The CocoaConf Blog

How the shelf should look today

By Solomon Klein (February 5, 2013, at 8:40 AM)

There has been some growing buzz occurring lately about the possibility of Apple coming out with a larger iPhone, to compete with lesser phones such as the Galaxy Note II and the like. What I find even more surprising is that the folks who usually would have shaken off such claims are taking the rumors seriously. In a recent blog post, Marco Arment, creator of Instapaper and connoisseur of fine coffees and BMWs, says that Apple is losing sales to Samsung and others because it doesn't have a bigger phone:

“The iPhone has lost a significant number of sales by buyers either wanting a larger screen or being drawn to how much better the large screens look in stores. Here’s how this theoretical iPhone Plus looks next to the large-screened competition:


“Now, imagine that lineup without the iPhone Plus mockup. That’s how the shelf looks today when a buyer goes into a phone store.”

I usually tend to agree with Marco, but here I must humbly disagree. Let’s compare this same idea to the Mac vs. PC arena. Currently, the best selling laptop around is a Mac. What does the shelf look like for Apple?

You have two MBAs and four MPBs (two non-retina and two retina). This brings them up to a grand total of six laptops.

Dell, on the other hand…

Dell is taking the “all things to all men” approach here. They make more Inspirons and Latitudes than Apple makes Macs. But who’s getting the sales? Who’s making the money here? Apple is. Companies such as Dell and HP, which provide varying laptops for every man and his neighbor, actually lose sales by creating a paradox of choice for their potential customers.

I would say that the real reason the iPhone isn’t as big in places like China and the Koreas is simply that many carriers haven’t had the iPhone until more recently — NOT because Apple doesn’t have a monster phone.

Now, I could see Apple coming out with a bigger phone — partially because of the iPhone 5, and partially because of Auto Layout. I would like to believe that Auto Layout was just for the 5 and the iPad mini. But maybe Apple had bigger ideas in mind. Apple opened a mixed can of bacon and worms when it came out with the iPhone 5. The bacon is an awesome device, the iPhone 5. The worms? It may have marked the beginning of Apple's departure from Simplicity.

If Apple does come out with an iPhone Plus, it will be the beginning of the end.