The iPhone 6 is coming. That we know and based on various sources, it will be available in two sizes, both drastically bigger than either the 3.5-inch or 4.0-inch displays found on existing iPhones. According to Apple’s own internal slides, big phones are driving sales. When you add up the persistant rumors and Apple’s own data, it seems to be a fair conclusion that this fall will represent the birth of the big iPhone. Big changes often results in big upgrade cycles. One analyst have said it will be the ‘mother lode of iPhone upgrades‘. The iPhone is seven years old and in 2014, it will see its biggest change. Before you start camping out at our local Apple Store, there are a few reasons why you might not want to upgrade to the iPhone 6.
Are You Ready To Say Goodbye To One Handed Use
Even the current iPhone is dwarfed by the smallest of phones made by other manufacturers. Samsung’s Galaxy S5 features a 5.1-inch display, but it’s nothing compared to 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 3. At first sight, the displays are big, bright and lust-worthy. When deciding between two television sets with equal specifications, would you rather have a 60-inch TV or 50-inch TV? Provided the picture quality is the same and your domicile is big enough, most would opt for the bigger set. It’s easy to make a similar decision when shopping smartphones. I showed a Galaxy S4 to a friend this weekend and he was wowed by the big display. I’ll touch more on this later, but first impressions of big displays are typically positive.
The main difference here is that obviously you are not carrying around your TV. If you’ve spent the greater part of your smartphone ownership on an iPhone, you’ve enjoyed on-handed use that can be critical to your entire experience. The iPhone 5s saw a jump to the 4-inch display. Grabbing that iPhone with one hand, some would find the stretch to access Notification Center to require a re-positioning of your hand. I personally tend to curl or clutch my iPhone as I make the reach with my thumb. Depending upon the size and thickness of the iPhone 6, this action could require two-hands. When you consider the large number of third-party apps you use on a daily basis, a need for more than one hand to operate your iPhone can be radically change your entire experience.
Based on the rumored iPod touch inspired designs of the iPhone 6, I think Apple may very well be able to support one-handed operation, but it’s not a guarantee. Having spent time with the Moto X, its curved body and 4.7-inch display seems about the maximum height for my small hands. It’s doable, but at times it can feel uncomfortable. Using a Galaxy S4 for the past week, the muscles in my wrist are sore from attempting to use that phone with one hand. It’s not happening and won’t happen with the 5.5-inch variant rumored for the iPhone 6.
So who cares? What’s wrong with using two hands? It all depends on how and when you use your phone. I’m constantly on my phone, whether at home or on the go. There’s a comfort knowing I can turn it on, hustle past the lock screen, access notifications, open apps and even type a message or email. All with one-hand, with little in the way of effort and my iPhone is still secure in my hand.
There’s nothing worse than the fleeting moment when your iPhone eludes your grip and you watch it plunge to the ground. Chances are you know at least one horror story that involves a cracked display. These days, it will run you $269 to replace the glass display on an iPhone 5/5c/5s. That price could go up due to cost of materials, making AppleCare almost a necessity. Even if you are ready to give up one-handed use, you still have to carry your iPhone. To make room for a bigger display, the overall dimensions are going to increase. It would not be surprising if it were thinner, but don’t expect it to be easier to hold. A larger phone can and will be more prone to drops. Despite my love guitar playing and smartphones, I’ve been cursed with average to small hands. I can get a kung-fu grip on my Otterbox covered iPhone 5s. For these reasons, I passed on Apple Care with this generation. I’m already factoring in the $99 cost for AppleCare+ plan for the iPhone 6 and so should you.
A Bigger iPhone Could Cost More
The first iPhone was priced at $499 for a 4GB model and $599 for 8GB. Since then, we’ve grown accustomed to significantly better products with each new model, all priced at $199 with a new 2-year contract agreement for the base 16GB model. Rumors suggest that Apple may raise prices on the iPhone 6. This isn’t surprising, though I suspect a price increase will cause a temporary bit of outrage. The increase might hit those who are in-contract the hardest. $199 to $249 is more or less insignificant. When you pro-rate it over the span of your contract, it’s an extra $2.08 per month. The unsubsidized price could be significantly more, thus making your iPhone 6 upgrade a costly proposition.
Back in July, 2010, Steve Jobs used the antenna-gate press conference to rail on manufacturers who were bringing big phones to market. Jobs suggested that big phones could help with antenna issues, saying that while it helps, “you can’t get your hand around it“. “No one’s going to buy that,” added Jobs. He went on to refer to them as Hummers and one could safely assume this was not a compliment.
Times change and consumers are demanding bigger screens. This fall, Apple will likely debut a new iPhone 6 that will answer those calls for a bigger screen. I’d agree that it will be the ‘mother load of upgrades’, but it might not be for everyone. It could be a classic case of ‘be careful what you wish for’….