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Apple working on 'at least two' iPhone screen sizes, analyst claims

updated 12:23 pm EDT, Tue April 9, 2013

Suggests iPhone 5S could have multiple sizes

The next-generation iPhone will launch with "at least two screen sizes" as options, says Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White. The claim is based on a meeting with a company in Apple's supply chain. White argues that the new phone could potentially even launch with as many as three different sizes. "We believe Apple is coming around to the fact that one size per iPhone release does not work for everyone and offering consumers an option has the potential to expand the company's market share," he writes in an investor memo.

He also predicts that the new hardware will ship in July, and be joined by a lower-cost iPhone model. He suggests however that Apple is unlikely to offer an iPhone under $300 without a contract, and that a price somewhere between $300 and $350 "makes more sense" than speculation calling for $150 to $200. "We believe this price point is reassuring for investors that Apple wants to expand its market reach with consumers in developing countries such as China," says White. "However, the company will also manage its margin profile and brand accordingly."

A potential problem for the idea of multiple screen sizes is fragmentation. Apple already sells three different iPhones -- the latest model, and two older ones -- and the company has been hesitant to confuse the public with too many versions of its products. Another issue could be production, since suppliers have had a difficult enough time keeping up with iPhone 5 demand. Having to manage has many as six devices would likely strain suppliers to their limits.

by MacNN Staff




  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: 01-03-08

    Bigger screen has my vote

    Like the iPhone 5 size. It just needs an ever so slightly wider screen...but not the Galaxy S4's 5 inch monster size

  1. bleee

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 03-28-02

    So much BS

    I wish there was a running list of all the crap analysts spew and are wrong about... I remember hearing one on cNet where they said Apple was WEEKS away from releasing the SDK for apps on Apple TV. Never happened.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    If you need debunking of the idiocy spewed by analysts, technology experts and others, you should read the (highly entertaining) Macalope features on MacWorld:

    Articles by The Macalope | Macworld

  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 04-05-11

    Maybe Apples "one size fits all" mantra

    Is just as good as a large pile of "caca de toro", in the face of users, who just like pairof9s want a larger screen; or in other words: CHOICE.

    Well that, and of course the extra 50 bucks increase per share sure don't hurt in shareholders eyes.

    First it was the iPad mini that proved Apple viewed with envy the competition's growth in Steve's cursed size for a media consumption device, now larger screens on phones are next.

    Without the late Mr Jobs Apple has become a company that follows the trends instead of create them.

  1. OkieDoc

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-07-01

    "one size fits all"

    Apple isn't simply trying to deny customers who "want" different things.

    They have to consider the economy of scale that a single screen size or form factor gives them in the manufacturing marketplace.

    Plus, they have to keep developers happy. Too many choices=complexity for app developers.

    Apple would love to sell a device to every person. They simply have to make a decision as to which market they are going after. Calling Apple stupid for sticking to one (or now, two) screen sizes isn't really fair. They're in it to make a profit. And they seem to be doing pretty darn good at it.

  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 04-05-11

    You do know Apple can do better, don't you?

    Most Google play store apps can be loaded on a wide range of android devices with a great range of hardware specs, from screen resolutions to memory or even hardware buttons.
    Apple has several orders of magnitude more resources than even it's nearest competitor, and on top of this it controls not just the hardware but the operating system and even the applications it can run or not; I do not thin foot a single moment Apple might be stupid, JUST EXTRAORDINARILY GREEDY.
    It does not limit your choices for lack of time or resources to build at least one more iPhone model per year, or even worse, because somehow they know what's best for you. Apple limits your choices because it's a lot less expensive to do a single model phone per year and on top of that make a tremendous profit margin compared to it's peers.
    But as phone and tablet users mature, they start to view the offerings of other companies and start to wonder, just like pairof9s, what it would be like to... Have a larger screen for example...

  1. Smackdowninator

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-10-13

    Simple Product lines

    @Arne. Simple product lines have been a hallmark of Apple's meteoric rise to the top of the tech world. If you know anything about Apple's history, you will know that Apple was a basket case before Jobs retook the helm. One of the key strategies was to simply the product line. Samesung, on the other hand, have the most confusing array of products on the market, including a new 8-inch Galaxy Note (gee, I wonder where they got the idea for that size?). A scattergun approach may have worked for them to some extent, but it has left a bewildering array of devices in its wake.

    Even if Apple has ultimately released an iPad mini, that does not take away from starting with a 9.7-inch model. That size was crucial in giving developers the opportunity to differentiate the iPad from the iPhone by giving them more screen real estate to create more desktop-like apps. The only reason the 7-inch size was chosen by Samesung and others was because Android, at the time, could not support a larger screen size. Not because it was a 'better' size. As it stands, the iPad mini still has 60 percent more screen real estate than a 7-inch Android tablet.

    There is nothing 'greedy' about Apple not creating different screen sizes for its iPhone line. It makes things really easy for the vast majority of consumers. As commentators have noted, expanding the range of screen sizes will allow Apple to address a wider market and sell more devices than they would by continuing with only one or two sizes - your theory doesn't sit well with the reality.

    Along with simple product lines, usability has also remained a key driver of Apple's decision making. Smartphones with larger screen sizes, while certainly nice, are less ergonomically functional often requiring two hands to operate - certainly at 5-inches or larger. It is the WHOLE customer experience Apple is looking at - this, is the furthest thing from Samesung's mind. They have swamped the market with so many devices and that have so many 'features' that most consumers don't know where to start with them. They are the ones desperate for profit and desperate to steal Apple's market share. They might look like they are trying to give customers choice and more features, but it is not in the interest of the best user experience that they are doing it for.

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