"Consumers want what we don't have."
The title of that slide, from an Apple internal presentation, has been quoted all across the tech blogs and even mainstream newspapers today. It's a glaring admission by Apple executives that their current iPhone strategy is leading nowhere.
Why? Apple's iPhone models fall directly in the segment of devices that is losing market share. Not coincidentally, rumors have been swirling that Apple could introduce new models that are cheaper, bigger, or both later this year.
Growth Rates Are Rapidly Slowing
According to the documents available on the Daily Mail, in Fiscal Year 2009, iPhone sales grew 107 percent. Every year since, they've declined, to 8 percent in the third quarter of FY 2013. But not every smartphone maker is suffering.
Consumers Want ... ?
Big phones, with screens larger than 4 inches, and costing more than $300, grew by 91 million units. Cheap phones, costing less than $300, grew by 159 million units. The smartphone market overall grew by 228 million units.
Everything else, including iPhones? The market shrunk by 22 million units.
Consumers Will Get ... ?
Rumors. Especially Apple rumors, often proven to be false. Remember last year's rumors of a "cheaper iPhone?" Instead of their usual strategy of carrying over the current phone as a still-expensive, yet cheaper model (carrying over the 4S when the 5 was new, etc.), the company introduced a cheaper-to-manufacture iPhone 5C at a still-expensive price.
That being said, some of the current rumors include:
- 4.7 and a 5.5 inch iPhone variants;
- An iPhone 6 "Air" variant;
- A bezel-free screen.
In short, we're looking at bigger, thinner, and likely still high-end phones. And if past patterns are any indication, features from the current high-end model (the 5S fingerprint sensor, for example) may trickle down to other models, as Apple did with Siri (introduced in 4S, later spread to other models).
What features are you looking for in the iPhone 6? Tweet us your "must haves" @FindLawLP.
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