One of the great things about last year’s iPad release was the device parity Apple brought to both devices. They both had retina screens. They both and the same camera. They both had the same processor. They both had the same memory. All of this resulted in much easier consumer decisions when choosing between them. Do you want the big screen or the little one? - MacSparky
I truly hope Apple does what it did with the iPad release and give us two new iPhone 6 models, with only size as a difference.
But basically they have three approaches:
- Size doesn't matter.
- Bigger is better.
- Plastic is cheap.
The first option is exactly what they do with the current iPads. You pay more for a bigger screen, but that's the only difference between the two devices.
Bigger is better on the other hand is what they do with the Mac:
If you want a Quad-Core MacBook Pro, or a better graphics card, you're forced to get a 15" model.
Need more than 16GB RAM in your iMac? Tough luck, you can only get that in the 27" iMac.
And then there's a third option: buy the base model and you get a device build with cheaper materials. If you want a device in metal, you've got to pay up, and you get better specs too. They did it with the iBook and Powerbook, they did it with the iPhone 5c and 5s. But when looking at the leaked devices, this option isn't one they're persuing this year.
I hope they're going to take the same approach as they currently do with the iPad. But given their history for complicated line-ups, I think we're going to see option two.
Sidenote: Complicated line-ups:
Go back a few years: They had the following 13" laptops: white MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro. Then a few years later they had three 13" models at the exact same pricepoint:
a MacBook Pro, a MacBook Air and a MacBook Pro with retina display.
I work at an Apple premium reseller. Just imagine trying the explain the difference between three 1200€ MacBooks to a customer. One is a base model, one is ultra thin and the third one has a better screen.