Should Apple expand the iPhone range?

The iPhone is a fantastic device, that much is known. It doesn’t have the best spec sheet, but boy, does it perform well and it looks and feels great. I recently switched back to it having spent a month with the Galaxy Nexus. Although I’ve never been a big fan of its square, sharp corners or flat shiny back, I appreciate its solidity.

The current version, the 4S, is accompanied in today’s market by its predecessor and 2009′s iPhone 3GS. It’s not exactly the most varying range of devices. It’s essentially just an evolution of one device. Apple clearly feels that it should only stick with one product and do it well, instead of varying the lineup a little. Some companies go too far (Motorola springs to mind) and send up releasing countless versions of what is the same handset. Others release truly poor handsets that show now ingenuity or originality. HTC has some great phones, but they all look the same. I’m not suggesting Apple goes to those extremes but, what if Apple treated the iPhone like it treats the Mac range?

In the notebook section Apple has the MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. Each model represents a different corner of the market, and offers unique benefits. Then there’s the iMac, Mac Pro and Mac Mini for those who like to keep computing on the desk at home. Compare that to the phone making pattern. There’s one new iPhone each year, and it’s the upgrade to the previous version, not an alternative. In my opinion, Apple should release 3 different iPhones.

3.5″ isn’t big enough in this day and age, and so the time is right to release the beast of iPhones. To stick with Apple monikers currently used and for laziness’ sake, let’s call it the “iPhone Pro”. This would be the monster, quad-core, 4″ display iPhone designed for the spec and power hungry user. It would be heavily geared towards intense gaming and media consumption. The focus wouldn’t be on making as thin as the iPhone 4/4S, but giving it a battery capable of dealing with the heavy finger pounding and virtual car racing. Price would be comparable with the top ‘droids – $300 plus.

Virtual keyboards, no matter how good, can’t compare with the great feel of a real tactile keyboard like those on the BlackBerry Bold range. I still miss using it. So, iPhones should come with a keyboard-loaded model. Geared towards the emailaholic, always-in-touch business man/socialite. Not only great for emails, but for messaging too. It could be the reinvention of the messaging phone, but not in the cheap, plasticy sense. Being Apple it’d have a touch of class. Price around the current $199 should give it a competitive edge against the Touch or Bold.

The third option, instead of going for the popular “iPhone Nano” myth is to keep the 3.5″ models as they are. The current device would become the smaller, perhaps most popular version among the general public. If the average consumer thought a bigger device was needed, they’d go for a Galaxy Nexus or something similar. It’s perfect for any music, camera and game loving user.

Although Apple may not sell as many of the alternative models, they’d be popular enough and would remove Apple’s “we know better than you” attitude. What do you think? Should there be more variety in the iPhone range? Comment below or tweet: @TiP_Cam.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,