I wrote a post last week about choosing between the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. Not to hold you in suspense any longer, I chose the smaller of the two (the iPhone 6 with the 4.7 inch screen). Since I wrote that post I have read and heard a lot of commentary about the iPhone 6 Plus. I am convinced that Apple is going to see a rather large return rate on the iPhone 6 Plus. This won't be because it is a bad device, but because people chose the device for the wrong reasons. What do I mean by this?
- Bigger is not always better
- It's not always about which device has the most features or best specs
- Apple can't design a user interface that fixes the fact that a 5.5 inch phone is physically a very large device
So much of the discussion I have seen and heard focuses on the bigger and higher pixel density screen of the iPhone 6 Plus. The iPhone 6 plus also has mechanical image stabilization and some "hybrid" display options (dual pane views within apps) that take advantage of the larger screen. And of course last but not least...longer battery life. Of course it has longer battery life, the device is considerably larger so even with drawing more power for the larger display there is enough extra size on the battery that it has a lot more "juice" than the 4.7 inch version. My point to all of this is that most people that struggled with this decision were already iPhone users. iPhone users have not really had a choice up until this point with respect to screen size, so by default iPhone users were not "gigantiphone" or "phablet" users. If a larger device were that important than they would opt to get something other than an iPhone. I am concerned that a large number of people are going to put their trust in Apple and decide that bigger is better and pull the trigger on the iPhone 6 Plus. Many of these people are going to realize that Apple designed the iPhone 6 Plus as a device for users that want a large phone, not for the average iPhone user that just thinks having a larger display would be nice. Apple can't fix the fact that you know have to lug around a very large device. They can optimize the user interface to take advantage of the larger screen and they can even add features that allow you to do most functions with a single hand. But the one thing they can't design away is awkwardness of carrying around a small tablet-sized device in your pocket.
My favorite feature of the iPhone is that it is the device that I ALWAYS have with me. That feature would be significantly compromised (based on how I personally use the phone) if I were to go with a 5.5 inch phone. I could see myself taking it out of my pocket while sitting at my desk for a long period of time (just purely for comfort) and then leaving my desk and forgetting to take it with me. I also tend to leave my iPhone in my pants or shorts pocket even when I am at home. With a bigger phone I think I would offload it to a counter as soon as I got home, which means if I wanted to quickly check something or enter something and I was on the couch the device would now be across the room and not with me.
I'm not ready to give up my favorite feature just yet for a few extra "specs" and a larger screen.