This week, Bloomberg reported that pre-orders for the new iPhone 6 topped 4 million within 24 hours of going on sale. Demand is outstripping supply, as the device looks set to be Apple’s biggest smartphone yet – in more ways than one.
The backlog in pre-sales means customers won’t receive their handsets until next month, weeks after they officially go on sale. However, Apple insists devices will be available in store as of September 19; they encouraged customers to arrive early to avoid disappointment.
This level of excitement is, of course, nothing new when it comes to the iPhone, but there’s an extra frisson thanks to the new, bigger size; the standard version comes with a 4.7 inch display, while the iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5 inch display (previous iterations of the iPhone have a 4 inch screen). With the proliferation of larger mobile devices like tablets, and Android’s innovation in the larger screen market, consumer demand for bigger devices is high. This surely counts as one of the least predictable trends in mobile devices, where historically the mantra was ‘smaller=better’ – and Apple expect to have record quarters for the next couple of years just for meeting this demand.
So why the move towards larger screens? It’s partly down to improvements in consistently fast data streaming, which has prompted greater demand among mobile consumers for rich content on the move. In tandem with this, social media leaders like Facebook and Twitter are moving towards in-feed promos and video content.
Size isn’t everything, of course. The iPhone 6 is bigger, sure, but it also promises to be better, with a more powerful operating system and crucial hardware additions like Near Field Communication (NFC) for improved ‘tap in’ capabilities.
There’s also the much-trumpeted HealthKit, which sees Apple jumping on the Quantified Self bandwagon. The software allows users to monitor vital signs and track fitness, and represents Apple’s first major foray into this burgeoning market.
One more thing. Remember the classic glowing Apple logo on the back of Macbooks? Rumor has it that the new phone will carry this retro feature, which will make the nostalgia freaks almost as happy as the techheads when they all finally get their mitts on the iPhone 6.