render

Supply-chain rumors are can be unreliable sources at the best of times, but never more so than when they claim to offer insight into Apple’s strategic plans. DigiTimes is claiming that Apple will be launching the 4.7- and 5.5-inch models of the iPhone 6 separately “to avoid competition between the two models.”

The different timetables have been set as Apple does not want to repeat the mistake it made in 2013 when it launched the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c simultaneously, said the sources.

Let’s take this one step at a time. First, what companies in the supply-chain know are how many orders have been placed with them for specific components. They don’t know what orders Apple may have placed with other suppliers for the same components, and they don’t even necessarily know in which product the parts will be used … 

Second, even assembly companies like Foxconn, who will know how many orders Apple has placed for completed products by specific dates, don’t have any knowledge of the company’s reasoning. Apple is not in the habit of sharing its strategic thinking with suppliers.

Third, Apple’s iPhone sales numbers in no way suggest that it made a ‘mistake’ in launching the iPhone 5s and 5c simultaneously. While there is evidence to suggest that the balance of sales between the two handsets differed from Apple’s expectations, the reason appears to be that more people than predicted chose to buy the more expensive model. Hardly a mistake.

Fourth, how would launching on separate dates prevent competition anyway? If someone wants the larger model, and it’s launched a little later, they’ll simply wait.

There have indeed been rumors that yield issues with the larger screen of the 5.5-inch model iPhone 6 may result in it being launched after the 4.7-inch model. But even there, we’re hearing conflicting reports. If the two models are indeed launched on separate dates, it is extremely unlikely to be because Apple fears the two models will compete.

Image credit: Render by Mark Pelin

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56 Responses to “Spurious claim Apple will release 4.7- and 5.5-inch iPhones separately ‘to avoid competition’”

  1. What I’m more worried about is if Apple doesn’t announce there will be two separate form factors. If they only announce the 4.7 version, and people hold out for the supposed 5.5 version that never materializes, people will feel jaded and frustrated over a pointless wait.

    Liked by 1 person

    • rogifan says:

      This story is BS. How in the world would these two models compete with each other?

      Like

      • jrox16 says:

        It’s total BS… people either want a phablet or they don’t. Everyone already knows the relative sizes because of all the multiple sizes of Android phones in the market. Everyone already knows they either want something about as big as a Galaxy Note, or about as big as an HTC M8 or Nexus 5. I’m quite sure the new iPhone event will show off both phones, if there are going to be two, even if the 5.5″ comes later (which they would announce at the event just like they did with the iPad Mini Retina).

        Like

      • klepp0906 says:

        Exactly. Launching them seperate will not only harm sales of one another if will risk losing customers all together and certainly piss people off.

        Like

    • Exactly, my sentiments as well. Think about all the returns that customers buying the 4.7 might decide, you know what, I want the 5.5, I’ll wait. I’m sure Apple knows this and if the 5.5 exists it will be released with the 4.7. Rumors….my organization has a system in place to dispel them – 9to5Mac promotes them.

      Like

  2. Reblogged this on Taste of Apple and commented:
    Competition between iPhones would be better than competition from other companies.

    Like

  3. Tim Jr. says:

    Agreed.. Keep in mind, we’ve not even seen a 5.5″ part leaks .. none.. nadda.. and NO you cannot count ‘Mockups!” :p We don’t even know if there will be one..

    4.7″.. yea.. kind of a given..

    5.5″ though? I honestly think we’re arguing over a ghost product right now.. One that may well not even exist as a production product..

    Like

    • PMZanetti says:

      I agree, I am about 50/50 on this one. It will either be presented along side the 4.7″ model and ship a few weeks later, or it doesn’t even exist at all and never did.

      Like

    • Jack Gnasty says:

      I’m sure it was tested and it simply did not work out.

      Everyone forgets that the iPhone became the most popular phone at 4″. There are plenty of larger phones, but the 4″ iPhone is king.

      Like

    • Technically there was one single leak of what was supposed to be the LCD part for the 5.5″ iPhone, but I would agree that it’s still not even for sure that such a product is being made. Even if the screen part is real it could be for an iPod touch.

      At this point however, the rumours of Apple’s new bigger phones are so strong, they will be vilified if they *don’t* come out with a 5.5″ model. That much is certain.

      The 4.7″ one isn’t really that much bigger than the current model. If the 5.5″ one doesn’t materialise, it won’t even be a week before we see articles telling us how Apple “didn’t go big enough” and Samsung will do some more gloating and humble bragging.

      Like

    • I’m with you on this one. I still don’t think this product exists. it is so unlike Apple to come out with something like this.

      Like

  4. RP says:

    Releasing the lower volume 5.5 if there even is one makes more sense staggered. Gives Apple more time to have enough of their flagship 4.7 in time for the fall and give Samsung a further blow twice a year when they release their own flagship in March.
    So a March release for the larger one makes strategic sense to me.

    Announce it in the fall along with the 4.7, but release it to n March.

