I don’t even know why Apple bothered with the iPhone 6, because it will go the way of the iPhone 5C: a niche product; a consolation prize; the budget choice for Apple loyalists; something you get begrudgingly and regret later. One estimate is that the iPhone 5S sold 3x better than the 5c.
I expect a similar share between the iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus. Ok, so it’s not dead on arrival, but it will be the ugly step-sister to Cinderella. Except for personal preference over size and price, the iPhone 6 Plus is categorically the superior phone.
Guess what a 720p Android phone would be called in today’s market?
Mid-tier, like the Moto G, priced $180 off-contract. Last year’s Moto X was widely heralded but its 720p display was a major handicap when flagship competitors had 1080p.
Do people care if the benefits are incremental? The market has spoken and flagship phones should be 1080p. Motorola learned their lesson and a year later the new Moto X does carry a full HD display.
Apple was largely immune to this spec race because if you wanted an iPhone, there was only one choice for display resolution. So consumers never thought about it. They chose 5S or 5C, color and then storage size.
Now that decision is brought top-of-mind. Do you want a mid-tier resolution, or flagship-level resolution? Is there any doubt that, compared side-by-side, the iPhone 6 Plus display will outclass its lower resolution sibling?
One of the best reasons to get an iPhone is the camera, which is consistently the best all-rounded smartphone camera on the market.
The iPhone 6 Plus will have an absolutely better camera than the iPhone 6 with optical image stabilization. In case you don’t know what that is, it’s a hardware feature that minimizes camera shakes so photos are less likely to blur and videos are less jerky.
Superior Battery Life
The new iPhones sport a thinner chassis. Thin enough to have the camera lens now protrude from the body. Steve Jobs might have just rolled in his grave. Apple should have made the phone slightly thicker to get better battery life and a flush surface.
For those wanting to chime in that a thinner and lighter body makes the phone more manageable in one hand… as the owner of a 5.5-inch, heavy-ish phablet that enjoys all-day battery life, I’d trade millimeters of thickness for dramatically better battery life, always. Once you get used to it, 5.5-inches isn’t all that big. (Cue “she said” jokes.)
Apple claims the iPhone 6 will have similar, maybe a bit battery life as the iPhone 5S, which means it won’t be great. The iPhone 6 Plus will have better battery life than the 6, which could mean in total it could be good enough.
Apple threw up a lot of numbers above and for good reason, and that's because the metric that actually matters is LTE browsing as that's how you'll be using your phone most of the time.
For that, pitifully, the iPhone 6 is the same as the iPhone 5s. At least the iPhone 6 Plus is 20% better than either.
Only the iPhone 6 Plus will have an interface that takes advantage of a bigger screen. The interface for messages on the iPhone 6, for example, continues to be a boring list, whereas it will feature attractive avatars on the 6 Plus.
In landscape mode, the iPhone 6 will look just like the iPhone 5S, just expanded/bigger; whereas on the 6 Plus, landscape mode reveals a two-column layout that is more functional. Again, the iPhone 6 Plus gets special treatment.
With the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, you might still need the iPad mini. With the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, you may realize as Nilay did that there’s no need for an iPad mini.
That large size is pretty key; this is the phone that's going to force Apple to turn the iPad into a true laptop competitor. I have an iPad mini that will never come out again once I get this phone; I have an iPad Air that will need a better reason to come out than simply the size of its screen.
If you buy the iPhone 6 Plus, you could actually save money by not buying or upgrading your mini tablet. I’ve been preaching this for some time now, but with phablets on the rise, mini tablets are destined to become a niche product.
Superior Showing Off
Let’s face it. A big part of the attraction for getting iPhone is brand. For those who don’t care as much about what a phone's brand says about a person, they are already on Android, where large, 1080p screens have been a staple for years.
If you’re going to spend the money, are you really going to settle for the second best iPhone? Instead of paying flagship money for a 750p phone with below average battery life, wouldn’t you prefer a 1080p phone with better battery life? Whether that's the latest Android phone or the iPhone Plus 6?
I think most people who choose Apple do so because they want the best, and the best within the iPhone family is clearly the 6 Plus. You can’t really show off with a second tier iPhone.
The only reason to purchase the iPhone 6 over its superior sibling is price and the perception that 5.5-inches is too large. It’s just a perception, though. Once you use a "phablet" for some time, you’ll find it’s not. Now that I look back on my old iPhone 5S, I find it comically small.
If you’re deciding between the two iPhones, if you can afford it, I urge you to pick the superior version.