“Later this year, Apple will unveil a 6.5-inch screen that runs iOS. Five years ago, such a product would have been introduced as the newest member of the iPad family. However, Apple finds itself on the verge of releasing its largest iPhone to date,” Neil Cybart writes for Above Avalon. “In fact, the device will likely be one of the largest smartphones in the market. Upon closer examination, such a dramatic change in product strategy was ultimately driven by Apple’s realization that iPad mini was the wrong bet. It marked a turning point for iPhone.”

Apple “placed a big bet on iPad mini as a way to prevent Android from gaining share in the tablet space. However, the competition wasn’t found with smaller Android tablets,” Cybart writes. “Instead, it was found with 5-inch and 6-inch smartphones running Android. Having just launched the 4-inch iPhone 5, [Apple SVP Phil] Schiller knew that Apple wouldn’t have an adequate answer to these larger smartphones for at least another year and a half. Apple was caught flat-footed due to betting on iPad mini.”

“At some point in 2013, Apple likely made the decision that iPhones had to become larger in a big way,” Cybart writes. “Apple had to accept the fact that the iPad mini may not have too bright of a future despite just being launched and seeing remarkable strong sales out of the gate. There wasn’t going to be a compelling use case for a 7.9-inch iPad in a world with larger smartphones.”

“We now see Apple becoming extremely aggressive with larger iPhones,” Cybart writes. “A 6.5-inch screen iPhone will launch less than a year after a 5.8-inch screen. A 6.5-inch iPhone would have been unfathomable during the early iPad years. Such a device would have decimated Apple’s iPad strategy. Today, Apple is comfortable ceding a much larger portion of the market to iPhone at the expense of iPad. This has led to a much stronger iPhone franchise.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take:

If you don’t cannibalize yourself, someone else will. — Steve Jobs

Apple was very late… There’s no telling how many millions of high-value customers they lost to Android makers like Samsung because of it — customers who will be much more difficult to acquire now than if Apple had properly-sized iPhones ready for buyers when they wanted them. Apple’s getting them to switch in a relative trickle over a period of many years, and many years to come, when they could have had virtually all of them with a bit more foresight.MacDailyNews, February 2, 2017

And now for the “We Told Ya So” portion of our presentation:

Some portion of [those who want larger smartphone displays than Apple currently offers] are too stupid, blind, or pathologically anti-Apple to have ever purchased an iPhone, regardless of screen size.

This is not to say that Apple, the world’s most valuable tech company, rolling in more billions of dollars than they know what to do with, shouldn’t have a larger screen iPhone available by now. They should. It’s criminal malpractice on the part of Tim Cook that they don’t. The sales Apple have left and continue to leave on the table should have been keeping Phil Schiller up at night for at least the last year.

Yes, Apple should have a bigger iPhone yesterday, but this is just simple logic: Not all phablet owners would have bought an iPhone even if a bigger iPhone was available.

We understand fragmentation. We understand the issues of producing apps that work on devices with various screen sizes (intimately).

None of it matters because too much of the market wants an iPhone with a bigger screen. Developers will simply work harder for the premium customers found on the premium platform. Period.

This omission – not iMacs and Mac Pros that miss Christmas or anything else – is Tim Cook’s biggest mistake to date. Apple should have a bigger iPhone on the market by now, but since, for some inexplicable reason a company with more cash at their disposal than Intel Corp. is worth doesn’t, the sooner the better.MacDailyNews, January 3, 2014

When Apple finally extracts their collective head from their collective ass and ships iPhone models with larger screens, they’ll do more damage to slavish copier Samsung than all of their endless, plodding patent infringement cases combined.

We believe that Apple became infatuated with the fact that only they could produce small, thin smartphones with an efficient OS that could work with the small batteries that these compact iPhones housed. “Nobody else can do such things.” Meanwhile, battery-hogging Android leeches like Samsung slapped larger screens on their phones to hide the fact that they needed significantly larger batteries in order to run for even a few hours (Android phones are notorious for running out of charge).

Far too many otherwise intelligent consumers saw little or nothing of Apple’s considerable engineering superiority (the iPhone 5s is simply the best smartphone anyone has ever produced), these otherwise intelligent consumers only saw iPhone’s smaller screens. They didn’t see Android’s inefficiency or inferior ecosystem, they only saw phones with larger screens.

If we’ve heard from one person who went with an Android phone for a larger screen who in fact really wanted an iPhone – “I’d have gotten an iPhone if only they had a larger screen” – we’ve heard it from a thousand. These are top tier, cream-of-the-crop customers (i.e. Apple’s target demographic), not low information cheapskates. They want to be Apple customers and participate heavily in Apple’s ecosystems, but, for a few years now, Apple has been blowing these sales by failing to deliver the product these high value customers desired. It’s inexplicable; any downsides (fragmentation, inventory management, etc.) are vastly outweighed by the vast sales potential to those who should be Apple customers, but are now carrying a plastic piece of crap from Samsung.

Bottom line: Apple screwed the pooch on this one. Shit or get off the pot, Tim.MacDailyNews, January 23, 2014

No iPhone with a screen larger than 4-inches – it’s now 2014 – despite a plethora of high-value customers who obviously want to buy one, but have turned to other platforms in order to get a smartphone with a larger screen. Oops. Mismanaged.

One-handed interaction is a concocted load of bullshit attempting to cover for not having a proper lineup of iPhones offering customers varied display sizes at even this late date.MacDailyNews, January 28, 2014

Why Apple is going bigger on bigger iPhone displays – March 1, 2018
Apple’s 6.5-inch ‘iPhone X Plus’ display, with notch, shown in leaked photo – February 26, 2018
3 exclusive features Apple could deliver with a 6.5-inch ‘iPhone X Plus’ – February 20, 2018
2 ways Apple can improve upon the beautiful iPhone X – February 15, 2018
Apple unveils 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus – September 9, 2014

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]