Apple’s newest and largest pair of iPhones, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, are now available for pre-order in a number of countries, including the U.S. and the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. The phones are due to ship to buyers on September 19.
In the US the iPhone 6 starts at $199 (on two year carrier contract), and the iPhone 6+ starts at $299 (also on contract). The UK Apple store is selling the devices unlocked, without a carrier contract, starting at £539 for the iPhone 6, and £619 for the iPhone 6+.
Pre-orders don’t appear to have opened up yet in China, Asia’s dominant market, despite the Far East being the driving force behind the big-phones trend.
Korean mobile maker Samsung’s original Galaxy Note phablet arguably triggered a screen size race that Apple has been forced to follow. Initially with a relatively incremental screen bump on the iPhone 5. But now with a more substantial shift, with the prior 4-inch flagship screen size being pushed up to 4.7 inches on the new iPhone 6 and a full 5.5 inches on the 6 Plus. The latter size inflates the iPhone to properly phablet proportions for the first time.
The choice of two ample screen sized flagships means there’s a ‘bigger or biggest’ dilemma for Apple buyers wanting to have Cupertino’s latest hardware tucked into their pockets/purse.
Having different-sized iPhone flagships launching simultaneously isn’t a choice Apple has offered before, so it will be interesting to see whether iOS buyers skew big or biggest. Although Apple is unlikely to break out sales figures for specific models so any analysis will start anecdotally and remain unofficial.
Apple has also evidently faced a conundrum of its own: how to shout about the charms of bigger smartphones, given that it’s late to the phablet category.
The (English) slogan the company has settled on, on its website, to spruik the iPhone 6 is “Bigger than bigger,” which comes across as awkward and meaningless. Still, it’s by no means the first time Apple’s marketing department has committed linguistic horrors. Remember “funnest”? And “resolutionary”? You do now…
Apple’s new pair of palm-stretching iPhones were unveiled earlier this week, with Cupertino top brass dubbing them the ‘best phones we’ve ever made’. A line they’ve surely used at prior iPhone launches. (‘Best since the last best’ doesn’t have quite the same ring, although it does sound more in keeping with ‘Bigger than bigger’.)
Despite a “best ever” boast, the new iPhones ended up with relatively little airplay at Apple’s event, given they were playing second fiddle to a new category of Apple device that will be coming out of Cupertino next year: its Apple Watch smartwatch.
This is unsurprising, given that Apple needs to make a case for why people should splurge more money to strap another portable computer to their person when they already have one in their pocket. And also given that the smartphone category — and indeed larger smartphone screens — are now so firmly established in the market that they need no introduction.