Can Apple get away with another ‘S’ iPhone?

“There have been many rumors this year about what upgrades Apple will include in its anticipated annual iPhone refresh,” Jordan Kahn writes for 9to5Mac. “Most agree Apple will move to release two iPhones, but there is some debate about what those phones will be.”

“Rumor has it that Apple is working on a low-cost iPhone that will do away with the current iPhone design and instead use a new plastic case with a curved back similar to previous iPods,” Kahn writes. “Despite being a less expensive device, that could make things even trickier for Apple to impress with an iPhone 5S upgrade that is largely expected to retain the ‘old’ design of the currently shipping iPhone 5.”

“The devices from competitors are making things even more difficult for Apple’s expected “S” upgrade. Rumors of a 4.8-inch iPhone prototype that recently surfaced don’t seem likely for the next iPhone, but that hasn’t stopped mainstream media and analysts from reporting that Apple is losing out on iPhone sales as consumers opt for larger screen devices,” Kahn writes. “However, that might not be the case, at least not in the United States, with Strategy Analytics and NPD estimating Apple beat Samsung to become the No.1 phone vendor in Q4 2012. Will consumers want or expect a larger screen on the next iPhone, or will Apple’s usual minor refresh suffice?”

Tons more in the full article here.

43 Comments

  1. They can call it whatever they want, it doesn’t matter.

    Whatever the name, the next iPhone will be the best selling model ever released, the opening weekend will be the biggest ever, and the stock will drop! LOL!!!

    1. it’s already separated from others. other phones are made for human size hands and eyes. its the phone tiny little waif vegetarians.

      and as for getting away with another “S”…wekl…lets ask the lemmings…whatdaya say lemmings?

      1. Lemming says:
        Despite the luxurious real estate of your phablet, it seems that you’re unable to hit the right keys. Course, it may not be your saussage fingers. Perhaps the glorious girth of your device is outgunned by the vision defects caused by a mother whos’s also a sister. Theories aside, we are delighted that your short bus products bring you happiness. You can clap your chubby hands now.

  2. Smartphones like the iPhone are not just about screen size , IOS is a very well designed and capable operating system which offers excellent functional capability and integration .Add to this the large range of well designed apps and you can see why it commands such high sales. I would really like an iPhone with a bigger screen but, would never switch from Apple to get one. Producing a cheap iPhone would be harmful to Apple but, if Apple produced a larger screen device with enhanced capabilities and specifications using lower cost materials to keep the price reasonable then this I believe this would be an outstanding success . Untill such a device appears then for now I’ll stick with my iPhone 4S .

    1. They do produce a larger ‘iPhone’. It’s called the ‘iPad Mini’. One virtual computer in multiple sizes lets me move seamlessly to the right size for the circumstance/use. Every size a rational size. Leave design to the designers.

  3. Apple will retire the old form factor of the iPhone 4S before the time because they want to eliminate unnessecary fragmentation of the platform – so they need a cheap model with the new display resolution, the lighting connector and the smaller Nano SIM tray, but it shouldn´t compete with the higher priced iPhone 5 generations.
    So expect a new form factor with similar prozessor, camera, baseband connection specs of the iphone 4S in a different and of corse cheaper casing.

  4. Yes, Apple can release another “S” iPhone. I wonder if folks will ask the same thing when Samsung releases the Galaxy S 4, and it is basically the same thing as the Galaxy S 3, but with a better camera and a faster processor?

    Why is it that some people expect Apple to completely reinvent the phone when they release an updated model? The iPhone 5 is already a new design – why would they expect Apple to completely redesign it already? An iPhone 5S is perfectly logical.

    And I love the fact that mainstream media and analysts are “reporting that Apple is losing out on iPhone sales as consumers opt for larger screen devices” when Apple just beat Samsung in unit sales for the 4Q.

    These “analysts” are ridiculous. I think they should be writing about pork belly futures or something, as they obviously know nothing about tech, and definitely know nothing about Apple.

    1. Apple did not beat Samsung in unit sales! You can’t even claim that as Samsung does not report sales. I can, however, show you the mail-merge document Samsung uses for press releases. Here’s a snippet:

      “Samsung today reported shipments of its Galaxy line of phones exceeded for the quarter ended .”

        1. He’s referring to the fact that Apple announces their SALES and Samsung announces their SHIPMENTS. It’s a misleading way for Samsung to appear more impressive than they might otherwise be.

        1. And you are of course talking about USA. The rest of the world does not matter, does it? Let us have an iPhone 5S with almost nothing new (as usual), and Apple is out of it for good. But you Americans will still be blind …

          1. Of course the rest of the world matters. But the US market also matters and is *very* lucrative. The emerging markets will overshadow the US market eventually, but currently the US is a very important market.

            I realize that Samsung is ahead of Apple internationally, but let’s not pretend that number is all Samsung smartphones. The VAST majority of those shipped numbers are feature phones, and very basic “dumb” phones, a segment that Apple does not compete in, so I’d hope Samsung would be able to beat that.

            “Let us have an iPhone 5S with almost nothing new (as usual), and Apple is out of it for good.”

            Really? For good? Or until they created something that you wanted? Or would consumers really say “Apple didn’t create exactly what I wanted in 2013. Now, it is 2014, and they have released EXACTLY what I wanted, but because they didn’t do it in 2013, I said they were done for good, so I won’t buy it.”? What you are saying makes no sense whatsoever.

            Do tell me though, what huge advances are coming from Samsung’s next phone?

  5. I don’t think there’s any chance of them introducing a larger iPhone this year. Like most, I believe the next iPhone will simply be a refreshed iPhone five. I’m sure it will sell well but I still think they need the larger form factor. Selling well is one thing, kicking Android’s ass with a larger form factor iPhone is another. But I don’t see Apple doing that until next year. I think they need it now. And it certainly looks like they will come out with a less expensive iPhone for emerging markets. Seems to me that this is a no-brainer. I think it will sell well and we’ll just have to see how the margins work out. But they will need it to compete with all the inexpensive Chinese phones being sold now. I currently have the iPhone 4 S and have no real big desire to move up to the iPhone five and it’s current form factor. I would like a larger phone. No, not something just shy of the iPad mini but a larger iPhone. As I’ve stated before, if they had the current iPhone five and a larger form factor iPhone similarly equipped, the larger form factor iPhone would sell like hotcakes compared to the iPhone five. But understandably they want to milk at least one more run on the current iPhone five mold. That’s just good business sense. But ultimately it’s a bad business decision as they should have gone to a larger form factor for the current iPhone. Android phones would lose a lot of their appeal when compared to the iPhone. Size matters. For the people who want an open system and freedom to experiment, there’s nothing you can do about that. Different strokes for different folks. Apple will never appeal to those people. But a larger iPhone right now could really knock Android phones for a loop. It’s the reason why an awful lot of customers buy an Android phone. Apple does almost everything right, but I think they made a mistake with this.

    1. You really don’t get it, do you? One reason the the iPhone 5 is selling so well is because it WASN’T increased to a larger from factor than it was. Most people don’t want huge. You are part of a fringe minority, and you need to get used to the idea. Android phones have gone big because it is cheaper to produce phones that size while maintaining decent battery life, and their selling point of having giant screens is just cover for their inadequacies. I am one who has repeatedly sent feedback to Apple admonishing them NOT to bloat the size of their phones, particularly not whatever their top of the line models might be, because that would be the first move they’ve made which would cause me not to immediately purchase the newest model when it comes out. I don’t worry about upgrade eligibility. I buy the new models because they are better and more useful. A larger phone would be a great annoyance and inconvenience to me, and if they do release one, I might finally wait out a cycle to see if they learn from their mistake. If I want to be uncomfortable when I sit down, I’ll put a book in my pocket.

      1. Don’t get it? Screen size has nothing to do with what’s inside. If that were true, the iPhone five would be hiding problems because it’s larger than the iPhone 4S according to your delusional thinking. We’re all glad that you send feedback to Apple. I think I heard Tim Cook mention you one day in an interview. I’m sure they take your advice and act accordingly. They certainly don’t want to be admonished by you! And let’s face it, they couldn’t afford to not have you “purchase their newest model when it comes out”. Especially since you don’t “worry about upgrade eligibility”. Aren’t you special? And I can understand how a larger phone would be hard for you to hold in your hand. But I’m certain that fear of you “finally waiting out a cycle to see if they learn from their mistake” is something they don’t want to have to suffer through. So you can be sure that they’re listening to everything you say regarding a larger iPhone. I’m sure that you do like to be comfortable when you “sit on it”. And I’ll bet it’s not a book.

  6. In the end it’s really all about the software (and internals,) because the form factor is fairly optimal in most ways… the minimalist, touch screen face is the basic paradigm, so curves and buttons all are minor stylistic deviations from the basic idea. Samsung, LG, Moto, even RIMM’s Blackberry… all essentially employ the same design, really. Little innovation coming from any of the other camps, other than bigger screens. Conceptually, they’re all copycat designs. If it works and ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    It’s really all about the software.

    1. Also, the build quality is amazing. Jumping from the 4 to the 5 was a difference that I’ve grown to appreciate. The 5 is so much faster, has better build quality, a superior camera, Siri. Even the build quality alone though is worth the upgrade. I’ve got no case ($99 AppleCare is what helps me sleep), so I get to feel the niceness every time I hold it.

      I’ve played with so many android phones. And they just seem laggy to me by comparison. Yes, that even includes the SIII. Clunky by comparison.

      Remember the iPod Nano? Apple just took out its competition. I see apple doing the same thing with the cheap iPhone. There is no company, not even Samsung that can compete on cost with the iPhone. A cheaper iPhone, a retina iPad mini and a reduced price iPad mini (the current generation) and people will be talking about Apple again no matter what happens on the iOS front (and obviously there will be improvements there as well).

  7. Yes they can get away with another “S” iPhone. It’s first day availability will be met with lines at the Apple stores. Apple will give out “Reserved Space” signs for the people waiting in line and the sign will have a circle with the Samsung logo within and a line drawn through it and it will say ‘Not another lame Samsung commercial!’

  8. Nex iphone needs to have a wider screen of about 1/2″, and 4.5 ” in height. If not apple will be in for an embarrassing disappointment. The 4.5 screen is possible via top and bottom bezel reduction.

  9. You can expect a 5S. Apple won’t walk away from the third party accessorizes that quickly, or they would get gun-shy about producing iPhone 5-sized accessories, and then about making accessories for future products. One of the great advantages that Apple has held over other phones is its consistency, because that stimulates greater growth and diversity in the aftermarket. Not saying there won’t be an iPhone 6 in the next few months, but the 5 form-factor won’t go away until next year, at the earliest.

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