Apple’s Rivals Fail to Crack This Niche Market

Source: Apple.comIt appears that Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) solid position in the 4-inch smartphone display segment of the market has caused some of the iPhone maker’s competitors to rethink their “small” smartphone marketing strategies. According to the Taipei-based DigiTimes via Apple Insider, both Samsung (SSNLF.PK) and HTC have been unable to lure customers away from the iPhone with their similarly sized devices.

According to the DigiTimes, both Samsung and HTC offer “mini” versions of their flagship devices that are close in size to Apple’s iPhone. Samsung offers the Galaxy S4 mini, while HTC sells the HTC One mini. Both devices feature a 4.3-inch display.

However, DigiTimes’ unnamed sources report that Samsung’s Galaxy S4 mini sales have been “bleak.” Although the HTC One mini had strong sales in some markets, the Taiwan-based smartphone maker was still forced to heavily discount the “mini” smartphone barely two months after its initial release.

Meanwhile, Sony (NYSE:SNE) appears to be taking precautions to avoid the same issues that Samsung and HTC have encountered. “Taking cues from the slow sales of the Galaxy S4 mini and the HTC One mini, Sony Mobile apparently has revamped its marketing strategy for its upcoming Xperia Z1 f, which is slated for release by year-end 2013,” stated DigiTimes’ unnamed sources.

Although CEO Tim Cook has previously seemed dismissive of creating a larger-screen iPhone, recent rumors and analysts’ reports suggest that Apple may soon break out of its “mini” smartphone market niche. NPD DisplaySearch analyst David Hsieh recently predicted that Apple will release a 4.7-inch screen iPhone, as well as a “phablet” size iPhone with a 5.7-inch display in 2014. Similar rumors have also been reported by the Wall Street Journal and Korea’s ETNews.

Here’s how Apple has traded over the past five trading sessions.

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