AAPL hates to be proven wrong. It also hates to be seen as a follower. So expect the iPhablet to take a different approach to the phablet form factor, giving Apple the opportunity to showcase its innovation.
But also expect Apple to have studied consumer reaction to phablets — so instead of rushing to market, it will sweat the details so the super-sized iPhone 6 is the ultimate device in the category.
For example, making the iPhablet slightly smaller than the 5.7-inch, market-leading Galaxy Note 3 will undoubtedly be accompanied by studies showing how 5.5 inches is the maximum size for single-handed use of a mobile device, while the display still is large enough to easily read a report.
In other words, the precise sweet spot between a typical 5-inch Android smartphone (too small for productivity) and a 5.7-inch Android phablet (too big to use with one hand).
This is the approach Apple took when promoting the iPad Mini –a display just nine-tenths of an inch larger than those 7-inch Android tablets everyone was snapping up, but with a 35% larger screen.
Speaking of thinking differently, the iPhablet could well be the subject of the recent report that AAPL has been approaching carriers about boosting the price of the iPhone 6 by $100. There was concern Apple would price the iPhone 6 beyond affordability, but with two models — a bigger iPhone 6 and an iPhablet — it can keep one at the traditional $199 (on contract) and command a premium $299 for the larger device aimed at prosumers.
So, when will we see this elusive iPhablet? Once again, the rumor mill is chugging on this one, but virtually all sources are pointing to a delayed release; late fall or perhaps even into 2015. Multiple reasons are cited — everything from challenges with the larger display to battery problems.
Whatever the actual reason, it seems like we’ll get a dual-release strategy: the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 some time in August or September, followed by the 5.5-inch iPhablet a few months later.
The iPhablet will be released, though.
Apple dismissed the Galaxy Note and its ilk for years, but the market has spoken and phablets are not only refusing to go away, they’re set to explode in popularity.
Just don’t expect Apple’s version to actually be called the “iPhablet.”
As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.