Did Apple lose the screen size war?

By: Marawan Alwaraki, September 14, 2014
When Steve Jobs first announced the iPhone in 2007, the 3.5 inch screen was referred to as “huge”. Compared to other screen sizes at the time, that size was indeed huge.

But as time advances, customers want different things from their phones. One of those wants is a larger screen. Android phone manufacturers such as Samsung and HTC were soon producing gigantic phones and were praised for it. This lead Apple to announcing the iPhone 5 with a larger 4 inch screen. Although this was the biggest iPhone at the time, it was smaller than its direct competitors who had phones with almost 5 inch screens.

Embedded below is a video ad of the iPhone 5 which shows why Apple chose the 4 inch display size.



2 years after the iPhone 5, Apple announced the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus with 4.7 and 5.5 inch displays. The iPhone 6 screen size is similar to most competing phones, meanwhile the 6 Plus (which is 2 inches larger than the original iPhone) has a similar screen size to tablets.

Now the question is: Did Apple lose the screen size war?

For several years the company refused to adapt to consumer demands. Many companies have failed for this reason in the past. For example let's take a look at Nokia. After dominating the mobile phone industry, the Finnish company lost a lot of market share because it refused to make smart phones since it believed they were not a good idea.

Tim Cook clearly didn’t want to follow such a path and so adapted the iPhone to fulfill our desires. Even though he knew it goes against their model two years ago, he still went ahead with resizing the iPhone. That's because in this industry, requirements change all the time. What seemed like a stupid idea a year ago may be perfectly fit this year. However, the larger screens were wanted for a long time and perhaps Apple was late.
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus achieved record sales with more preorders in the first day than for any other iPhone. The latter device was more demanded as indicated by the increase in shipping time of the phone.

Apple was undoubtedly late to the game though, but not too late to lose its huge loyal customer base. Several companies including HTC and Samsung tweeted and posted videos mocking how late the iPhone was into getting a larger screen. Perhaps HTC should focus less on mocking Apple and more on making a profit.

Despite all that, I am personally not happy with the larger screen trend. I’m happy with my 4 inch iPhone 5 and didn’t want iPhone screen sizes to increase. Perhaps it’s time I adapt to the change in the smart phone industry.

What about you? Are you happy that Apple followed the screen size trend? Or were you happier with a smaller phone?

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