If I were Apple.

Apple recently released all their iPads and iPhones for this year, and as a tech enthusiast, I was pretty disappointed. Somehow, I feel like Apple really missed out on an opportunity to shake the industry, something they have done so very well in the past. More than anyone else, Cupertino has the ability to shift the market, and create momentum. One might argue that they've done just that, with the 64 bit architecture for iOS7 and the new A7 chip in the iPhone 5S, but is that really meaningful? Don't get me wrong, the move to 64 bit in mobile computing was coming, but for another 2-3 years, it'll be as meaningless to the end user as Quad core and Octa core processors are. Until then, it's basically a gimmick, and Apple could have done something with far more impact for the end user instead.

So if I were Apple, this is what I would have done differently. (Focusing on Mobile devices for now, not MacBooks/iMacs)

As an end consumer, a tech junkie, and a fan of progress, I have some ideas about what specific changes and/or features would have resounded much more positively. First and foremost, Apple traditionally updates their iPhone model, and keeps last years model around for an extra couple of years, offering them at a lower price point. This is a great model, because it extends the supply chain and the investment into the production line for each point, and also keeps the value of used iPhones high. When Apple themselves are selling last year's model for a considerable sum, your used model is still relevant. However this year, they changed that up. They introduced their new flagship, the 5S, but instead of bumping the iPhone 5 down one price point, they got rid of it completely, instead placing the 5C at that price point. To make matters worse, they still kept the 4S around, which still uses the old 30 pin connector! How did this make any sense to them?

Another thing they missed out on, is upgrading their flagship model to 32 gigabytes of storage, and introducing a new 128 gig version. It'd only require cutting a bit of the notoriously high profit margin, but it would represent such a huge shift in the mobile industry. Consumers would be very pleased too, being able to store more music, pictures, videos and applications on their devices offline without worrying about storage. Speaking of all that content, with the whole market moving to larger screens, it would be wise of Apple to at least acknowledge that they are hearing their consumers. With all that in mind, here's the line up I would have produced.

iPhone 5S

4.3" inch display with 1136x640 pixels resolution.

A7 processor with 2 gigs of RAM

M7 dedicated motion chip

12 megapixel f2.2 camera with the TruTone flash.

1080p at 60 frames per second, along with 120fps slow motion 720p recording

Fingerprint scanner built into home button

$199 - 32 gig ($649)

$249 - 64 gig ($699)

$299 - 128 gig ($749)

Color options: White (silver back), Champagne (white/gold), Space Grey (black/grey), Gold (black/gold)


This display, while slightly larger, would still qualify as Retina because it is above their 300dpi barrier for indiscernible pixels at normal viewing distances. It would also fit in the exact same body as the current model, save for a different front panel, thus being cost efficient. As for the camera, consumers compare numbers, and the bump to 12 megapixels, keeping the same pixel size as the iPhone 5 would have been a better marketing move, as well as allowed them to keep up with the competition. I'd also have offered the gold back option with black glass inserts; currently it's only available with white. Lastly, cutting a little bit on the margins again, I would make each tier of storage only 50 dollars more expensive than the last, as opposed to the current $100, thus encouraging more consumers to spend more.

iPhone 5

As is, continue to sell. Same body components as iPhone 5S means lowered margins and better economies. Adjust the pricing tiers for storage upgrades as well, and offer the 16 gig model.

$99 - 16 gig ($499)

$149 - 32 gig ($549)

$199 - 64 gig ($599)

iPhone 5C

Apple has made their old marketing play again: Colors. The iPhone 5C currently has the same specs as iPhone 5, in a thicker, far cheaper to build plastic casing. If Apple were to keep the iPhone 5 around, using the same specs would further increase economies of iPhone 5 components, and thus enable Apple to offer the 5C at a lower price point. I'd offer the 5C at the following pricing tiers, using an 8 gig option to bring the price to free on contract. For comparison, this is the current price of the iPhone 4S with the same 8 gig capacity. Since there is a focus on color, I'd double color options by offering white face as well; right now all colors come with a black front side.