    Like

    • PMZanetti says:

      iPhone launches don’t work that way. If Apple presents one model, people are right to assume that this the iPhone for the next year, and will buy it…using their upgrade eligibility. When that initial rush is over, you are a minimum of 12 calendar months away from the opportunity to sell a new model….because there won’t be any buyers. Once I buy a 4.7″ in September, I won’t be able to buy a 5.5 in November, or March, and neither will anyone else.

      No, it doesn’t work that way.

      Like

    • Agree, 4,7″ most probably to launch in September, and 5.5″ Iphone most probably early next year alongside the Galaxy S6., makes more business sense that way, than releasing the 4.7″ and the 5.5″ at the same time does not make business sense to Apple…

      Like

      • bwulfe says:

        It makes completely perfect sense! At a minimum, they should be announced at the same time (or public acknowledgement that a 5.5 won’t ship this year) ; even if one is shipping later. If I am upgrading to the new iPhone and would prefer one with a larger screen (eyes aren’t what they used to be) the I will not rush out to purchase a 4.7″ model. If the time frame of a 5.5″ is push out far enough, I might not even consider it; since rumors will probably be starting about the iPhone 7 by then. Apple is not in the same marketing game as Android device makers. They are not competing with multiple other manufacturers who sell devices running on the same general operating system. Instead they have a loyal customer base that has come to hold certain expectations of how the phone upgrade cycle works. Two separate announcements / releases in the same year is likely to anger that loyal base. I believe that Apple is far more concerned with keeping their customer’s happy; than they are with playing marketing games with Samsung (or anyone else.)

        Like

      • freediverx says:

        You have to understand these people are coming from the world of Android where they’re accustomed to being exploited. Suck trickery would be routine for them. They don’t get that Apple treats its customers with a modicum of respect since they are not beholden to advertisers or wireless carriers as their primary clients.

        Like

      • No offence, but you’re not thinking straight if you think that the release date of the Galaxy S6 (or any product by any other manufacturer) figures into Apple’s product release decisions. They have never paid attention to stuff like that and likely never will. To think so is to completely misunderstand how Apple works.

        Like

    • klepp0906 says:

      Ummm no. It will lose customers who don’t want to wait. It will harm sales on the.4.7. C’mon use that noodle the primates gave you over the millenia!

      Like

  5. RP says:

    let’s not forget that a scaled up 4.7 to 5.5 looks preposterous. Freakish even. hopefully we see a design that takes that into consideration instead of what has up to now been shown in renders and mock ups.

    Like

    • freediverx says:

      I still have trouble imagining your typical iPhone buyer going out in public looking like this:

      http://bit.ly/1pa6WXr

      Like

      • Nizam Islam says:

        What everyone seems to forget is that if two iPhones were released, the 5.5″ would be more expensive. Oh and the 5.5″ is freakishly huge. My sister can barely fit the 4″ screen in her pocket. Who could carry a 5.5″ and always remember to take it out the pocket before sitting every single time. Not me.

        Regards, Nizam Islam

        Sent from my iPhone

        >

        Like

      • freediverx says:

        “Who could carry a 5.5″…”

        This guy! http://bit.ly/1nxdPCq

        Like

  6. PMZanetti says:

    This is ridiculous and will never happen. They may have separate release dates, a few weeks apart, like the iPar Air / iPad mini launch…but they absolutely will be announced at the same time.

    Apple would never, ever, go in front of the world to say, “Here is the iPhone 6″ and one month later come back out and say, “Thanks for buying that one….but actually we have a slightly larger one too.”

    Never. Its not even possible to consider.

    Like

    • freediverx says:

      The closest Apple has come to doing something like that was when they released the iPad 4 just eight months after the iPad 3. Plenty of people whined about it at the time. I think that was a fluke, in that they were transitioning from releasing products in March/April to doing so around October to better capitalize on the holiday shopping season.

      Like

  7. 5.5″ model = Half-Life 3

    Like

  8. Jack Gnasty says:

    There is no 5.5. It was mocked up and tested and it lost to 4.7.

    Like

  9. Digitimes is 100% wrong 100% of the time. That’s all that needs to be said about that.

    Except that 9to5 is wasting their and our time reporting about it.

    Like

  10. “We at Apple know you’ve been waiting years for a modern sized iPhone. So in order to avoid confusion we are releasing them at separate times so that you will have to wait 6 extra months to actually make a physical comparison between the two. Thank you for your patience.”

    Like

    • jrox16 says:

      Haha, yeah, can you imagine that? Tim Cook would never do that so I think it’s most likely, that either there simply is no 5.5″ iPhone, period… or they will be announced at the same time, shown on stage at the same time, shown on the website at the same time, but the 5.5″ might release 1-2 months later. Apple so far has never screwed over their customers the way Samsung and HTC do, where they release a flagship phone, and then 5-6 months later release a variant of that same phone. Not yet at least they haven’t.

      Like

      • bwulfe says:

        They did; however, do something close to that with the iPad 3/ iPad 4 release. The upgraded iPad 4 was released a mere 7 months after the iPad 3. As someone who purchased the 3 in April of 2012; I wasn’t thrilled to find it superseded so soon. This led me to second-guessing my commitment towards my next upgrade, and I’m still using the iPad 3. Processor hungry apps and to potential of TouchID on the next iPad release will be the driving factors that will likely convince me to finally upgrade to a new model.

