Apple To Get Into ‘Phablet’ Business & New Value iPhones
As sales of their iPhones start to slow, Apple has decided to go both up market and down market with new models later this year including a new ‘phablet’ model.
It appears that Apple’s move into the larger screen Phablet market is for people who crave the multitasking attributes and don’t want to carry a notebook or tablet around.
According to Bloomberg and despite months of breathless hype, the iPhone X hasn’t sold as well as expected since its debut last year. Apple sold 77.3 million iPhones in the final quarter of 2017, below analysts’ projections of 80.2 million units.
Some consumers were turned off by the iPhone X’s $1,450 price tag, despite liking the design even as they wanted something more cutting-edge than the cheaper iPhone 8. With its next line-up, Apple is seeking to rekindle sales by offering a model for everyone.
“This is a big deal,” says Gene Munster, a co-founder of Loup Ventures and a long-time Apple watcher. “When you have a measurable upgrade in screen size, people go to update their phone in droves. We saw that with the iPhone 6, and we think this is setting up to be a similar step up in growth.”
Munster predicts a supercycle — which he defines as upgrades by 10 percent or more of Apple’s existing iPhone customers. “The market that will see the biggest jump in sales is likely Asia,” he says. “That market has many single-device consumers, and they love big phones.”
With a screen close to 6.5 inches, Apple’s big new handset will be one of the largest mainstream smartphones on the market.
While the body of the phone will be about the same size as the iPhone 8 Plus, the screen will be about an inch larger thanks to the edge-to-edge design used in the iPhone X. (Apple is unlikely to refer to the phone as a phablet, a term popularized by Samsung.)
The larger screen should especially appeal to business users, letting them write emails and manage spreadsheets on a screen about as big as a small tablet. Like the iPhone 8 Plus, the new handset will probably enable split-screen modes for certain apps. Still, the larger phone could cannibalize iPad sales, a category that recently started growing again.
The big phone is code named D33, a person familiar with its development says, and at least some prototypes include a screen resolution of 1242 x 2688. That would make the screen about as sharp as the one on the 5.8-inch iPhone X. Apple also plans to use OLED technology, the same, more expensive type of screen in the regular iPhone X.
Like the iPhone X, the larger model will include a Face ID scanner that unlocks the device and enables payments. Apple is also preparing an update to the regular-sized iPhone X that is internally dubbed D32, people familiar with the product said. Both of these phones are expected to use next-generation A12 processors and will continue to include stainless steel edges, they say, and will be Apple’s high-end smartphone offerings.
There, is also speculation that Apple is considering offering a dual-SIM card option for the larger model. That would let people use their phones in countries with different carrier plans without having to swap out cards. Such a feature has been growing in importance and popularity.