Carriers suggest a big-screen 'iPhone 6' could be a 'very special' success in China

Posted:
in iPhone edited April 2014
Chinese branded smartphones are performing well in their home country, affecting sales of worldwide leaders Apple and Samsung, but buzz is said to be growing in China among customers who are holding out hope for an iPhone with a larger display.

China Mobile


Analyst Brian White of Cantor Fitzgerald is currently on a "tech tour" of China, the details of which were shared in a note to investors on Friday. On the fourth day of his trip, he met with two telecom carriers in China, as well as a smartphone vendor, where sources gave him inside info on the nation's mobile market.

People who spoke with White indicated that Lenovo, Huawei, ZTE, Coolpad, and Xiaomi have all seen recent momentum in China. Their success it said to be impacting sales of Apple and Samsung handsets.

According to White, there's been a sense of "disappointment" among some Chinese carriers regarding customer demand for the iPhone 5s. However, those same people suggested that some may be holding off for a rumored "iPhone 6," which rumors have claimed will sport a larger display sized closer to 5 inches.

"In our view, the iPhone 6 with a larger screen (e.g., 4.7-inch, 5.5-inch) has the potential to meaningfully accelerate Apple's growth trajectory in China during (the second half of 2014)," White said. "We have not heard this type of excitement in China around the iPhone in at least two years and thus believe this could be a very special iPhone launch for Apple."

Earlier this year, Apple's iPhone finally debuted on the world's largest carrier, China Mobile. Apple's handset helped to drive adoption of the company's new 4G network, but China Mobile declined to reveal any actual sales figures.

However, it's likely that Chinese brands are seeing momentum in the lower-priced smartphone market, a segment where Apple does not compete. Recent data suggested that the iPhone accounts for 80 percent of the premium smartphone market in China.

The Chinese market has been an area of particular interest for Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook, who was even on hand in January to hand out the first China Mobile iPhones.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 126
    froodfrood Posts: 771member

    So, *if* they make a larger screen iPhone it might help achieve the success that the 5s was supposed to?

  • Reply 2 of 126
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I'll be curious to know how Apple announces and markets a bigger screen iPhone. Will there be something about it that makes people go 'ah, this is why Apple waited', or will it be more of, 'what took you so long?' if it's just like every other larger phone out there. Are there real technical reasons Apple waited or was it more stubbornness and thinking the big screen phone was just a fad that wouldn't last?
  • Reply 3 of 126
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    I'll be curious to know how Apple announces and markets a bigger screen iPhone. Will there be something about it that makes people go 'ah, this is why Apple waited', or will it be more of, 'what took you so long?' if it's just like every other larger phone out there. Are there real technical reasons Apple waited or was it more stubbornness and thinking the big screen phone was just a fad that wouldn't last?

    First of all....besides a bunch of blog whining nonsense, and the non stop flood of Android phones of all shapes and sizes, what ACTUAL DATA or information do you have in your possession that says Apple needs to make a larger iPhone, or FURTHERMORE should have done so a year or two ago?

     

    I'll be waiting.

  • Reply 4 of 126
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,198member
    pmz wrote: »
    First of all....besides a bunch of blog whining nonsense, and the non stop flood of Android phones of all shapes and sizes, what ACTUAL DATA or information do you have in your possession that says Apple needs to make a larger iPhone, or FURTHERMORE should have done so a year or two ago?

    I'll be waiting.

    There's a discussion on that other thread which shows that outside the iPhone the top end of the market is all large phones. In the US. China seems to have an even greater predeliction to large phones.
  • Reply 5 of 126
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,607member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    I'll be curious to know how Apple announces and markets a bigger screen iPhone. Will there be something about it that makes people go 'ah, this is why Apple waited', or will it be more of, 'what took you so long?' if it's just like every other larger phone out there. Are there real technical reasons Apple waited or was it more stubbornness and thinking the big screen phone was just a fad that wouldn't last?

