(By Rich Bieglmeier) Henry Blodget recently wrote a story for Business Insider titled, "If The iPhone 5 Really Looks Like This, Apple May Be Screwed..." To sum up Mr. Blodget's story, he says size does make a difference.
"Because the "iPhone 5" looks pretty much like the iPhone 4S, which looked exactly like the iPhone 4, a phone that is now two years old," Mr. Blodget feels the iconic tech company may disappoint "tens of millions of other customers and potential customers."
The disenchantment could come down to about three quarters of an inch. Rumor has it that the iPhone 5's screen size will be 4 inches, while Samsung's Galaxy S3 is 4.8 inches. However, some Apple watchers believe the new iPhone will offer a "Retina display killer" – which would more than make up for the difference in size.
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes for ZDnet writes, "Retina display killer" displays in that their pixel density is far in excess of the 326ppi panel used on the current iPhone 4S. " He continued, "If -- and that's a big "if" -- Apple decides to change the size of the iPhone's screen, my guess is that we'll see a doubling of the screen resolution just as we saw with the transition to the iPhone 4 and the iPad 3."
Kingsley-Hughs believes more resolution is necessary for Apple to increase its screen size and allow the aspect ratio of 3:2 to remain, which is needed in order to keep the screen compatible with current apps – hugely important. Otherwise, resolution will have to be reduced, lessening the "we want the best product on the market" appeal of the iPhone.
In iStock's view, the beauty of screen quality versus size will be in the eye and hand of the holder.
We prefer quality of quantity. Who knows, iPhone might actually be larger than 4 inches when launched – rumored to be September 12th.
Stickiness of the ecosystem is likely to be more important than size or screen quality. According to a November 2011 GfK survey, nearly 80% of iPad and iPhone users say "switching their smartphone is more difficult than changing bank accounts."
The study notes, "A simple, integrated user experience is driving consumers' brand loyalty to their smartphone and they are less likely to switch brands the more applications and services they use on the device." The more Apple devices one owns, the more difficult transferring becomes.
CNBC's All-America Economic survey in March 2012 found that nearly half of all U.S. households own at least one Apple product. "That's more than 55 million homes with at least one iPhone, iPad, iPod or Mac computer. And one-in-10 homes that aren't currently in that group plan to join it in the next year."
On average, the typical Apple owning household has 1.6 devices, "with almost one-quarter planning to buy at least one more in the next year."
GfK's survey revealed the tipping point for brand loyalty occurs when a consumer uses seven or more services on their device(s). By all accounts iStock could find, iPhone users download more apps than Android users. The average Apple smartphone owner has 88 downloads apps per user, of which 20 are preloaded, 21 are paid for, and the rest are free. Remember, seven is the point where "switching their smartphone is more difficult than changing bank accounts." In a typical day, the median time spent using these apps is 84 minutes.
iStock doesn't believe the fight is going to be over the size of the new iPhone screen, rather it will be over the high-end, market share as the smartphones race from 50% penetration to 80% in the U.S. by 2019.
Additionally, when China Mobile and Apple hook up, as soon as the end on 2012, it "would instantly double [Apple's] addressable market for the iPhone in China and could act as the next big boost to its stock" says Forbes.
Overall, Samsung has gained market share at the expense of lower priced models such as Nokia and RIM rather than taking away from Apple's slice. iStock doesn't expect this dynamic to change much over three quarters of an inch. In our opinion, Apple Inc. (AAPL
) shorts might be the only ones that will get screwed when iPhone 5 launches.