BIG PHONES

Apple’s done it.  “They’ve kneeled to the pressure from Android”.  Haven’t they?  Let me think.

One day to a few hours before the event I saw a fair number of tweets where people expressed that they didn’t really want a bigger phone.  The iPhone 5 size is wonderfully compact and ideal for daily use (but lets talk about that later).  I am content with mine.

However, when I got my 5s, I immediately wished it was a tiny bit wider to make landscape use more viable.  Typing any document in landscape only left me with about half an inch of displayed space.  I adapted, and found that typing in portrait orientation was clearly the way to go.

hound_dog_taylor
The average iPhone 6 Plus user

So now they’re bigger.  If you haven’t downloaded the template from Ars Technica to see how big they are in person, you should really do so now.  I found the Plus at first glance in my hand didn’t seem too bad, until I pretended to use it.  Forget that noise.  I don’t have thumbs like Hound Dog Taylor.  It loses the magic of convenience that is so important to me in the iPhone.

The regular-sized 6… now I could work with that.  I think toleration would give away to preference the more I used it.  Does that make the 4″ screen of the 5 “too small”?  Absolutely not!  I am still very content with this for daily use.

That leads me to my thoughts on “daily use”.  It goes without saying that the typical use has changed from the introduction of the first iPhone (and yet I said it).  People don’t talk on their smart phones that much any more.  But I think the new generation of smartphones have gone one further.  Site-specific apps are starting to give way to responsive web sites.  The push to demonstrate that the iPad is a “content creation device” led not only to spectacular apps that do so on the iPad, but a desire to continue that work on the iPhone.  I ran GarageBand on my iPhone 4 (well, I “walked” it) but the 5s made it much nicer – primarily for speed but the screen space did help.  Parallels Access works on the 5s, but it would be nice if… and so it goes.

So did Apple kneel to the Android push in doing this?  I don’t think so, if they did then maybe it was in a very very small way.  I actually think Android did a big favour to Apple in working out the kinks first.  Who needs your own R&D and customer metrics when another company does it all for you?  I think big phones were just big phones until very recently.

I also don’t think that the simultaneous introduction of the Apple Watch and the big phone was an accident either.  With a large phone you immediately lose a small measure of convenience, but you gain that back – and more – with an Apple Watch immediately at hand (yes I know).  So Apple was working on the watch for 3 years, and big phones have been out for how long now?

If you still don’t understand Apple’s philosophy in all of this, watch the “Perspective” video again, and read the words and not just look at the great camerawork.

Will it sell?  Dumb question, of course it will.  Will it sell because it’s bigger?  Well there’s no more new 4″ iPhone so it’s hard to say.  The twitters seem to indicate to me that many are going to get the Plus because of its assumed scarcity and “see how they like it”.  I presume the Plus will sell ridiculous amounts.  What we don’t know at this point is how many will be returned in a couple weeks for the 6.  (I also wonder how Apple will count this as sales figures?)

So, bottom line for me… I’m in no rush for the 6 but I will envy those that have it.

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