The “MINI” Phones – Milking The Famous Name!
HTC is launching its HTC One Mini soon. Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini is already out. Their elder siblings are obviously out fighting each other with blood and sweat. So, are an older breed (last year’s flagships if I may say) which are almost at the same price as these newer minis. When they were new, some of them had their own minis as well.
The concept of a Mini phone is simple and quite exciting from a consumer point of view. There is a product you like incredibly, but because of its exorbitant price you are reluctant to buy that product.
Then the company decides that they can bring the same phone in a smaller form factor thereby reducing two of the most daunting costs (Screen and processor) while giving *almost* the same features.
Another school of thought is that while people might like the phone in itself they might be turned off by the screen size and would want the same thing in a smaller package.
While this is a great idea if the product is the only product that a company sells, it is moot in rest of the cases.
For example, Apple launching an iPhone Mini makes sense as at one time they usually have fewer types of phones in the market. In fact, for a current year, there is only one phone in the market.
If you want to go cheap, you have to buy the older generation. Because the whole system is well integrated, it doesn’t make that much of a difference. They eventually did this for their Tablet – and iPad Mini was born.
On the other hand, if a company launches a series of products starting from below Rs. 10,000 and go up to their flagship, the idea of a mini becomes a little less sensible to me. You want to give a good product to the audience, launch it.
I am unable to understand the need to name if after the big brother except for milking the name.
For example- The new Galaxy S4 Mini is in the same price bracket as Galaxy S3. There are a few trade-offs like one has bigger screen (S3) and other has more RAM (S4 mini). One brings quad-core (S3) while another brings latest dual-core (S4 mini) in the offering. As all Galaxy flagship phones are in a similar form factor there isn’t much to say on that front.
The major difference would be in the software segment. S4 Mini will get the love that S4 has (in smaller regard maybe). The thing is that can be done for S3 as well. S3 can handle everything that the S4 Mini can.
Now, HTC One Mini is another phone that is going to be living under a shadow of big brother. HTC could have easily named the product as HTC Two or HTC Moth and no one would have batted an eyelid for that. The phone would still be compared with its elder sibling and would still have to hold on its own against the competition.
Do you think this is just a simple marketing strategy of playing with people’s psyche? Customer wants an HTC One, give them a Mini, what will they know type of thing?
As for me, I would rather have my phone has a distinct name rather than a “mini”. What’s your take?