**Currently tech-trekking with my fellow Kellogg MBA’s through Seattle, Bay Area, Silicon Valley for the following week, posts will reflect our awesome schedule!**
Monday: Starbucks, Microsoft, Amazon
Tuesday: Salesforce, Twilio, Linkedin
Wednesday: Intuit, Facebook, VMware
Thursday: Google, Medallia, Adobe
Friday: Apple, Cisco, PayPal
Apple is rumored to be releasing a new, smaller-screened iPhone — the 6c, which is particularly intriguing because releasing the 4-inch phone fits into a sort of trend from Apple that’s emerged over the past few years: The company appears to be listening more closely to its customers.
Tell me more!
Likely, the answer is because there are vocal Apple customers out there who don’t want a phone with a screen more than 4 inches. These are people who don’t care much about visual media and who want phones that fit in their pockets. And there may also be more practical reasons. With Morgan Stanley predicting that Apple could see its first smartphone sale slide it may make some sense to appeal to that segment of the market even if it’s not the hot one to pursue.
Steve Jobs’ 2 cents…
“I have my own theory about why decline happens at companies: They make some great products, but then the sales and marketing people take over the company, because they are the ones who can juice up profits.
When the sales guys run the company, the product guys don’t matter so much, and a lot of them just turn off. It happened at Apple when [former CEO John] Sculley came in, which was my fault, and it happened when [former CEO Steve] Ballmer took over at Microsoft.”
That’s not to say that going back to a smaller screen is going to be the end of the world for Apple. It could be a great hit. But what Apple has to balance, perhaps more than any other company, is its desire for mass-market appeal and its reputation for carefully-curated quality.
My 2 cents:
On one hand, Apple and the rest of the high-tech horsemen of the apocalypse (Amazon, Google, Facebook) have made huge forays, investments and statements that point towards video as the new-old hot property. A larger phone/screen meets that logic, but just stop and think about just how small the iPhone 4 was! I saw an iPhone 5 theses days (much longer than the 4, mind you) and it looked puny, and so practical! Not all clients are screen-affictionatos and those who are will get their kicks through the regular iPhone 6, 6+, 6s etc. I see Apple delivering form and function through the 6c, not a sales ploy; there is nothing wrong with launching a product spin-off to target variations of the core segment.
And personally, I miss when my phone fitting in my pocket, don’t you?