Any writing that posits “If Steve Jobs were alive,” and is not written by his wife or children is crap.
Sad for the #audreyhepburn legacy but whoa to the technology.
The bi-fold wallet, the long wallet or breast wallet and the modern tri-fold wallet have been in pants or jacket pockets since the 19th century.
The forms of phones - candybar, flip and smartphone are analogous to the forms of wallets. Many people carry mobile phones along with their wallets, over a fifth of the world’s population uses a mobile phone and less than a fifth of that are smartphones. Apple only offers essentially a bi-fold wallet-sized smartphone.
Is there a segment of people who need a smaller touch screen phone? Anatomically women, children and some populations have smaller hands on average, much smaller than European and most US males. Judging from the popularity of the iPod touch with US children, the 3.5-inch screen and probably the 4-inch screen indicate that a small hand size is not perhaps a priority.
A trifold or card-sized wallet can be more compact and is consequently preferred by many people. However the new iPod nano shows Apple has decided a 2.5-inch touch screen is appropriate for a sophisticated interface. On the flip side Apple also clearly had researched a 1.54-inch touch screen enough to ship the tiny previous generation iPod nano.
Can Apple design show a new utility or opportunity for a larger screen? Samsung’s popular but scattershot approach has been profitable because they have the production scale to support fast ramps with their vertical manufacturing arms which support a large mobile device portfolio. A 5-inch phone doesn’t fit well in pants pockets, yet a long/breast wallet clearly serves a purpose and is popular. A large screen facilitates certain applications as evidenced by Apple’s iPad and iPad mini.
Apple’s focus on a single phone size has bolstered their profit margins, however a 12 month cycle for phones allows sales and expectations to trough. Apple never seems to rest on its laurels, but with over $30 billion in iPhone revenue last quarter their laurels are voluminous proportionally requiring more frequent launches. The late winter or early spring would be an excellent time for Apple to unveil its answer to the questions, “What’s next?” and “Whither are the new markets for new profits?”
2013 iOS device pricing
1- The average selling prices of iOS devices can increase by extending the flash storage capacity in the iPhone to 128GB like the iPad. Broadening the iOS product lines is an expedient solution to profit margin erosion.
2- The entire iOS-based product lines must shift to thunderbolt connectors therefore processors and components change too. The extirpation of the 30-pin connector reduces the reliance on legacy and Samsung technologies, an operational and strategic win for Apple.
“You can never have enough storage.”
A 128GB iPad presages a 128GB iPhone 5 or perhaps 5S. A predictable feature for the next iPhone is a higher megapixel camera. A new camera is a good psychological ploy for consumers to want a storage bump in the iPhone 5, whose retina display has only 23% of the visual data assets compared to an iPad, 727,040px to 3,145,728px. More megapixels means larger jpeg files. A 128GB iPhone 5x is inevitable & further down the product pipeline is a 128GB iPad mini with Retina Display.
Price tiers for the iPad line are obvious with the two form factors, so an iPhone “plus” launch in the spring, with a biannual iPhone “ticktock” launch cycle, will simplify the product grid. An iPhone 5S can debut in the “tock” cycle, followed by the iPhone “plus” as a second line of a tick cycle in equipoise to the iPhone 5’s. The venerable 30-pin connector iPhones are then gone, giving Apple engineers the leeway to create four iPhones a year but only two new form factors.
In September 2005, at the peak of its popularity, Apple replaced the iPod mini with the iPod nano. Today, Apple is selling millions of iPhone 4x’s but is it willing to sacrifice a known success to establish a beachhead of innovation, efficiency and profit? Most businesses redesign for profit and efficiency considering only how much discomfort a consumer will tolerate while being harnessed to a product or service, i.e. Microsoft and United Airlines. Apple’s faster processors and increased storage capacities may foreshadow products that extend their presence into the living room and beyond – into the minutiae of their customer’s digital life.
The smaller 7.9-inch iPad mini 2 with Retina Display will occupy all the lower price points rather than the 9.7-inch iPad 2. Conversely a larger iPhone plus, with a cheaper display and a smaller battery, might offset the loss of the plump margins of the old iPhone 4 and 4S at the bottom price tier.