up with this Mini craze? Why are Android phone makers churning out smaller clones of their flagships? Money, of course. Developing Mini phones lets phone makers save costs:
Offering of mini versions of flagship smartphone models can maximize the benefit from using R&D and marketing resources and therefore has become a trend for international vendors, the sources pointed out.
With Mini editions, phone makers can simply shrink down a proven design, saving time and money. The same goes for marketing costs – once you made your flagship known, it’s easy to borrow some of the mind share and use it to promote a similar, albeit not that good Mini device.
We just wished Android manufacturers would deliver top specs in their Mini smartphones. Plenty of people crave for a smaller (for today’s standards) device with a great user experience, and these days it’s hard for them to find such a device. The HTC One Mini looks like a step in the right direction. Let’s see what Lenovo and Huawei come up with.