Apple and the ‘Phablet’ Craze

by Matt Klassen on March 1, 2013

Like so many other things, it certainly seems like what’s old has become new again in the mobile market, as along with fashion from the ‘80s experiencing an unfortunate renaissance, smartphones are experiencing their own blast from the past, trending upwards in size–harkening back to an age where cellphones were the size (and weight) of a large brick.

In fact, at the annual Mobile World Congress going on this week in Barcelona it seems that companies, clearly out of fresh ideas, have decided that bigger is indeed better, throwing bigger screens on any smartphone that consumers have ever purchased, evidence perhaps that for the short term at least, the Galaxy Note inspired ‘phablet’ craze is here to stay.

But not surprisingly, Apple has remained well clear of the entire phablet craze, sticking to its increasingly mundane upgrade and release schedule, perhaps planning to unveil its own iPhone phablet creation long after consumers have moved on. That said, designer Peter Zigich has created some intriguing concept sketches of what the next generation iPhone phablet might look like.

In his recent blog post, Zigich creates a number of mock-ups for the next generation iPhone, including an iPhone mini concept that many of us have been batting around lately, and an over-sized Galaxy Note inspired design he calls an “iPhone 6 XL,” the best of both Apple’s iPad Mini and iPhone all rolled into one. Beyond this Zigich envisions a few redesign features that would allow the iPhone screen to get bigger without necessarily making the physical dimensions bigger, including moving the home button to the side of the device.

While the concept art is creative and forward thinking, it is exactly for these reasons why we’ll never see it appear on a device created by Tim Cook’s Apple. For starters, Apple has shown us time and again over the last few years that its days of radical innovation are over; the company has found its successful iPhone form factor and it’ll ride that baby right into the ground before it changes anything. So while a home button on the side of the device actually makes a lot of sense, it’ll never happen.

Second, while the temptation will certainly be there for Apple to change the physical dimensions of its iPhone, offering either a pared-down version for emerging markets or a scaled-up version for the phablet crowd, it’ll only make such changes long after we’ve all lost interest, evidenced by the company’s agonizingly slow inclusion of popular technologies like LTE and others.

In my mind, while I am admittedly impressed by Zigich’s concepts of the future of Apple’s iPhone line-up, I suppose I’m disappointed that Apple didn’t think of them first. While no one would have guessed that phablets would have ever been successful, the Apple of old would have jumped on that market, creating an appetite for a device we never knew we needed. Instead Samsung beat them to it, the Galaxy Note II is a surprising hit, and Apple is left playing catch-up.

Did you like this post ? TheTelecomBlog.com publishes daily news, editorial, thoughts, and controversial opinion – you can subscribe by: RSS (click here), or email (click here).

Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

Previous post:

Next post: