Perhaps they're just rumours. But these types of rumours have a funny way of becoming products.
The iPhone was a rumour, so was the iPad and the iPad mini... And they all turned out to be actual products. Then again, an Apple Television was meant to have landed by now, but all we have is this little black box called an Apple TV (which I love by the way).
So now there's talk that the iPhone is going to come out in a Maxi size, a kind of Galaxy Note competing type of smartphone.
My first thoughts were "I'd buy that".
My second thoughts were "So why wouldn't you buy the Galaxy Note?"
I then continued this conversation in my brain for a short time before deciding I simply think that a larger iPhone would be a well built and well rounded product. But no matter how I spin it in my brain, the truth is I have owned enough Apple devices and used enough of their services to trust a product they put out enough to at least give it a go.
I have certainly bagged out the "phablet" using tech community here and there, noting that the Galaxy Note when used as a phone really does look ridiculous. I'm just going to have to admit that I am not a fan of the Android devices, and I much prefer the interface and user experience of the iOS products. And before you write me off as a one eyed Apple lover who just needs to try an Android phone, I do in fact own Android and Windows phones as I need to test apps I develop on them.
So let's think through why a larger iPhone would be a good thing.
I used to own a desktop computer. And I had one at work that I used too. Life was easy. Internet at work, internet at home.
Then I got a Palm Treo 750. Life was great. Internet at home on the desktop, internet at work on the desktop, emails on the go in between.
Then I started a business and wanted something that could actually do more and do it better than my Treo while I was out and about, as I ran a lawn care business and was on the road all day long. I got an iPhone 3GS.
Life was amazing. I had internet at home on the desktop, and I found myself using my iPhone for so much, from invoicing to CRM to calendars to whatever. I would use the desktop when I needed, and the iPhone whenever I could.
Then the iPad came out and I tried to justify why I would need it. I couldn't. Then the iPad 2 came out, and I had a birthday and you get the idea.
I was now able to accomplish 95% of my computing tasks on a device that easier, lighter, prettier and more mobile than a desktop or laptop, and I still had my very useful iPhone for when the iPad was a little too big. The desktop gradually got used less and less, and when my wife got her iPhone 4, it rarely got turned on. Though the kids used it for school work still.
Upgrades came and went. I ended up with the iPad 3, the iPhone 4S and an Apple TV as well. Still no mac as my PC was rarely used.
For the work I was doing I had all the tools I needed.
Then I started blogging and building websites. And the iPad just wasn't cutting it. Not that it wasn't powerful enough or anything, it just wasn't the best way to go about the task of web development and extensive typing. I could have used the desktop computer, but I still wanted portability and something that talked to the iPad and iPhone well.
So I bought the MacBook Air 11".
It was a perfect and powerful little machine. I preferred it over the desktop and loved it to bits.
I decided it was a waste having an iPad AND a MacBook Air, so I sold my iPad.
And then I regretted selling my iPad.
While you would think a 9.7" iPad and an 11" MacBook Air would have a lot of feature overlap and you shouldn't really need both, I found myself missing my iPad immensely and regretting selling it. A laptop just isn't as good for reading, browsing the net, tweeting, facebooking, quick web searches, presentations to clients, watching movies in bed... etc etc etc.
But there was a rumour the iPad mini was coming out. So I sat tight and waited for that.
In the mean time I upgraded to the iPhone 5, and was very grateful for the larger screen size. Although the bigger screen was never enough to get me to tolerate the tradeoffs of switching to an Android phone, I openly admitted that the larger screen was the one thing I was jealous of when I saw a new Samsung GS3 in a friends hands.
Finally the iPad mini arrived and I grabbed that straight away. I was most impressed by how light it was, and how much more portable as a tablet it was. This thing might actually get taken out of the house.
But after a few weeks of using it I found it had some short comings. While it was certainly better for grabbing and browsing the net, doing any typing of more than a sentence was a pain in the butt. The regular iPad had a screen large enough to use as a keyboard and type in a regular fashion, the iPad mini had to be used almost as a large phone to type using just your thumbs. Or if I put it on your lap to type I could only really use two fingers to operate the keyboard.
But while I vouched for its much improved weight and portability factors, could I justify owning two personal iPads, and a MacBook Air? Seemed a bit ridiculous. Maybe one day when an iPad can do what todays desktop can do, we'll live in a world where individuals own multiple tablets. But not yet I don't think.
I started a new business venture which involved lots of website maintenance, writing, presentations to clients and photo editing. I realised now my MacBook wasn't going to cut it and I had grown to despise my Windows computer. So I invested in a new iMac desktop computer, and an iPad 4th generation (full sized iPad). My 5 year old son had been saving up to buy an iPad mini and he purchased mine from me. He was stoked, I was happy and life was good again.
So now most of the work I do is on the iMac at home. When I need to get some work done away from the home office, I can grab the MacBook Air and head off to City Hive where I am often quite productive (City Hive is a shared work space thing in Geraldton WA) and it's handy when I feel like blogging away from the desk, and the iPad 4 satiates my need for internet browsing on a couch or bed and watching movies etc. I take it with me to see clients as well to show them my apps and sites.
But sometimes I'm lying in bed and I want to grab something and check my email, or check twitter or whatever, and after using the iPad mini for a time I am feeling like the iPhone 5 just doesn't quite cut it. I want an iPad mini, but don't want to own two iPads.
So would a larger phone fit perfectly in my work(play) flow? Probably. Maybe. I'll have to give it a go. I don't think I have any room in my life for ANOTHER device, but perfecting the ones I have and improving or eliminating one or two altogether would be fine by me.
The iPhone 5 certainly is a perfect pocket friendly size. And it's perfect without a case too. I did recently buy a case but not too protect it, just to stick my credit card and drivers licence in so I don't need a wallet as well.
A bigger iPhone is going to be a huge hit for Apple. Not because it's Apple and people will buy whatever they make (I don't buy iPods any more, for example), but it should fill a void in a lot of heavy tech users' lives that are fond of their iOS devices.
I'm pretty sure my wife will declare it to be "too big" when she sees it. She needs a phone that can slip into a pocket of some tight jeans without making you look like you have a growth.