Free - 8 gig ($349)

$49 - 16 gig ($399)

$99 - 32 gig ($449)

This way, a brand new Apple iPhone starts just at $349, making it accessible and desirable to a huge market of people without necessarily being cheap. At the same time, each tier is priced and specced in a way to encourage people to buy the upper model. Why settle for the plastic and thicker iPhone 5C when you can have the 5 with a beautiful metal body for just $50 dollars more? Why settle for last year's model when you can have the newer one for just $50 dollars more? Why settle for the base 32 gigs capacity when you can double it for just $50 dollars more?
As an aside and just for some perspective, the iPod touch is currently priced at $299 for the 32 gig capacity. With the pricing I suggested, the least expensive 32 gig iPhone would still be 1.5 times more expensive, justifying it's higher specs and capabilities (see iPod touch update as well, price for 32 gig would be $249). This would also give Apple the fantastic benefit of offering their entire line up with lightning ports, completing the transition from the old 30 pin connector. Nope, not their entire line up. There is 1 device left, and that's the iPod Classic.

This is how I would update that device:

Bump to 256 gigabyte capacity SSD based memory (from 160 gig HDD)

Switch to lightening port (from 30 pin connector)

Save costs and keep the same exact design, use added space for increased battery storage. Should easily reach 100 hours with larger battery and more efficient flash storage (from 36 hours)

Price at $299: no added cost for casing, no longer required to order specially-made 160 gig 1.8 inch hard drives, already purchasing 256 gig eMMC chips for Macbook lineup therefore lower cost of switching to flash, larger battery is the main cost (from $249)

Now for the iPod touch, it should be updated as such:

Same casing design and screen

A6 processor with 1 gigs of RAM, from iPhone 5 and 5C

Updated FaceTime camera (same as iPhone 5S)

8 megapixel f2.4 camera from iPhone 5

1080p recording at 30fps

Free iWorks and iLife suite of applications preinstalled

Stereo speakers

$149 - 8 gig (no camera)

$199 - 16 gig

$249 - 32 gig

$299 - 64 gig


All I'm doing is introducing a base 8 gig model, and readjusting the price tiers for storage upgrades to $50. The use of more iPhone 5 components also further extends the economic benefits, potentially even cancelling out the lowered margin of profits from offering higher storage capacities for less.

Now, what about iPads?

New 9.7" iPads have already leaked and share their design with the iPad mini; not a bad thing as they'll be a tad thinner, lighter, narrower and easier to hold. Screen resolution isn't expected to change, and it doesn't need to. Here is my run down

Lighter, and easier to handle new casing design

Same screen as last generation

A7X processor with 2 gigs of RAM, 64 bit computing, M7 dedicated motion chip

Updated FaceTime camera (see iPhone 5S)

8 megapixel f2.4 camera from iPhone 5

1080p recording at 60fps, 720p slow motion at 120fps

Free iWorks and iLife suite of applications preinstalled

Stereo speakers (see iPad mini)

12 hour battery life (up from 10)

$499 - 32 gig (LTE $579)

$599 - 64 gig (LTE $679)

$699 - 128 gig (LTE $779)

Compared to pricing now, LTE option is 50 dollars less ($79 instead of $129), and the base model is 32 gigs instead of 16. Pricing tiers are also adjusted to $50 dollars per doubling of storage.

iPad mini with Retina

Same casing design

Retina display with 2048x1536 resolution at 326 dpi (same panel sheet as iPhones)

A7 processor with 1 gigs of RAM

Updated FaceTime camera (see iPhone 5S)

8 megapixel f2.4 camera from iPhone 5

1080p recording at 30fps

Free iWorks and iLife suite of applications preinstalled

Stereo speakers

10 hour battery life

More color options ala iPhone 5C / iPod touch

$249 - 16 gig (LTE $329)

$349- 32 gig (LTE $429)

$449 - 64 gig (LTE $529)

Compared to pricing now, LTE option is $50 less, and the base model starts at $249 instead of $399.

Pricing difference between mini and full size are $150 now (instead of 100 dollars currently) for comparable capacity models. I wouldn't have kept the original mini, nor the iPad 2 around.

All in all, Apple would reach down market, attracting a huge portion of budget minded buyers who still desire quality products, and the brand cachet that Apple products have; while simultaneously embarrassing the rest of the industry with their storage options, pricing and user experience. All that is required of them is to take the smallest hit in their profit margins for NAND storage. They would potentially sell millions more, and gain back a huge segment of the market, but sadly, it seems that they are far too greedy to want to do so. All that matters is that with the iPhone 5C now, they are making much more profit than they used to be from the 5, using the same components in a much less expensive plastic casing; and thus they completely discarded it. It's like they don't see the bigger picture..



If only I were Apple..