Seriously, has there ever a been a better moment in tech product introductions? It’s time for Apple to bring back ‘One more thing…’ and I know what it should be. iPhone 6. Apple’s first Phablet.
The Phablet Years
There is no doubt that Apple devoted plenty of resources to research the optimum screen size for the original iPhone. With the iPhone 5, Apple blinked and decided that size matters.
Still, at 4-inches diagonal, the iPhone 5 is the puny-screen competition compared to the latest from Samsung, Google, and even Micronokia.
Size matters. Bigger is better. Says who? Says a few million owners of what is called the Phablet– a smartphone with a tablet-like screen.
What’s the advantage of having a 5-inch or 6-inch screen on a smartphone?
Two words: Screen real-estate. The iPad mini is Apple’s best selling iPad model, and that doesn’t even have a Retina display (yet).
My own informal research indicates that the phablet is more than a trendy phenomenon. It’s here to stay because of the same phenomenon that has caused the dramatic drop in sales of point-and-shoot cameras.
One Is Better If It’s Bigger
Who wants to carry two devices around. A smartphone camera is good enough (not as good as some point-and-shoots, not as good as DSLRs, but it doesn’t matter) that there’s no need to carry both.
Why are iPod sales dropping like a rock? Who wants to carry an iPhone and an iPod? Why are notebook sales dropping (including the Mac)? Because people are voting for a mobile future by buying an iPad instead of a new notebook.
That trend toward consolidation means we’re using our Macs and Windows PCs less than ever, upgrading less frequently because we can move some functionality to the iPhone and iPad (smartphone and tablet).
However, the early on trend– as exemplified by Apple’s Steve Jobs to place the original iPad right between the iPhone and MacBook Air– was for customers to have all three– iPhone, iPad, Mac (or PC).
We’re entering the age of consolidation, folks. Who wants to carry three devices around when one bigger device that does it all can be perfect for tens of millions of customers.
Therefore, here’s what Apple needs to do. ‘One more thing…‘ at the end of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C introduction. The iPhone 6. Apple’s first Phablet. Larger than the iPhone 5S (4-inch screen), but smaller than the iPad mini (7.9-inch screen).
Not everyone needs such a beast, but that’s also why Apple needs a larger-screened iPhone in the line– to prevent customers from moving to Samsung, Micronausea, or others and their gargantuan devices.
Caveats? Yes, a few. At 5-inches, a smartphone and tablet hybrid won’t fit into most pockets the same way an iPhone does now. A 6-inch Apple Phablet only compounds that problem. Also, my own research indicates that the larger the smartphone screen, the more the demographic of the customer shifts to females. Why? We have bags to accommodate the size. For guys, as it always has been, size matters, so I’ll predict that when Apple launches a larger screen iPhone, more customers will be women than men.