'Confidential' Apple Document Shows IPhone's Tiny Screen Was A Liability With Consumers As Far Back As 2012

For months, speculation has been raging that the upcoming iPhone 6 will have a screen size big enough to compare to Samsung’s Galaxy S5 or Note line of phones.

Yesterday, we showed you leaked Apple documents that showed the economic case for a large-screen iPhone 6: All the sales growth is in large-screen phones and phones priced under $US300 with a carrier contract. The remaining areas of the market — phones that cost more than $US300 and a 4 inch screen — are actually shrinking.

But that’s just the economic rationale. What about the consumer sentiment?

A new set of Apple documents revealed by its patent litigation against Samsung in a California federal court shows that Apple knew its own consumers were dissatisfied with the size of the iPhone 5, 5C, and 5S screens, which are all the same size.

When those models were introduced, they were a step up in size from the original iPhones. But the market has moved on. Today, modern iPhones are small phones compared to the Samsung devices they’re competing with.

The documents were stamped “Apple Confidential.” They list iPhone 5 buyers’ complaints about the phone:

Apple’s infamous maps fiasco is in the process of being fixed.

But it’s the No.3 priority — “Bigger screen” that is the killer. Pair it with the economic data showing buyers moving toward bigger screens. In marketing terms, the iPhone’s screen size was a liability for Apple even at the launch of iPhone 5, back in 2012.

It gets worse:

Apple knew its “innovation” was not impregnable. And the company only had a two-year window before every Android phone user it wanted to convert would be faced with a smaller screen if they went to Apple.

This one document, if anything, is proof that Apple absolutely cannot debut an iPhone 6 with a screen the same size as the iPhone 5 this fall. Because the two-year window the document refers to is now up.

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