Why does Apple get a free pass on backflips?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Krimsonmyst, Sep 10, 2014.

  1. Krimsonmyst macrumors 6502

    Dec 18, 2012
    Hi everyone,

    First off, I'd like to say that while the title of this thread may seem antagonistic, its certainly not intended that way, and I'm honestly curious as to people's opinions on this.

    I worked for Apple for nearly 3 years a few years ago, as a Genius at a retail store in Australia. I was there around the time that larger screened devices were just starting to gain some traction (HTC Desire HD and Galaxy S2, to give you an idea). I worked at Apple for the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5 launch. I owned a 4, and then a 4S. I jumped to a Galaxy S2 after the 4S because I wanted to see what the 'big screen' hype was about. Turns out I've enjoyed it and stayed.

    However, when I was working there, we heard from the Apple execs, as well as our own store managers that '3.5" is the perfect phone display size, because you can reach the whole screen with your thumb without having to change your grip.'

    Then the 5 came along, and even with a bigger screen, people were ok with it, and again, from the execs and managers we heard the same argument.

    Apple was so adamant for so, so long about the screen size being perfect, and that large displays were a gimmick.

    So it was surprising to see that after the announcement of the 6/6+, there was so much elation amongst not just Apple fans, but tech fans in general. Now even though I'm not an Apple user, I can appreciate the positive impact larger iPhones have on the market.

    That said - if any other developer/manufacturer was so staunchly against a concept, and then flipped on it (for example, if Android changed from open source to walled garden like iOS), there would be tremendous backlash.

    Many people would see Android's open-sourceness like Apple's smaller screen size...a unique advantage that isn't present in the competition. Apple was really the only one providing a top shelf product in a smaller footprint.

    So my question is this - how come backflipping on such a devout principle that Apple held for so many years was welcomed with praise? Having worked for Apple and gone through their product and design training, I know better than most how much passion and thought goes into their products, but this time around it seems like they buckled under the weight of expectation and abandoned their principles for it.

    Now don't get me wrong, this is not a comment on the positive or negative capabilities of the 6/6+. In fact, aside from the protruding camera ring (yuck), I think they both look great, and I'm sure they'll perform well, but this has been bugging me.

    Again, I apologise if this comes across as instigatory or confrontational, its certainly not meant to be.
  2. nnacrumors macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2014
    Are you saying you don't like the fact that Apple makes a bold statement one year about it's products being the best and the next year they switch to the very thing they were criticizing before?
  3. Deguello macrumors 6502a


    Jun 29, 2008
    If Apple says that a bigger screen is OK now, it's OK now because Apple said it. People are good at rationalizing.
  4. duaneu macrumors 6502a

    Jun 19, 2010
    Bellevue, WA
    Consumer preferences change over time. Larger screens are more in demand now than they were a few years ago. Companies need to adapt. Just look at Blackberry for an example of a company that didn't change with the times.
  5. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    Apple instituted a few OS enhancements to allow better one-hand use, so it's not like the principle is just being abandoned. But obviously there's a market for larger phones, and maybe it will get rid of some of the dumber iPhone knocks you see. Apple also might not have gotten solid numbers on larger iPhones two years ago, things like battery life, and I can't vouch for other display quality items but Apple mentioned that. I'd love to see a 6 compared to a GS4 to understand display quality since that's what was out about when the iPhone 5 was. If you've ever used a lower-quality notebook PC, you quite understand that size is not everything on a display.
  6. jrcsh6 macrumors 6502


    Jul 1, 2008
    I'll bite.
    The Apple execs were wrong. Well, not wrong but, it's not as black and white as that. Some people like bigger, some like smaller. Some want one hand operation and others could care less. That was Steve Jobs. He knew right and he did get a lot right but there are other ways. Some people even like Windows and Android!
  7. Deguello macrumors 6502a


    Jun 29, 2008
    If a particular screen size was perfect X years ago, it would still be perfect today.

    It seems to me that the main problem is that Apple spent years telling people they didn't really want bigger screens because "one hand," etc. If Apple had said, "We can't yet source a larger screen of the quality we demand" that would be one thing. Saying, essentially, "It's silly to want a larger screen on a phone" is another.

    I'm glad Apple finally came around, but I thought the whole "one hand" thing was overdone to begin with. It was sales hype to convince people they didn't really want what they thought they wanted. It's better late than never that they gave up on that approach.
  8. localboy28 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2010
    Times/trends change so apple listened to their customers and gave us what we wanted.

    There would of been riots if they didn't make the iPhone bigger this year lol
  9. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    I think Tim Cook actually did say that when asked about larger screens last year. He said they would do it when they felt they could do it at the quality level Apple demands or something like that.
  10. Deguello macrumors 6502a


    Jun 29, 2008
    And that's a perfectly reasonable response. It's just not the one they used for years.
  11. HenryDJP macrumors 603

    Nov 25, 2012
    United States
    OP keep in mind that Apple had a different CEO back in the day. Steve was adamant about what he felt was right....at that time....and he was right. Also when the iPhone came out a Smart Phone's features outside of calling were not the first priority of the consumer. Today people are using Smart Phones for almost everything but calling, requiring a larger phone. So it's not that Apple is doing backflips, they tend to know the trends during that time. Some things don't need to come out immediately or be the first on the block to be a success.
  12. InternetDude08 macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2009
    Why? Because Sheeple.

