We’ve said it before. Rumors of a smaller iPhone, an iPhone mini to be exact, have been going around since the original iPhone was launched. Today, we are once again resurrecting the rumors. According to Strategy Analytics, Apple might be forced to release an iPhone mini to better compete with Samsung. “We think Apple will have to launch an ‘iPhone Mini’ at some point over the next three years to address the hundreds of millions of prepaid users worldwide that cannot afford the current iPhone,” says Neil Mawston, the Executive Director at Strategy Analytics.

“The iPhone 5 is growing fast and profitably right now, so there is little incentive for Apple to launch an ‘iPhone Mini’ this year.” Strategy Analytics estimates that Samsung will widen its lead by as much as 35 percent against Apple in terms of smartphone sales this year, due to its broad product line-up. The firm says that Samsung may very well sell 290 million smartphones this year, up from its 215 million last year. Meanwhile, Apple is expected to reach 180 million this year, up 33 percent from last year. “This will give Samsung a 33 percent share of the 2013 smartphone market, up from last year’s estimated 31 percent, while Apple will hold 21 percent, versus last year’s 20 percent,” the firm added.

Filed in Apple >Rumors. Read more about iPhone.

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