iPhone Divergence

There are a lot of rumblings lately about divergence of features in the iPhone 7. Some reports say Apple is serious about a smaller phone that will lose some of the features found in the current iPhone 6s line. Other reports, like this one, explain that the iPhone 7 Plus is going to get a dual-lens system that will give it a significantly better camera than the iPhone 7.

The interesting question for me in all of this is whether Apple would be willing to start separating the iPhone line with differing product features. The case against it is pretty obvious. When people go into the Apple Store to buy a new phone, they want it to be a simple decision. There is nothing easier than saying, “They are all the same. Pick your screen size and you’re good.” Not only does this make things easier for consumers, it also eliminates the inevitable frustration that comes from people that want a smaller screen but also the best possible camera. But this, of course, isn’t even true with the current iPhones where the Plus phones have image stabilization features that the standard line does not.

Nevertheless, I can’t help but think that Apple’s preference would be to keep the phones as similar as possible. However, the market brings its own pressures. Android phones are a lot better than they used to be and Apple is quite serious about making the iPhone the best mobile phone on the market. Repeatedly Apple has shown its dedication to the iPhone camera system. So given this pride in the iPhone and the continuing press of competition, would Apple diverge the lines to such an extent to put a dual-lens camera in the iPhone 7 Plus? I think they would.

Not only do I think they would, I also think they should. Artificially holding specific models back because other models can’t support the same features seems silly to me. If you can put a better lens system in one phone, then you should. Consumers will sort it out and I’m sure it will result in some people upgrading to the bigger (and presumably more profitable) phone. When it comes to the iPhone, I don’t think Apple should hold back. If Apple is going to continue to succeed with the iPhone, it needs to continue making the best possible iPhone it can.