     

    It will be the usual “Android has had that for years. Welcome to the 21st century, Apple.” Personally I am not the least bit interested in a large screen phone. If the next iPhone model comes out with a larger screen and my only option would be last year’s model with the smaller screen then I will shop around to find something that fits my hand, can be carried in my pocket and not make me look ridiculous when holding it to my ear. I haven’t jumped on the smartphone bandwagon yet and I thought this would be the year. Maybe not.

  • Reply 6 of 126
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    pmz wrote: »
    First of all....besides a bunch of blog whining nonsense, and the non stop flood of Android phones of all shapes and sizes, what ACTUAL DATA or information do you have in your possession that says Apple needs to make a larger iPhone, or FURTHERMORE should have done so a year or two ago?

    I'll be waiting.
    I don't, and I'm happy with my 5S. But all signs are pointing to a larger screen iPhone, so I'll be curious how Apple announces and markets this bigger phone. When the 5 came out and it was taller but not wider, Apple said it was so you could see more content but still comfortably use it with one hand. Ok, did Apple somehow find a way to make the phone wider but still able to comfortably use with one hand? Or does that statement no longer matter?
  • Reply 7 of 126
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,562member
    Analysts, shmanalysts.
  • Reply 8 of 126
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    lkrupp wrote: »
    It will be the usual “Android has had that for years. Welcome to the 21st century, Apple.” Personally I am not the least bit interested in a large screen phone. If the next iPhone model comes out with a larger screen and my only option would be last year’s model with the smaller screen then I will shop around to find something that fits my hand, can be carried in my pocket and not make me look ridiculous when holding it to my ear. I haven’t jumped on the smartphone bandwagon yet and I thought this would be the year. Maybe not.
    That's why I'm curious how Apple positions a larger iPhone because we know the tech and financial media meme will be that Apple is either scrambling and desperate or the leadership team is stubbornly sticking to a certain pattern (design changes every 2 years) and not able to react fast enough to the changing market,
  • Reply 9 of 126
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pmz View Post

     

    First of all....besides a bunch of blog whining nonsense, and the non stop flood of Android phones of all shapes and sizes, what ACTUAL DATA or information do you have in your possession that says Apple needs to make a larger iPhone, or FURTHERMORE should have done so a year or two ago?

     

    I'll be waiting.


     

    I think there's an article in Apple Insider somewhere about a buzz that's growing in China about demand for larger-screened iPhones.  Doesn't that constitute "information" that Apple might be able to sell more iPhones if it offers a larger model?

  • Reply 10 of 126
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pmz View Post

     

    First of all....besides a bunch of blog whining nonsense, and the non stop flood of Android phones of all shapes and sizes, what ACTUAL DATA or information do you have in your possession that says Apple needs to make a larger iPhone, or FURTHERMORE should have done so a year or two ago?

     

    I'll be waiting.


     

    I'd be more interested to hear your views on why you think that a larger iPhone won't be as much of a success as any other top tier iPhone that Apple has made.

  • Reply 11 of 126
    just_mejust_me Posts: 590member
    The 5s and 5c are Apple's phablets. 3.5in screen was the perfect size.
  • Reply 12 of 126
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by asdasd View Post





    There's a discussion on that other thread which shows that outside the iPhone the top end of the market is all large phones. In the US. China seems to have an even greater predeliction to large phones.

     

    That should NOT be much of a surprise since until very recently (with the Sony Z(2?) Compact) there *where* no high end Androids around 4 inches. That is actually hard to do and most Android OEM's does not go for hard. They want quick. And the blessing of the whole Android market so far has been that ironically the *only* thing seen as "innovation" the last year or two has been.....a larger screen.

  • Reply 13 of 126
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by Frood View Post

    the 5s was supposed to?

     

    Further implying that it “didn’t”. 

     

    Ah, analysts. Need to be imprisoned.

  • Reply 14 of 126
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,589member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    That's why I'm curious how Apple positions a larger iPhone because we know the tech and financial media meme will be that Apple is either scrambling and desperate or the leadership team is stubbornly sticking to a certain pattern (design changes every 2 years) and not able to react fast enough to the changing market,

    I am pretty certain that when/if Apple brings out a larger screened iPhone the marketing blitz will be all forward looking, talking about the great strides they have made to ensure minimal fragmentation and the fact that all regular apps will work out of the box. The main focus will not necessarily be on the fact that the screen is larger but instead more granularly on other specific advances made, perhaps directly linked to a larger screen size. There will always be critics and Apple has never really responded to them directly. Why would they?

  • Reply 15 of 126
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    How does he know the people aren't buying the domestic cellphones because they're domestic? Even if they have larger screens, maybe that's not the reason people are buying them, maybe they're just being patriotic.
  • Reply 16 of 126
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I wonder how long this weird disconnect between display size and device size will last. As [B]Just_Me[/B]'s post (above) clearly shows he think the ideal size window is in relation to the display, and not the device itself. As we saw when Apple moved to the iPhone 5, despite the 4" display the device is a lower total volume and weights considerably less. This makes the older devices with 3.5" displays larger by comparison.

    The only dimension the iPhone 5/5S is bigger is on the height, but since it still slides into a pocket with ease because they didn't make it extra thick or wide, which is something they would have had to do if they had attempted to make a device with a larger display before the technology allowed it.

    I'm skeptical Apple can pull off another leap as well as it did from moving from the 4S to the 5 but I think the technology might finally allow them to minimize device bulk which could lead to volume and weight that is still inline with an [I]earlier[/I] iPhone despite having a larger display.
  • Reply 17 of 126
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Just_Me View Post



    The 5s and 5c are Apple's phablets. 3.5in screen was the perfect size.

    Your handle says it all

  • Reply 18 of 126
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    I'm skeptical Apple can pull off another leap as well as it did from moving from the 4S to the 5 but I think the technology might finally allow them to minimize device bulk which could lead to volume and weight that is still inline with an earlier iPhone despite having a larger display.

    I agree it would be hard to be so smooth again. But would they consider making the iPod Touch bigger but not the iPhone? It solves the problem of holding something big up to your face, since it doesn't take calls.

  • Reply 19 of 126
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    paxman wrote: »
    I am pretty certain that when/if Apple brings out a larger screened iPhone the marketing blitz will be all forward looking, talking about the great strides they have made to ensure minimal fragmentation and the fact that all regular apps will work out of the box. The main focus will not necessarily be on the fact that the screen is larger but instead more granularly on other specific advances made, perhaps directly linked to a larger screen size. There will always be critics and Apple has never really responded to them directly. Why would they?
    I'm not suggesting Apple respond directly to critics. I'm wondering, when Phil Schiller gets up on stage and announces the iPhone 6, how he does it. When the iPad mini came out he spent most of his time showing off web pages and how you can see more content on the mini than on 7" 16:9 devices. What's he going to do with a bigger iPhone?

    Anyway these "analysts" always come out with noise based on their "checks" in Asia, but how often are they right? Business Insider is all over this story yet Google, Amazon and Microsoft are all down more than Apple today and one firm just raised their price target. Seems Mr. White's "checks" don't matter much to Wall Street.
  • Reply 20 of 126
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post





    I don't, and I'm happy with my 5S. But all signs are pointing to a larger screen iPhone, so I'll be curious how Apple announces and markets this bigger phone. When the 5 came out and it was taller but not wider, Apple said it was so you could see more content but still comfortably use it with one hand. Ok, did Apple somehow find a way to make the phone wider but still able to comfortably use with one hand? Or does that statement no longer matter?

    It's simple. The market wants a larger screen so Apple will likely be obliging. I think they need to keep the current size of 4" as an option though. Lots of people don't want more width. Based on all the rumours and speculation, a 4", 4.7" and a 5.5" will be available at the end of this year. That way Apple can cover everyone's needs.

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