Will Apple hit back at Samsung with phablets and a $99 mini iPhone?

Leaked plans suggest that iPhones with 4.7-inch and 5.7-inch screen sizes are in the works, as well as cheaper, colourful handsets

Sources speaking to Reuters have suggested that Apple will be diversifying its range of iPhones – creating models with larger screens, and cheap versions of the smartphone in a range of colours.

During the Worldwide Developers Conference hosted by Apple earlier this week (the WWDC), the company was strident about its ability to stay ahead of the market. “Can’t innovate any more, my ass,” was senior exec Phil Schiller’s comment as he revealed the new Mac Pro.

But despite the new products introduced at WWDC it seems that the Californian tech giant might be aping the success of South Korean competitor Samsung, whose market strategy revolves around an ever expanding line of handsets, as well as phones with larger screen – the ‘phablet’.

Reuter’s sources, described as “four people with knowledge of the matter”, say that Apple is aiming to introduce two larger iPhones – “one with a 4.7-inch screen and one with a 5.7-inch screen.”

The models have been predicted after suppliers were approached by Apple with their new plans. Apple has declined to comment.

The ‘phablet’ form factor (phones with a screen size between 5 and 6.9 inches) first gained traction  in the smartphone market around 2010, and despite early criticism that the size was both too large and too small to be accepted, global phablet revenues have been estimated as totalling $46 billion in 2013.

Quoted in Forbes, British telecoms researchers Visiongain have said that phablets will “consititue a significant portion of global smartphone shipments by 2018. They will become cornerstones around which the next-generation product lines of leading OEMs will be built.”

Apple still holds a clear majority market share in the sale of tablets despite slipping from 58.1% of the market in the first quarter of 2012 to 39.6% in 2013, but it has been overtaken by Samsung in the smartphone markets.

Speaking AllThingD’s D11 conference late last month technology analyst Mary Meeker showed how Samsung’s share of the global smartphone market had grown from just 4% in the first quarter of 2010 (compared to Apple’s 16%) to 29% in the fourth quarter of 2012, overtaking Apple who held 22% of the market.

Apple have previously stayed well away from the phablet market, with Steve Jobs declaring the iPhone’s original 3.5-inch screen “the perfect size for consumers”. The release of the iPhone 5 late last year was the first model to enlarge the screen size to a 4-inch, 16:9 ration.

As well as offering a phone with a larger screen, the iPhone rumours also included the possibility of a cheaper model, priced at $99. Although consumers have previously been willing to pay extra for the quality of Apple’s product, Samsung’s successes have proven that this is no longer the top priority.

Writing for Investor Place, Brad Moon has offered changes in the TV market as a parallel: “Sony used to pretty much own the premium TV market. But as other manufacturers who had once been mid-range or off-brand bargains caught up, consumers decided they were good enough that there was no point in paying extra for a Sony TV.”

Although the existence of Apple’s new models, both cheaper and larger, have not been confirmed by the company, they are certainly not impossible suggestions, especially considering the current disposition of the smartphone market

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
News
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
film
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
News
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: IT Support Engineer

    £17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Microsoft Gold partner, our c...

    Ashdown Group: Sales Support - Buckinghamshire - £25,000

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Internal Sales Executive ...

    Ashdown Group: IT Analyst / Helpdesk - 2 Month Contract - £15ph - High Wycombe

    £15 per hour: Ashdown Group: IT Analyst / Helpdesk - 2 Month Contract - £15ph ...

    Recruitment Genius: Automation Test Analyst

    £35000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This group is the world's secon...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
    La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

    Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

    The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie