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
Life & Style blogs
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 4 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The leading provider of Employee Managem...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Kent based design consulta...
£25000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking to work for an ...