Since Apple launched the first iPhone in 2007, the company has benefited from a fanatical following that saw the name iPhone grow into an international luxury brand. The company later introduced a tablet, dubbed iPad, and it too was a huge success, leading to the release of an improved version iPad 2 and later iPad 3. When other manufacturers started producing smaller tablets, mainly running on Android, Apple did not want to be left behind and launched a newer smaller tablet, the iPad Mini. As many manufacturers are having a field day cashing in on a new smartphone and tablet hybrid market, is Apple going to dive in too with a hybrid of their own? Does apple have any plans to make a phablet in 2014? Rumor has it that it does.
Apple may be working on a phablet
Apple is rumored to be working on a large smartphone-tablet hybrid to take on the market leaders now including Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2, Mega and soon-to-come Note 3, HTC’s One Max, LG’s Optimus G, Huawei’s Ascend Mate and Sony’s Xperia Z Ultra. Rumor has it that Apple are working on a 5.7 inch device to join the already expanded line of iDevices available in different sizes.
According to Reuters, Apple’s move comes as a ‘long-term investor and consumer strategy as the company is under greater pressure to deliver more handset models in a year’. Apple’s iOS operating system has lost a great portion of its market share to Google’s Android over the last 5 years. The company now controls slightly less than 30% of the portable device market compared to Android’s 55%.
The Reuter’s article was written by leading market analysts and quoted ‘4 individuals with knowledge on the matter’. Apple has not released any new devices after the launch of iPhone 5 last year. The company is also said to be working on a larger 5 inch iPhone to meet the needs of the market which has driven manufacturers to come up with high end smartphones with 5 inch Full HD screens.
Will it be iPhone 6?
Other sources indicate that Apple may be making an iPhone 6 device with a large screen and the device may be ready for launch in 2014. New analyst reports indicate that the new device is iPhone 6 and quotes Apple’s CEO Tim Cook pointing out that their competitors have made many sacrifices on devices to ship large screen devices and that Apple would not trade off any features for a larger screen. This may mean Apple is currently not working on a larger screen device but it doesn’t rule out the possibility that the company has plans to counter the dominance of Android, especially on large screen devices including Samsung’s Galaxy S4, HTC’s One, Sony’s Xperia Z and LG’s Optimus G.
What Cook Says
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook says that increasing the screen size on a device severely compromises the lifespan of the device’s battery.
“My only point is these products all served a different person, a different type, they served different needs,” he said during an AllThingsD’s D11 interview “For the phone that is the question. Are we now at a point to serve enough people that we need to do that?”
Despite these comments, there is a strong rumor that Apple is working on a phablet that will be landing on the store shelves in the summer of 2014. We cannot forget that Apple once considered a smaller iPad ‘ridiculous’ and ‘impractical’ but years down the line they ended up making one.