Apple is testing iPhone with 6″ and 4.8″ displays. Nears the NTT Docomo deal
After years of bucking market trends of growing smartphone display sizes, Apple is finally giving in and going big.
According to Wall Street Journal, Apple is testing new iPhone with display sizes ranging from 4.8 to 6 inches. No final decision to turn one of them into a real product has been made yet, but make no mistake – the bigger iPhones are coming.
We first told you that Apple has reached its traditional iPhone sales channel saturation, with only 2 big iPhoneless carriers left, last November. And that in order to continue its growth, Apple will have to expand its iPhone portfolio with bigger and cheaper devices. Anemic iPhone numbers in 2013 proved us right.
Apple is finally responding to the saturation. The cheaper, plastic iPhone 5C is coming in a few weeks, and iPhone 6 with significantly bigger display, is the next logical step.
And about those big iPhoneless carriers – China Mobile and Japan’s NTT Docomo ? Apple is in very active negotiations with both of them, and should have the deals soon. China Mobile should start selling iPhones in November, as soon as they get the 4G license from Ministry of Industry and Information. And yesterday Japanese Nikkei reported that NTT Docomo will launch Apple’s smartphone this fall, too.
It will be interesting to see what terms Apple will get from these two carriers, and others, when they renegotiate the iPhone contracts.
During the 2007-2012, Apple got used to holding all the cards in their talks with carriers, and was able to extract huge subsidies and purchase commitments. But that was then, when there was no real alternative to iPhone experience. Now, with that leverage gone, Apple is just another smartphone OEM. Carriers hold the upper hand, and a lot of subsidies and commitments are going away.
More varied iPhone portfolio is a good answer to the new reality.