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Network World - As the weather cools, the iOSphere's hopes are kindled by rumors that the summer of '14 will bring the iPhone 6.
And with it, a bigger-than-four-inch screen, though how big remains as big a question mark today as it has been for the past three years or more.
Also this week, mega-excitement over an iPhone 6 with a 16-megapixel camera; the resurrection of “gaze detection” as the Next Frontier in smartphone interfaces; and the magic of “8G” glass … whatever that is.
You read it here second.
It takes just weeks, sometimes days, for rumors to reach the status of Conventional Wisdom. The latest express is by stock analyst Gene Munster, and by BusinessInsider’s Jay Yarrow, who reported on a Munster preview of Apple’s earnings report on Oct. 28.
Munster, in short, predicts or “expects,” as Yarrow has it, that the iPhone 6 will be released in summer 2014, it will have a “bigger” screen, and it will be a “blockbuster.”
Neither Munster nor Yarrow defines what “blockbuster” means, apart from “big sales.” But then, every iPhone has had big sales, both in its opening weekend (see this chart by GigaOM) and more generally over the course of an Apple fiscal year. (See this Wikipedia chart and table based on quarterly units sold, which covers all iPhone models available during each period.) Perhaps Munster means a “bigger than usual blockbuster.”
Apparently, people are concerned about the inevitable slowing of 5S sales, according to Yarrow. “Enthusiasm about the iPhone 6 should more than offset any concern about 5S sales inevitably slowing, says Munster.” As far as we can tell, sales of every specific consumer electronics product -- in fact, almost every product -- inevitably slow. Perhaps this concern would carry more weight if we hadn’t had to endure the long-standing cycle of “the sky is falling” predictions that warn of iPhone or iPad sales shrinking or slowing, of Apple’s (but strangely never Samsung’s or the industry’s) smartphone market shrinking, saturating, or collapsing, or all three.
“The general framework of Munster’s thesis makes sense to us,” says Yarrow. “We expect Apple to release a bigger iPhone….However, we’re not so sure about Munster’s timeline. We will be stunned if Apple can get a big iPhone out before September 2014. It has settled into a release schedule for the iPhone in the fall, and we doubt that changes.”
The “general framework” of the thesis is simply the belief that Apple will create an iPhone with a screen bigger than 4-inches. Yarrow is assuming that a bigger-screen iPhone is a replacement for iPhone 5S, so the summer of 2014 is too soon. But, if Apple is introducing a larger model, will it also introduce it as a separate model alongside the 5S instead of replacing the 5S?