        Like

    • freediverx says:

      If Apple released *only” a 5.5″ model their sales would plummet because most Apple customers don’t want such a ridiculous form factor. So let’s drop that whole “modern sized” phrase, shall we?

      Like

  11. Comical article. The reasons for doing this make no sense at all. Whether the so called reason be yield rate or fear of cannibalization… makes no sense…

    Like

  12. CJ Sheets says:

    What does that mean? Of course the two models will compete. Either people will purchase the 4.7 or the 5.5. Not both. That’s like saying Apple wants to avoid the iPad Mini and Air completing against each other.

    Like

  13. Nizam Islam says:

    There is no 5.5″ iPhone. If you knew anything about Apple, you would know they would never mass manufacture a 5.5″ iPhone without first existing with the 4.7″ model for at least TWO years.

    Like

    • why this two year thing? there is no rule saying that apple can’t release two models of the same device at once. The macbook pro retina was treated as a new product line and both the 13″ and 15″ where released in the same year.

      Like

      • Nizam Islam says:

        Just wait until September and you will see the 5.5″ iPhone, although in the works, will not be released or mass manufactured anytime this year or the next.

        Like

    • freediverx says:

      The pressure to release a larger phone comes from slowing growth in high end smartphone sales. Some analysts interpret this as a market approaching saturation. Since the lion’s share of Apple’s profits comes from the iPhone and since the stock market cares only about infinite growth, it makes sense for Apple to turn their attention to a previously untapped market: people who buy higher end Android phablets primarily due to their display size.

      Like

  14. Oh digitimes…

    The iPhone c is apart of a sales tactic which up sells the 5s. I don’t think it was a happy accident. It maybe worked better than they predicted but not an accident. If apple really is shipping a 5.5″ model it will be sold along the 4.7″. Same specs, but cost $100 more. $100 more for just a bigger screen!??? yes. Apple will make lower margins on the smaller devices which they use to push the technology and make larger margins on the bigger ones which use the same technology. They balance out but help drive apple to innovate. This in contrast to android oems who can only fit the good stuff in big devices but that never trickles down into the smaller ones. Most people will probably get the middle device because they see the most value in it. But those that really value a big screen will pay.

    It is possible they won’t release at the exact same time but not “to avoid competition between the two models.” I feel like they will be released the same time. Demand for the 5.5″ will be lower. Even if the orders are backed up it isn’t anything new for an iPhone release.

    Like

    • freediverx says:

      The “C” models do not upsell the “S” models. They replace the previous year’s flagship model as the lower priced option, while protecting profit margins by using a less expensive polycarbonate housing instead of machined aluminum.

      For example, instead of offering the iPhone 5 for $100 less, Apple offers the 5C which is the same model but with the lower cost plastic case, offsetting the price reduction. Meanwhile, budget conscious customers still get all the performance and functionality of last year’s flagship model at the lower price.

      Like

      • everything you explained is true…

        …and as a result it visually distinguishes the low/mid-end from the high-end, something that keeping around last year’s high-end model to act as high-end didn’t as well.

        Some people will always get the newest thing. Budget conscious people will always get the cheapest thing. But there is a huge middle ground of people and Apple just made it a much clearer choice for them to go with the more expensive thing.

        Like

      • Bleh no edit.

        “something that keeping around last year’s high-end model to act as low/mid-end** didn’t as well.”

        Like

  15. Jake Allan says:

    I hope they at least announce both of the phones and there realease dates. So you don’t have to risk waiting

    Like

  16. I won’t buy a 4.7 ” until I see the 5.5″. There are probably a lot of people like me, so the 4.7″ sales might drag at first.

    Like

    • herb02135go says:

      Today a coworker walked in with a new Galaxy S5.
      Everyone with an iPhone was amazed at the clarity and size of the display.
      I can’t imagine a scenario where anyone at Apple thinks a sub-5″ is enough

      Like

      • freediverx says:

        Today I browsed the web on my iPad.
        I was amazed at the clarity and size of the display.
        I can’t imagine a scenario where anyone at Samsung thinks a sub-9.7″ is enough.

        Like

      • Hey Samsung? Your attempts at astroturfing suck. Too obvious. Better luck next time ;-)

        Like

  17. Will they be able to squeeze in both announcements (assuming they need to be 1-2 months apart at least to avoid competition) before holiday season? Given they are supposed to announce macbook air and ipad refreshes too…

    Like

  18. minij001 says:

    Soo sad to hear the 5.5 delayed. The 5.5 is the one I’m waiting for. It would be a shame if it didn’t even exist! :(

    Like

  19. klepp0906 says:

    I know, what an obnoxious claim right? People that post this stuff lack serious common sense and people that repeat and believe It are plain ignorant. For reasons I shouldn’t have to explain, apple will be releasing both sizes together. Come on people. Sigh.

    Like