Who will buy the iPhone SE? Data shows that over 35% of iPhone users are still using a 4-inch device…

Data from analytics company MixPanel shows that almost one third of iPhone users are still using a device with a 4-inch display. According to the data, as of today around 36.67% of active devices are still made up of 4-inchers including mostly the iPhone 5s (18.85%), followed by the iPhone 5c (4.98%), iPhone 5 (7.84%), iPhone 4S (3.86%), iPhone 4 (1.51%), and “older iPhones” (0.03%). 

A poll of our own audience showed similar figures with 35.32% saying they plan to upgrade to the new 4-inch device, 24.26% from a current 4-inch device and 11.06% from a larger iPhone. There were also an additional 12.25% of the sample group of almost 15,000 readers that said they’d upgrade if the new 4-inch device’s specs were on par with the larger flagship models.

And the data set compiled from apps using MixPanel’s analytics tools comes from users worldwide, not just in the US. So it does take into account the high number of 4-inch devices in emerging markets, which is often due to the lower cost compared to the high-end flagship models and not necessarily the smaller display.

That’s good perspective on just how big the current 4-inch market is, even if the data doesn’t show us exactly how many of those users are interested in upgrading to a new 4-inch device. And a less expensive larger iPhone 6 that will inevitably fall in price after next-generation iPhones are introduced this fall could make the market for 4-inch devices even smaller for customers mainly motivated by price and not the user experience of the smaller screen.

But with Apple planning on introducing a new 4-inch iPhone later today as an update to the aging iPhone 5S model it’s still selling, many are wondering what that means for the company’s overall iPhone lineup.

It’s Apple’s first time releasing a device with a smaller display than its current lineup after making the jump to the 4.7 and 5.5-inch screens on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and it’s also Apple’s first time introducing a “new” device as a lower cost option to its flagships at a mid-year event ahead of expected next-generation iPhones this fall.

It looks a lot like the device will essentially replace the current iPhone 5S as a lower cost option to the flagship lineup for enterprise and emerging markets. We reported previously that the device will mostly retain the iPhone 5S design and pricing, while featuring some upgraded camera specs alongside other new internals. But perhaps it will also be a solid option for anyone that just wants a great iPhone with a 4-inch display?

Check out our roundup of what to expect from the new 4-inch iPhone SE and other new product announcements planned for this afternoon’s event. And stay tuned for full coverage and analysis of the event later today. 

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About the Author

Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & Electrek.co. He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.