One of the fallouts of Apple’s seemingly endless legal battle with Samsung – which is in round two (or round we-have-lost-count, depending upon how you look at it) – has been the wealth of otherwise confidential documents and emails becoming available in the public domain, thanks to the discovery process. The latest document – an internal Apple presentation titled FY’14 Planning Offsite – gives the clearest indication yet that Apple is ready to offer an iPhone with a display bigger than the 4-inch screen seen on the iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, and iPhone 5s.
The slide (pictured above) notes that the between 2011 and 2012, the overall smartphone market grew by 228 million units. Out of these, the slide adds, a majority of the growth (159 million units) came from smartphones carrying a sub-$300 price tag, while the ‘over-$300, display bigger than 4-inches’ segment accounted for a growth of 91 million units. Sales of smartphones in the ‘over-$300, 4-inches or less’ segment actually shrank by 22 million units between the two years, the slide notes.
It’s worth pointing out that all of Apple’s smartphone offerings till date, lie in the last segment, the one that actually reduced in size. As is clear from Apple’s own documents, to remain competitive in the smartphone market, Apple has two choices – one is to make a sub-$300 smartphone, and the second is to make an iPhone that is bigger than anything it’s built till date, while maintaining its ~$650 price tag.
Based on everything Apple has done till date, it’s safe to say Apple has no interest in slugging it out in the sub-$300 segment, and it will instead focus its energies on building a bigger iPhone. This internal slide further underlines the chatter we’ve been hearing about the iPhone 6 coming in 4.7- and 5.5-inch screen sizes.
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