stratechery
stratechery

Apple reportedly building two big screen iPhones

From the WSJ:

Facing competition from rivals offering smartphones with bigger screens, Apple Inc. is planning larger displays on a pair of iPhones due for release this year, people familiar with the situation said.

The people said Apple plans an iPhone model with a screen larger than 4½ inches measured diagonally, and a second version with a display bigger than 5 inches. Until now, Apple’s largest phone has been the 4-inch display on the iPhone 5…

The smaller of the two models is further along in development, and is being prepared for mass production, the people said. The larger-screen version is still in preliminary development, they said.

I’ve been certain a larger-screen iPhone was coming for well over a year now, and not because I know anything or anyone. Rather:

  • As the United States and Europe are increasingly saturated, the vast majority of smartphone growth will be in Asia
  • In Asia,1 the number one reason to not buy an iPhone (for those who can afford it) is screen size

The latter is a very real thing: TV viewing on your phone is very common,2 the sort of apps that are popular here3 work better on bigger screens, and everyone – including men – carry bags. Anecdotally speaking, I don’t know a single person who doesn’t long for a larger iPhone, but I know plenty who switched to Android for this reason.

Combine these two factors, and this “rumor”4 feels a lot more like “confirmation.”5

  1. I live in Taiwan
  2. And the most popular shows across Asia are Korean dramas, all of which feature the Samsung Note prominently
  3. Think Clash of Clans or Line Camera
  4. Although I’m not sure I buy that there will be two this year; I’d guess the larger version would be in 2015
  5. The real tell in my book was iOS 7′s support for variable text-sizes and auto-layout