When it comes to the iPhone 6, there is plenty of debate about materials. Of course while there’s no doubt that Apple prides itself in sophistication, and reverting to plastic does seem like a huge step backwards for the company. Nonetheless, Phones Review makes the case that plastic is a better option for the iPhone 6 than metal, mostly because it enables Apple to focus on real innovations rather than spending more money on a metal case.
So cases over materials could be made for both sides, but there’s another part of the equation that must be factored in here: investors. If shrinks its gross margins too much (and several experts say it won’t, even with a low cost iPhone), then investors will likely start dumping the stock. And if Apple doesn’t find a way to pull off a better iPhone with more innovation but continuing the finesse it has been known for, then investors will still likely start selling off shares.
So what’s a company to do?
It’s impossible to please all the people all the time, and at the end of the day, I believe investors care slightly more about gross margins, although they will quickly change their tune if doesn’t meet sales expectations for the iPhone 6. After all, if consumers aren’t happy with the end product, then they won’t buy it, especially at such a high premium.
The Touch, The Feel Of The iPhone 6
There’s just something to be said about the look and feel of metal and plastic. If Apple is going to convince consumers that there’s still a reason to pay such a high premium on its products, then it will likely have to opt for metal and glass.
While it’s true that most people will put a case on their iPhone 6 to protect it, most are still concerned about what it looks and feels like without the case. After all, you can still feel the weight of the device in your hand, and you’ll know instantly if it’s made of cheap plastic. Also a glass screen is an obvious give-away because you can feel it with your fingers.
Why Cheap Materials For The iPhone 6 Are A Mistake
I think if Apple decides to opt for cheap materials in the iPhone 6, that will be a big mistake. And yet, the company still has to find a way to offer more innovations in the iPhone 6. There have been rumours that the iPhone 6 will have an edge-to-edge screen, and I think this would certainly make a very nice addition to the device.
Remember that even though Apple isn’t selling the most devices, it’s still taking the majority of global smartphone profits, which means consumers are happily paying high premiums for their iPhones. These premiums are a big part of what makes it possible for the company to deliver such high gross margins, so Apple can’t afford to alienate its user base by opting for cheap materials.
The challenge is going to be finding innovations that are doable using premium materials and achieving the gross margins investors are looking for. Consumers want to feel like there’s a reason they pay so much more for an iPhone 6 than they do other phones, and part of that feeling is going to come from premium materials that don’t feel cheap.