A string of leaked/released documents in the ongoing Apple-Samsung trial has put some strong context and credibility to the claims of Apple working on a large-screen iPhone 6. Over the course of last week, we heard a lot of information come out. Information that revealed one important fact: Apple knows bigger screens is where the market for smartphones is headed.
“Strongest demand coming from less expensive & larger screen smartphones” – reads one part of a slide that was reportedly part of a presentation in April 2013. As early as 2012, Apple must have realized the trend of the smartphone market and realized their own position in it.
After this and a few other documents that had Apple alluding to the larger screens, speculations have begun in full force regarding iPhone 6 and the possibility that rumors about 4.7″ and 5.5″ devices could actually be true.
The “Carriers” Variable
Carriers are happy with other mobile phones now. The performance, even though not on par with Apple’s flagship iPhone (5s), has been continuously increasing. Android phones from the camps of Samsung, HTC, etc. have been doing good. And the large-screen factor seems to be a vital variable, indicating clearly the market trend.
If Apple were to release an iPhone 6 which is just another 4″ smartphone, carriers are probably going to pause to see where they’re going.
“Customers want what we don’t have”
One of the slides that have these very words etched on them tell us two things. One, Apple realizes that they have to innovate in the large-screen arena (possibly with a rethinking in price) in order to be relevant to the new market that seems to love large screen smartphones. Two, Apple is changing the way it works.
Before the iPod, iPhone or iPad, there wasn’t even a large-scale demand for such products. Apple’s innovation actually “created” a new line of products. Apple didn’t go by consumer demand back then. And that’s why this is disconcerting as an enthusiast. If Apple was to pursue “customers want what we don’t have” line of thought, it runs the risk of falling back instead of leapfrogging.
The Case for a 4.7″ and 5.5″ iPhone 6
The 4.7″ iPhone 6 seems very plausible although the 5.5″ is something I’m not willing to bet on. But there are also the kinds of analyses that seem – at one point of time – very valid: for instance, the case of Apple splitting iPhone into two versions (consumer and pro).
In the case of iPhone 5s and 5c, Apple did something no one had really anticipated: it basically killed iPhone 5 by getting it a new avatar in a colorful plastic shell. And while there has always been one single iPhone every year, we saw two variants in a single year.
Going by that rule, it’s highly possible that Apple will release two iPhones this year too. One of them has the highest chance of being a large-screen device, breaking the 4″ barrier. Exactly what dimension it will reach is left for speculation.
What’s your take?