The Apple rumor mill is afire with news that the company might launch two new handsets at some point in the future featuring screens that are larger than current options.
One of those devices would come with a 4.7-inch screen, while the other would boast a massive 5.7-inch screen, according to reports. Both devices could complement the lower-end iPhone that Apple is rumored to be launching sometime later this year.
Apple has always found itself in the middle of discussions about screen size. For years, the company stuck with its 3.5-inch iPhone screen, even as competing smartphone makers moved to larger displays. Last year, Apple announced an iPhone 5 with a 4-inch screen, but it was quickly criticized for again being smaller than those from competing companies. When it comes to screen size, it appears Apple just can’t satisfy the average consumer.
Still, Apple needs an iPhone (or two) with big screens. At this point, the lack of such a display is proving to be a problem. Read on to find out why:
1. Samsung is running circles around Apple
When it comes to screen size, it’s hard to see how Apple can even compete these days. Samsung’s latest handset, the Galaxy S4, comes with a 5-inch screen, making the iPhone 5’s 4-inch display look awfully small in comparison. If Apple wants to compete more effectively against Samsung—and it does—the iPhone maker must deliver larger screens.
2. HTC is running circles around Apple, too
Even HTC is making Apple look bad in the smartphone market. That company’s flagship device, the HTC One, comes with a 4.7-inch screen that most reviewers agree, is far better than the iPhone 5’s 4-inch display. If HTC, a company that could very well be out of business in a few years, is beating Apple on screen size, what does that say?
3. There seems to be a desire for bigger screens
When looking around the Android marketplace, it appears that customers are increasingly eyeing devices with larger screens. After all, the Galaxy S4 sold more than 10 million units in less than a month, and the HTC One racked up sales of more than 5 million units in its first 30 days on store shelves. If customers care that much about larger screens, Apple should accommodate them.
4. The 4-inch display makes the iPhone feel less appealing
It’s important to point out that today’s low-end smartphones—including those that are offered for free by some carriers—sport 4-inch displays. That alone makes it hard for Apple’s iPhone 5 to be compared to today’s best Android smartphones. Like it or not, the iPhone 5 stacks up against lower-end Android devices and not high-end models. That’s an issue for Apple.
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5. More choice is always better
If Apple decides to launch 4.7- and 5.7-inch versions of the iPhone, it might improve sales. Over the last few years as Apple has offered more iPhone versions, the company has learned that the more choices it offers customers, the better. Launching devices with larger screens to complement its smaller devices would provide even more choice. And if history can predict the future, that would also mean stronger sales.
6. An iPhone Mini will likely be coming down the road
If Apple has plans to enter the smaller side of the smartphone market, why wouldn’t it attempt to make some inroads into the high-end? According to several reports, Apple will launch in August a small, iPhone Mini featuring several different colors and a cheaper price point. If it does so, the company should also try to tackle the higher end of the space.
7. It’s whittling away at the Galaxy S advantages, anyway
It’s obvious that Apple feels at least a little threatened by the Galaxy S4. At the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote on June 10, Apple made a sly joke about the need to “bump” Samsung devices together to transfer files. In Apple’s implementation, it can be done wirelessly and without the need to actually touch. That, coupled with its improved software, is helping Apple start to whittle away at the Galaxy S4’s advantages. If Apple can launch a device this year that has both a bigger screen and serious firepower under the hood, Samsung could be in for trouble.
8. The phablet market is a huge opportunity
Smartphones featuring extremely large screens have been given the somewhat sad name of “phablets.” That moniker aside, phablets have become a huge business. In fact, some analysts say that the market could approach $50 billion in revenue this year. Given a market of that size, why wouldn’t Apple want to jump on the bandwagon? The company has never been one to let billions of dollars simply pass by.
9. Developers seem to be OK with it
One of the concerns some had with Apple launching a 4-inch iPhone to sit alongside its 3.5-inch option was that developers would need to allow for both screen sizes with their applications. The same was true when Apple announced its iPad Mini. However, developers haven’t said a peep about that issue, and seem to be just fine with Apple switching up screens. So, Apple can’t use that as an excuse if it doesn’t launch a bigger iPhone.
10. Apple is no longer the leader
There was a time when it was Apple that could practically dictate smartphone features and design. Whatever Apple did, other companies followed. But over the past couple of years, that has changed. These days it seems that each time it releases a new iPhone, Apple is behind the pack. The company must acknowledge it’s no longer the market’s leader and quickly get back to a more competitive position. And the best way to do that is to launch a new, bigger display.