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The furor over the iPhone 4S and its lack of a larger screen grows louder with every passing day. Not by actual consumers, who don’t really care about such things, but by the smartest among all of us, the Pundits and the Analysts.
This time around, the screen didn’t grow. I entirely agree with John Gruber’s point about screens. Also, I agree with the sentiment among people who actually take time to understand Apple that they could have had a bigger screen from the beginning, but they instead chose (from a design perspective) to go with a 3.5″ screen. If they didn’t make it bigger to begin with, then they won’t do it now, just to say they have a larger screen. They might do it eventually for other reasons, but they certainly won’t do it because the consumer ‘demands’ it.
Of course, technology pundits don’t pay attention to these kinds of things. They see a competitor to Apple, and how they have made an improvement, and they now want Apple to do the same. Apple then doesn’t. Everyone cries, nay, weeps at the thought of it all. In fact, when gadgets reviewers (supposedly unbiased) review a new Apple gadget, they take points off if the screen isn’t larger. Who says a larger screen is better? Doesn’t matter. Android has it, and so Apple needs to do it to stay competitive.
Now let’s think of a similar story. Let’s reach far back into our memories, delving down into Apple’s history. Let’s look at the keyboard. I recall when people – nay, consumers – were upset with the lack of a physical keyboard on the iPhone. It was said that without a physical keyboard, the iPhone couldn’t remain competitive. In fact, the downfall of Apple was assured if they didn’t put in a physical keyboard. Let’s ignore the fact that Apple is now the most valuable company on the planet, and let’s ignore the fact that Apple purposefully chose not to put a physical keyboard on there for a reason, and let’s immediately jump the gun and say that Apple will have a repeat of the mid-1990’s because of iPhone deformities.
So, what have we learned here? That Apple decided not to put 3G in the first model, and they had record sales. Then they decided not to put a physical keyboard on the phone, and they had record sales. Then they decided to not make a removable battery, and they had record sales. Then they decided to keep the screen size the same, and they had record sales. In fact, a good strategy for Apple would be to do the opposite of their competitors, and they will have record sales.
That might just be what they’re doing over in Cupertino.