James Moore: Apple seems to have found itself playing catch-up with the iPhone

Outlook It's just about the time of year for Apple to start cranking up the hype machine. The iPhone 6, or should that be the iPhone 5X, or even the iPhone Air, is due to be launched in the autumn.

The famously secretive company is usually about as communicative as a Trappist monk with tonsillitis.

But its PR brains know how to stoke the hype machine by ensuring bits and pieces of information about new products filter out into the market to create a buzz, thus ensuring that at the end of the process everyone takes pictures of the fanbois queuing around the block wherever Apple stores can be found on the day of a much-hyped product's release.

So what's this year's earth-shattering innovation? Erm… Apparently it's a larger screen.

Not that this isn't a handy thing for Apple to be trailing. The market has been howling for it.

Worryingly for the controlling brains in its corporate centre, parts of that market have leapt upon products made by bitter rival Samsung, and others, because that's what they have. Particularly in Asia, a key market where the Apple brand might not necessarily be able to ride on the cachet it enjoys if it doesn't come up with something that puts the robo-cat among the electronic pigeons quite soon.

That it hardly did with the last lot of iPhones, which were fine as far as they went, but hardly set the world on fire despite all the fingerprint ID technology the posher ones incorporated (and which hackers managed to break in short order those kids!).

Still, the really exciting innovations only come every other year, right? Which means this is the year we can expect to see the real McCoy. The development worth waiting for by all those who passed on the iPhone 5 in the hope of a world beater coming around in 12 months.

If the early buzz is correct that amounts to a bigger screen.

Screens do seem to be the thing with Apple, what with its Retinas for MacBooks and iPad Airs, which sure do look pretty. Just not with the iPhone up until now.

It might take a bit more than a bigger one to generate genuine excitement for the new outing, although Apple has proved its doubters wrong before.

Still, what might concern the company's shareholders is that it did seem to be just a little behind the curve on this one to start with. That's what allowed Samsung in.

Confirmed Appleholics will probably always find a reason to love the company's kit. After all, it still offers a winning combination of form and function. But Apple seems to have found itself in an unusual place with the iPhone and its small screen: Playing catch up.

It needs to get ahead again. If it does have an ace in the hole we'll just have to wait until the next leak to find out what it is.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
peopleJonathan Ross has got a left-field suggestion to replace Clarkson
News
Johnny Depp is perhaps best known for his role as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean
peopleBut how did he break it?
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
Arts and Entertainment
The teaser trailer has provoked more questions than answers
filmBut what is Bond's 'secret' that Moneypenny is talking about?
Sport
footballDoes Hodgson's England team have an identity yet?
Sport
Lewis Hamilton secured his second straight pole of the season
f1Vettel beats Rosberg into third after thunderstorm delays qualifying
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
news
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
News
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
people
Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
News
The Westgate, a gay pub in the centre of Gloucester which played host to drag queens, has closed
news
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
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.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Retirement Coordinator - Financial Services

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...

Recruitment Genius: Annuities / Pensions Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...

Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Officer - Altrincham - up to £24,000.

£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...

Ashdown Group: Learning and Development Programme Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss