Apple may split the iPhone family even more than expected

“A couple of weeks ago, I detailed how it seemed like Apple was getting ready to split its iPhone lineup. With reports suggesting that the company will provide different features for different new phone models, I suggested that this move could be well timed,” Bill Maurer writes for Seeking Alpha. “Given the newest set of reports we have on the company’s plans for the iPhone 7, Apple may do more than I originally was expecting.”

“Apple could be launching three new models, the 7, the 7 Plus, and the 7 Pro/Premium,” Maurer writes. “Apple would essentially launch four new iPhone models this year when including the SE. If Apple does go this route with three models of the 7, it will be interesting to see the screen sizes. Do the Plus and Pro/Premium models have the same display size but just different features, or will the top of the line model be even larger?”

Purported photo of iPhone 7 rear case
Purported photo of iPhone 7 rear case
“Going to three models would likely push at least one iPhone model above the $1,000 US starting point,” Maurer writes. “Launching a more expensive, higher end model of the iPhone could also help the company to offset any margin pressures coming from the lower cost SE. ”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, as we wrote yesterday, “Apple seems to be moving to more clearly differentiate iPhone models, based upon much more than just screen size. That’s a smart move that will not only help sell more units, but also keep ASPs healthy as those who can afford it (along with those who weren’t planning to, but who will get upsold) are going to want the flagship iPhone with all of the bells and whistles!”

Specs and features expected for Apple’s iPhone 7 – May 24, 2016
Apple prepping a major iPhone split? – May 12, 2016
Survey: Consumers are more excited about Apple’s ‘iPhone 7’ than they were for iPhone 6s – May 4, 2016
Why Apple’s iPhone 7 doesn’t have to be a ‘disappointment’ – May 3, 2016
iPhone 7 could sport a Smart Connector – May 2, 2016
What Smart Connector charging could mean for the ‘iPhone 7’ and beyond – April 26, 2016


    1. Not at all. You have 2 ears, there is absolutely no reason for a phone to have 4 speakers. What everyone wants is better battery life and more memory.

      I do worry that the marketeers have taken over Apple, now just throwing out “SE” and “Pro” labels as if they meant something. Just like the “Air” moniker — completely irrelevant. The increasingly splintered product lineups need to be tidied up.

      That said, a better speaker would be nice, if Ive could only see his way to offering a thicker case to fit it and a more capable battery.

      Finally, you know very well that Apple’s expansion into the BRIC countries will rely on continued production of old models that you and I will find laughably obsolete. For some unknown reason, Apple hasn’t done a very good job of distributing production closer to where its customers are, with cheaper models being produced for emerging companies. Instead, the same lineup is offered worldwide, and Apple products are insanely expensive and hard to find in many of these places. That’s why iOS hasn’t taken off in India. Not protectionism so much as missed opportunities to offer the right products at the right prices. Apple could sell iPhone 5C models by the bucketful in India if they made them there (in proper colors). But no, Cook has instead focused on China production and services, services, services — none of which work for India.

      1. That’s not entirely true. India has a requirement that 30% of components must be locally sourced. They have waivers available, and they denied apples waiver. So it is a form of protectionism. They could have easily allowed apple to sell its refurbed models but they didn’t.

      2. Not at all. You have 2 ears.

        God are you stupid or what? You know your car has at least 6 speakers, right? Your surround sound system has 6-9 speakers.

        On the phone many games require you to play in landscape. Grasping it with your hands can cover up the current speaker if you’ve got the phone in the wrong orientation.

        So four speakers would allow you to hold the phone in landscape on either side and still have stereo sound.

        But no, you’re probably smarter than Apple designers and engineers. So you’re right. Two ears = 2 speakers. Well put.


        1. I am very well versed in surround sound systems, sir. All listenable surround sound systems rely on speaker separation. Those can be awesome, but they are an entirely different planet compared to phone sound.

          Perhaps you think Apple could/should implement something like those cheap sound bar systems which attempt to emulate surround sound rely on reflectance driven by arrays of speakers pointed in different directions and lots of signal processing. The result is seldom better than a well configured stereo system with two high quality speakers properly placed in the listening room.

          Apple and geniuses like you should know that a mobile device cannot offer a surround sound system with the tiny speakers a few inches apart from each other.

          God has nothing to do with any of this — are you stupid or what?

    2. Cook has no idea what he’s doing.

      He starts the 12.9 iPad Pro at 32GB, but starts pricing at $800 (so he can still gouge you $200 for 16GB of RAM; because this is simply a $600 machine!

      He updates the worthless, still underpowered Macbook, but fails to add a port so he can keep charging you $70 for an adapter crisis that he intentionally created in order to DEFRAUD loyal Apple consumers.

      He still plans to sell an iPhone 7 with 16GB of RAM, in 2016, 2017 and beyond, because of pure unadulterated disrepect and greed!

      It costs Apple 30 cents to make a watchband that he charges $200 for; grab a mathematician and calculate that a$$r*pe.

      He’ll probably chage an extra $300 for his hokey dual camera iPhone.

      1. So so so agree.
        Except… one thing… you say Cook has no idea what he is doing yet in every example it shows he does know exactly what he is doing — gouging us left right an centre.

  1. I don’t mind having numerous options when it comes to features, I just hope screen size doesn’t come into it (beyond something that might be dependent on a certain screen size). Small computers often have less features do to the space savings required, that’s fine you’re trading off one thing for the benefit of portability, but with an iPhone if they’re pushing you to a bigger screen size just so they can bump up the price with other features as well I would not be happy. I do not like a phone the size of a plus at all.

  2. The SE (and smaller) don’t need four speakers. Just keep upgrading the CPU, WiFi, GPS and RAM and the small phone users will be happy.

    The small form factor calls for different configurations, it doesn’t need the features found in the larger phones. Small phone have their own advantage: Small size. That’s the advantage.

    APPLE, add a smaller option along with the SE and figure out a way for the user who owns multiple-sized iPhones to switch their one mobile number between/among their various phones. People will buy multiple phones so long as they can quickly and easily switch from model to model without skipping a beat. I know it is asking a lot, but it will be well worth it for you.

  3. Apple’s three-tier iPhone lineup already offers significant differentiation in hardware features / screen size / colour options. Differentiating them even further risks introducing the so-called paradox of choice, making consumer decision making harder. MDN seems to believe it would lead to more upselling, resulting in higher iPhone overall ASP. That hasn’t worked for other vendors, though—Samsung has 250 model combinations in all, for instance.

    IOW excessive choice has a deterrent effect that can swamp the upsell factor. It also undermines brand cachet and exclusivity, diminishing aspirational value. Apple is rich enough not to want to grub about for roots, I’d think. (The finest French truffles, maybe…)

    1. The paradox of choice… I like that take.

      Wall Street is going to be critical of Apple no matter what Apple decides. Something on the order of one is not enough but two is too many. In the phone business, too many choices killed Nokia but Samsung seems to manage. With the smartphone business totally saturated, I’m not sure what’s going to help Apple. The critics are still going to curse Apple for not selling cheap enough smartphones to emerging nation consumers. I personally with Apple could avoid India entirely but I realize Apple can no longer take that sort of stance. Well, it could if Apple had been smart enough to create another source of revenue like most of the big tech companies did. Cloud services. That damn iPhone business is simply choking Apple from expanding its options. What we now have is a company chasing its own tail in an ever-shrinking circle. Android is still strangling Apple just by existing. Apple needs to find a way to strangle Alphabet instead of always playing Mr. Nice Guy.

  4. First choice should be a list of hardware options form basic to Pro. After choosing that, the next choice should be screen size, (all of them), then the last two choices should be color and storage space.

    1. Too complicated. “Pro” is BS marketing speak.

      iPhones could be offered in 3 screen sizes, 2-3 memory levels each, and fewer colors. No need for more choice in colors since most people use cases. The same memory and processor needs to be offered in each size phone for a given market.

      In emerging countries, the internals could use legacy components & older chipsets for lower price points. Emerging markets also need bigger batteries — perhaps hump packs if that’s the best Apple can do.

      Print the year on the back of the iPhone instead of creating a complicated matrix of Pro SE S and C models.

      1. Your response indicates you are well versed in tech and know little about business, sales, marketing and promotion. Not one of you making the kind of remarks you have made seems to know anything about the process of of design, logistics and manufacturing. What you and the others like you suggest is a financial impossibility or perhaps doable at price levels exceeding double current levels. Volume would plummet and Apple would die.

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