The iPhone 6 will feature a bigger screen according to almost any leak or analyst, but there are still a number of iPhone users and smartphone users in general that want a 4-inch screen or a smaller screen with new, top of the line hardware. It is very likely that Apple plans to sell two iPhone 6 models, both with larger screens in late 2014, but there are a number of reasons for Apple to deliver three iPhone 6 models.
To be clear, we are not hearing chatter or rumors about a 4-inch iPhone 6, or even a 3.5-inch iPhone 6, but potential iPhone buyers are quick to leave comments hoping the iPhone 6 mockups with a 4.7-inch display are not the only option Apple brings to the table.
If the current Apple rumors are correct Apple will announce two iPhone 6 models this fall and will very likely keep the iPhone 5s on store shelves as a small, cheaper alternative to the newest iPhone models. This is how Apple typically handles a new iPhone release, and this is good enough for some users, but it is not ideal.
Even though the iPhone 5s will certainly see an iOS 8 update this fall to add new features, Apple never adds all of the features to an older iPhone. Last year this was not a major deal as the exclusive features were burst photos and slow motion, but it looks like Apple plans to deliver an iPhone 6 with NFC for mobile payments, a better camera experience and a collection of other features that many users would love to see tucked into a 4-inch iPhone 6.
The video below offers a look at the average consumer’s reaction to the iPhone 6 with a 4.7-inch display. This is the same iPhone 6 mockup that we’ve seen compared to the iPhone 5s and pretty much every other phone on the market. While it is not clear if this is what the iPhone 6 will look like it is a great way to see what consumers think about an iPhone 6 with a bigger screen.
On the streets of New York many consumers interviewed see the benefits of a bigger iPhone 6 screen, but two very opinionated users hope that Apple will stick with a small phone. One individual in a Nets shirt suggests users with big phones are compensating for something and opines, “It’s a mobile phone, I want to carry it around.”
Another gentlemen with a backpack and a blue shirt says the bigger iPhone 6 feels good to hold, but ultimately is a fan of the small iPhone, saying he is fine with the size of the current iPhone. He tells the interviewer, “I get to the point where if I have to start figuring out how to reorganize my pocket space…. it defeats the purpose of the phone.”
Of course, the argument raised by this gentleman is not a ringing endorsement for a 4-inch iPhone 6 since he later admits that he would probably buy a 4.7-inch iPhone 6, but he remained concerned that the size would be too big for his pockets.
There are many other comments on our articles, on Reddit, YouTube and Twitter with similar opinions.
— Tony Salerno (@AnthonyMSalerno) May 27, 2014
— Cezex (@cezex) May 26, 2014
For every user that would love a small iPhone 6, there is a user like the blue shirt man in the video who will probably upgrade because they need a certain feature or better battery life.
I think the iPhone 6 is just too big to be cool.. But I might still get it cause the battery life on my 5 is buttcheeks though.
— Bob Sacamano (@Joe_Erhet) May 27, 2014
When it comes to the iPhone 6 features, users that settle for an iPhone 5s will not get the same experience. It looks like Apple plans a better camera that will include some type of image stabilization for better looking photos and possibly bigger pixels for better performance. It also looks like the iPhone 6 may finally gain NFC to support mobile payments, turning the iPhone 6 into a wallet. There is also talk of a thinner design and a faster Apple A8 processor.
Instead of keeping the iPhone 5s on as an old phone, or turning it into an iPhone 5c, it would be interesting to see Apple offer the same approach as it does with the MacBook with small, medium and large sizes so that users can pick the phone that fits their needs best, without picking something that is left over from last year.
There is a clear need for multiple iPhone 6 screen sizes, and for a larger iPhone 6 with a higher resolution display — that is certain. At the same time, there is a reason that we typically see HTC and Samsung offer their new flagship smartphones in small, medium and large sizes. The Galaxy S5 Mini and HTC One M8 Mini are both rumored for a release in the near future to offer a similar experience with a smaller screen.
The best way for Apple to deliver a blockbuster fall iPhone 6 lineup that hits the competition on all levels is with three iPhone 6 screen sizes, including a 4-inch model. Apple already offers two screen sizes and even if there are only two new iPhone 6 models buyers will likely see 4-inch, 4.7-inch and a 5.5-inch iPhones on store shelves this fall. Developers will also need to continue supporting a 4-inch screen size for years as it is not like iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s owners will upgrade and destroy their old phones this fall.
The biggest road bump that this idea has in front of it is Apple’s continual desire to tell users what is best and what they want. Even if there are is a significant number of iPhone buyers that want a 4-inch iPhone 6, Apple could leave this screen size behind push users to the bigger screen of the iPhone 6 without any real options.