The people said Apple plans an iPhone model with a screen larger than 4½ inches measured diagonally, and a second version with a display bigger than 5 inches. Until now, Apple’s largest phone has been the 4-inch display on the iPhone 5.
Both new models are expected to feature metal casings similar to what is used on the current iPhone 5S, with Apple expected to scrap the plastic exterior used in the iPhone 5C, these people said.
The 5C always occupied a weird space: most people who want an iPhone are looking for a premium device, yet this cheaper iPhone wasn’t really cheaper compared to other smartphones. Not surprising, in hindsight, that it didn’t sell well.
The potential for a phablet-sized iPhone is interesting though.
The main difference here is that smartphones and tablets are more like consumer electronics, while computers simply aren’t. Legacy computing still includes aspects such as daily virus protection updates, meaningless error codes, and device drivers. Consumer electronics devices either hide those things or have been engineered to not even deal with them in the first place. These smartphones and tablets offer the simplicity of a consumer electronics device with the power of a traditional computer.
As for the form factor discussion, I think it’ll remain fragmented based on particular use cases and also whether or not one has use for a full-size iPad or Android tablet. Some people don’t, in which case a larger phone (e.g. phablet) makes a lot of sense and saves them from carrying two devices around.