Everyone bets on bigger iPhone for '14
Logic demands Apple super-size the iPhone screen, but Cupertino doesn't always play rational
Computerworld - Virtually every analyst who follows Apple has jumped on the bigger iPhone bandwagon, asserting that the Cupertino, Calif. firm will step into the quickly-growing large-screen market this year.
"There's demand for these devices," said Ramon Llamas, analyst with IDC, referring to smartphones with larger displays. "Line up the numbers and it says to me, there's a market that shows tremendous growth and there's a niche for these."
Last week, the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), citing the usual unnamed sources, said Apple is planning to launch a pair of larger iPhones in 2014, one bigger than 4.5 inches, the other larger than 5 inches.
The iPhone 5-series, including 2013's 5S and 5C, sport a display of 4-in. measured diagonally, an increase from the 3.5-in. Apple used from 2007 until 2012.
Most sell-side analysts on Wall Street expect that Apple will enter the larger-phone market this year -- although those bets stem as much from their harping about Apple's lack of new products as any prognostication -- but industry analysts have almost unanimously followed suit.
The talk started with the usual leaks from Asian component suppliers, said Bob O'Donnell, chief analyst at Technalysis Research. "For Apple to build something they have to talk to the supply chain, and build screens, even for prototypes. Inevitably, the leaks start at display makers, like LG Display, AU Optronics and the others," said O'Donnell.
As demonstrated last year when pundits nailed almost every aspect of the iPhone 5S, it's impossible for Apple to keep a new product under wraps unless there's a long lead time between announcement and retail debut. One of the last times Apple was able to keep secrets, well, secret was the introduction of the original iPhone in 2007, when more than five months passed after Jobs pulled it from his pocket before Apple started selling the new device.
But a larger iPhone makes much sense, analysts argued.
As Llamas noted, the demand for such devices has accelerated. According to IDC, about 4 million larger-sized smartphones -- dubbed "phablets" by some to denote devices with screens of 5 inches and more -- were sold in 2012, a number that jumped to around 16.5 million in 2013 and will hit 30 million this year. Even that estimate, Llamas said, "now looks to be conservative."
O'Donnell was even more bullish on the category.
"The phablet market will account for one in three smartphones by 2018," O'Donnell predicted. "That's a huge market population that no vendor can ignore."
While the landscape is littered with predictions of what Apple will do -- or, in many cases, what outsiders think Apple must do -- O'Donnell, Llamas and others think the case for a larger iPhone is very solid.
"It makes a lot of logical sense, especially as smartphones are becoming less and less phone and more and more computing devices," said O'Donnell, striking a stance he has held for some time and spelled out in a piece he wrote two weeks ago for the analyst-centric Techpinions.
- Apple's CarPlay vs. MirrorLink: Is there a need for both?
- Apple's CarPlay to spark mobile apps war in your car
- iTunes is almost as big a biz as OEM Windows
- Icahn says 'I can't' and stops $50B fight over Apple stock buyback
- Lenovo-Moto deal's impact on Apple? Zip
- Office 365 turns one, but success is tough to tally
- Everyone bets on bigger iPhone for '14
- Apple's iPod business collapses as revenue becomes a rounding error
- Update: More than 1B smartphones were shipped in 2013
- Cook admits Apple blew the call on the iPhone 5C
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Streamline Data Protection with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been an industry-standard data protection solution for two decades. But, where most competitors focus exclusively on Backup...
- Simplify and Consolidate Data Protection for Better Business Results Learn about IBM® Tivoli® Storage Manager Operations Center, which provides advanced visualization, built-in analytics and integrated workflow automation features that leapfrog traditional backup...
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All Smartphones White Papers | Webcasts