    I've wanted a larger screen for years, but wanted to stick with Apple 'cause I don't like Goofle. Now I'm happy as a clam (although still undecided on screen size LOL).
  13. Krimsonmyst thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 18, 2012
    To clarify, it's not so much that they made larger screened phones.

    Like many of you have said, it was the natural progression of tech. That's not necessarily what I'm curious about.

    If Apple had waited until they could do it when their tech was at a point that they felt comfortable doing it, that'd be one thing. But they spend so much time pushing the 4", and going out of their way to make sure everyone knew that anything bigger was large and unwieldy.

    As for implementing measures for one-handed use - while that is appreciated, I believe the Galaxy Note 2/3/4 also have these features which work similarly, but they were never recognised as features.

    Also, on the one handed features front, I saw the video showing the double tap on the home button collapsing icons to the bottom half of the screen - but how does that work when the screen is already full of icons?
  14. mantan macrumors 68000

    Nov 2, 2009
    Apple is the rare public company that can do just about anything and there customers will forget/rationalize/ignore it. They can charge just about any price, sell just about any product and dominate a market with little fear of public backlash. It's really amazing.

    People will cheer record profits, defend price gouging on memory, rabidly attack any competitor and defend anything Apple does.

    On the flip side, AT&T or Verizon can raise prices $5 and people will call them evil and greedy.
  15. TheSacredSoul macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2010
    People make ridiculous comments all the time. Just look at these.

    "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."

    "Apple is already dead."

    Do you really think alienating much of their own fans who have been asking for a larger screen for years and the general public who have been used to larger displays these last 2 to 3 years will be a sound market decision for Apple?

    Of course they said 3.5" is perfect for one-handed used. But the key is adaptability. To adapt to the ever changing trends and consumer demands. Give the consumer what he or she wants. Not stick to your outdated principles and pray all will be well, a la Blackberry.
  16. miamialley macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    No, Apple admitted they were wrong when they went to 4" and now 4.7" and 5.5" they are admitting they were more wrong. They thought 4" would make people shut up. They were wrong.
  17. DeftwillP, Sep 10, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2014

    DeftwillP macrumors 6502

    Jan 28, 2011
    Why does Apple get a free pass on backflips?

    The first iphone didn't have 3G or an App Store on it. Apple is totally sellout for changing that....bunch a backflippers. /OP
  18. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    You have failed to convince me that making a larger screen is a "flip."

    Yes, changing from open source to a walled garden is a flip. Changing iPhones from iOS to Windows Mobile would be a flip.

    Different screen sizes? That's... a different screen size. Not even close to those other examples.
  19. Krimsonmyst thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 18, 2012
    Ordinarily, you're right. I wouldn't have considered a large screen move a backflip either.

    But when you spend the 4-5 years prior talking down large screened phones, saying that they're unnecessary, clunky and unwieldy, and that no-one will ever need one - it seems like a pretty big flip to then go and make a phone that rivals the biggest of the big.


    The difference is they never spent time and effort talking down and portraying those things as inferior.
  20. stickybuns macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2011
    It's really not that complicated. CEO with one vision for the company passed away. CEO with a different vision for the company took over. Two different people in charge, so two different visions of what constitutes the "perfect" phone. Neither vision is right and neither vision is wrong. It's just subjective opinion packaged as gospel truth to try to convince you to buy whatever is on sale at the moment.
  21. drpellypo macrumors 6502a

    Nov 19, 2007
    Northumberland, UK
    If you look through apples mobile device history it's clear to see this sort of thing is tactical marketing. Look at the iPhones before the 3G was launched. Steve said edge is enough for anybody, yet loads of other phones had 3G. Certainly in the UK anyway. Same with the camera. Apple deliberately held back features so that, as time goes by, you, as a customer, start to long for the features your friends have on their phone. In perfect timing, apple will release that feature on the newest iPhone, meaning you feel you haven I choice but to upgrade because you feel that the phone you currently have needs those features.

    They did exactly the same with the iPad mini. No retina was a marketing choice not a manufacturing one. They held it back for gen 2 to make you want to upgrade because the retina is 'so much better.'

    I've no doubt they've known for a while about bigger screen sizes, but the party line while they were smaller was to justify this smallness until they were ready to release a solution that both gave people the feature they wanted and an ability to still use the phone one handed.
  22. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    Seems like they did what they actually found to be right. Each model sold more and more making them more and more money. If that's wrong then Apple should hope to be always wrong.
  23. NM08SRT8 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2010
    New Mexico
    The 3.5" size was Steve's argument and justification to the size. He is gone, bigger phones are being released. Simple.
  24. JayIsAwesome macrumors 65832


    Sep 8, 2013
    This! B/c I was damn sure going back to android if Apple hadn't come out swinging with a bigger screen 5+ inch model lol
  25. C DM macrumors Sandy Bridge

    Oct 17, 2011
    Things change over time. Horses were perfect too as a mode of transportation for years, doesn't mean that when something newer that was better and actually had enough support and desirability wouldn't then be perfect instead. Apple justified why they where doing things for their own reasons until they were ready to do them differently and jsitify that. Fairly rational thing that pretty much everyone does.

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