No way to win

Rumors have Apple announcing a larger iPhone this fall, which naturally means doom for Apple.

Wait, what?

“A supersize iPhone is a big risk for Apple” (tip o’ the antlers to @JonyIveParody).

Only Apple could be damned if it doesn’t make a larger phone and damned if it does.

No, seriously. Has anyone ever said this about Google or Samsung or Amazon or Motorola or Xiaomi or … anyone?

As excitement (and rumor) build ahead of the expected release of Apple’s supersize iPhone this fall, experts say Apple executives and shareholders also have considerable reason to be anxious.

Be afraid! Be very afraid!

Apple waited to release a “phablet” version of its signature product, they say, because of the potential negative impact on iPad sales.

Could that happen? Sure. But Apple’s pretty wily about stratifying its product lines.

“A larger screen will also allow Apple to cram in a bigger battery, [addressing] another huge complaint about the iPhone 5S.”

Let’s forget the fact that it will have to power a larger screen.

Apple’s former CEO, the late Steve Jobs, wasn’t keen on bigger smartphones.

We know this because we have the ability to peer into people’s souls.

“You can’t get your hand around it,” he said at a 2010 news conference. “No one’s going to buy that.”

Shorter Steve Jobs: “If we don’t make it then it sucks.” Jobs said a lot of things. Some of it was what he believed, some of it was marketing.

A 5.5-inch iPhone, subsidized by wireless phone providers …

“Subsidized.” What a lovely word for “We’re going to milk you for this phone like you’re a mobile Internet-using heifer.”

… would make consumers think twice before purchasing an unsubsidized iPad Mini, says Neil Mawston, analyst at Strategy Analytics.

Well, that’s possible. It’s also possible the company just couldn’t make a device it was happy with.

“Apple focused on building a phone at 4 inches that could be controlled with one hand, but simply misgauged demand for even larger screen devices built by Samsung and others,” Colello adds.

iPhone sales were up 17 percent last quarter. What exactly did they misgauge?

“I find it incredibly ironic that for years we worked hard to build smaller, lighter devices that fit easy into a pocket, and now we are seeing the reverse of all of that effort,” says Andrew Seybold, an independent consultant in wireless technology in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Point of fact: The Macalope distinctly remembers people guffawing when the iPhone was first announced because Apple surely must have used a hand model with hands the size of oven mitts in order to make the device look smaller. LOL. (That was back when people still wrote “LOL” without sarcasm.)

So, here we are, possibly staring down the barrel of a larger iPhone, and what’s the narrative naturally going to shift to? How a larger iPhone will hurt Apple. Well, that just makes sense.

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