It will be amazing.
It will not, however, be the very best device Apple can make.
Though it will be the very best smartphone Apple can make for $499.
I’m going to go further this time. Here is what I expect from this iPhone phablet:
- It will be priced at an amazingly low US $499 (unlocked).
- It will be offered in multiple colors (black, white and red)
- There will be no Retina Display
- The base model will have 16gb storage
- 8MP rear camera, 2MP front-facing camera
- 4G LTE (and 3G)
- A5 chip (CPU clock rate of 1GHz)
- 5.5” screen
Why would Apple build this device? Because the market has spoken. The market wants large-display smartphones.
I may or may not be proven right about an Apple "phablet". But, Tech in Asia makes a very good point why I am wrong about this device -- or any new Apple device -- being "cheap":
A cheap smartphone ruins Apple’s brand image. Even more than in the west, Apple products are a luxury item and a status symbol in China. Part of the fun of buying the newest iPhone is showing it off on the street, and posting pictures of it to your weibo account. If every Li, Zhou, and Wang on the street is also carrying an Apple phone, showing off your own iPhone is going to be a lot less fun. There’s a reason Louis Vuitton doesn’t offer low-cost handbags, and that’s the reason why Apple won’t market a low-cost smartphone in China.
Apple is a beloved brand, an 'aspirational' brand. Brands have intrinsic value -- and a price tag associated with them. Still, I think this view of Apple as a sort of "Louis Vuitton" premium, elitist brand misses the mark. For good and bad.
I think Apple makes the best smartphone and tablet. It's not an elitist notion, I'm not paying for the brand name. I use my Apple products constantly, day after day, year after year.