In the past and even today, we have seen Android OEMs release “mini” versions of their flagship smartphones, like the recently released Samsung Galaxy S5 mini and the HTC One mini from 2013 as some examples. However it seems that the demand for such devices is starting to wane, according to a report from DigiTimes who cites sources in Taiwan’s handset supply chain. Their sources revealed that devices from LG and Sony in the form of the LG G3 Beat and the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact have sold less than expected. This is apparently due to an uncompetitive performance-price ratio.
While international vendors including Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, HTC and Sony Mobile Communications have launched mini versions of their flagship smartphones, sales of those mini versions have so far fallen short of expectations due to uncompetitive performance-price ratios, according to sources in Taiwan’s handset supply chain. Although LG has marketed the mini version of its LG G3 flagship as the LG G3 Beat, and Sony Mobile named the mini version of its Xperia Z1 as the Xperia Z1 Compact, sales of these two models have been lower than expected, said the sources. Pricing is a disadvantage for such mini versions since they are mostly priced from US$400-500 as compared to US$150-200 quoted for comparable models rolled out by China-based smartphone vendors, the sources added. Affected by slower than expected sales, most vendors are likely to be forced to amend the strategies set for their mini models, the sources commented. HTC has launched the HTC One (E8), a plastic version of its latest flagship model the HTC One (M8), to test market water, but it remains to be seen if the E8 will prevail in the mid-range market, said the sources.