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Apple's small iPhone still a big deal

Among other noteworthy stats, the tech giant says it sold 30 million 4-inch iPhones last year.

Apple's Greg Joswiak talks about customers' lingering love for their 4-inch phones.
Screenshot by CNET

Apple is getting bigger by going smaller.

The tech behemoth unveiled its iPhone SE, a new 4-inch version of its popular phone line, during an event Monday at its corporate headquarters in Cupertino, California. The reason for the break from its big-screen iPhone 6 and 6S: Apple sold 30 million 4-inch iPhones last year.

"Some people simply love smaller phones," said Greg Joswiak, Apple's vice president for product marketing. "We found for a lot of these customers, it's their first iPhone. Some people asked us, some people even pleaded with us, please keep the 4-inch products in our lineup."

Big sales of little phones wasn't the only data Apple dished. Here are some other noteworthy numbers to come out of the event:

  • Apple has sold more than 200 million iPads with 9.7-inch displays, said Phil Schiller, Apple's vice president of marketing, when introducing a new iPad Pro of the same size.

"It's Apple's most popular tablet size," he said about the 9.7 size, even though the company just released a 12.9 inch iPad Pro in November and also offers a smaller iPad Mini.

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook said more than 1 billion Apple devices have been used over the past 90 days around the world, similar to what the company announced in January. This includes iPhones, iPads, Macs, iPods, Apple TVs and Apple Watches.
  • There are now 5,000 apps available in Apple TV, Cook said.

By comparison, another 16 percent run iOS 8, and 5 percent of devices run an older version of iOS, according to the company's developer dashboard.

See all of the news from Apple's March 21 event.