By Gregg Stebben, Men’s Health
WASHINGTON — By now you’ve no doubt heard the big rumor about a bigger iPhone.
I think the rumors are probably correct-ish.
I don’t know if there will be one or two new and larger iPhones, and I don’t know if the rumored 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screens are correct, but I think it’s pretty clear that a least one bigger iPhone is coming.
Generally, when Apple releases a new product it’s shrouded in mystery and preceded by months of rumors.
This time, the rumors see less rumor-like and they seem to come from more credible sources, which appears to be a way of responding to the success of Apple’s competitors’ bigger phones?
In the world of mobile, the rules have changed, so Apple is changing with them. That’s what a smart company should do.
For many years, Apple was served well by the deafening beat of the drum in the media, social media and in the blogosphere touting rumors about upcoming new Apple products that were still shrouded in mystery.
This worked particularly well when there was really only one iPod, then only one iPhone, and then only one iPad.
Now, consumers have many choices and I suspect Apple realizes they have to give more concrete details earlier in order to lock-in the interest of prospective buyers before those prospective buyers go out and purchase a competitor’s product instead.
Big phones, particularly from Samsung, have been very successful, yet Apple has clearly taken its time getting into the “big-phone” or “phablet” market.
I think offering bigger phones is a tough call for Apple, but based on the success of their competitors, it’s clear people want them.
Here’s the potential downside, for Apple: Today, many have an iPhone and an iPad, but when Apple offers a bigger iPhone, there’s a good chance they’ll be cannibalizing their own tablet sales, which are already slowing.
Some think Apple may be able to reinvigorate the tablet market with their new “Continuity” features in the upcoming new operating systems for both Apple computers and iPhone and iPad that very tightly integrate all of your Apple devices together.
If I have a big iPhone that replaces my current little iPhone and iPad, what’s it going to take to get me to think I need an iPad again?
The answer? New functionality that makes the two mobile devices – iPhone (of any size) and iPad (of any size) — ten times better together than either is alone.
Continuity may deliver on that promise. And it will only work with other Apple devices, so it may Apple’s perfect answer to competitors’ threats and the risk of cannibalizing their own tablet sales.