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iPhone 6 or 6 Plus: Six months on, the choice is still not clear and two journalists have second thoughts

Posted on by Mike Evans

The large-footprint iPhone 6 Plus has been a bigger success than most commentators (and, I suspect, even Apple) expected. At launch time, along with most Apple watchers, I dithered and had difficulty making up my mind whether to go for the iPhone 6 (itself bigger than the 5S) or the much bigger 6 Plus.

From left to right: iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C. The largest 6 Plus has been a big hit and has beaten both Apple's and analyists' expectations

From left to right: iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C. The largest 6 Plus has been a big hit and has beaten both Apple's and analyists' expectations

In the end I sold my iPad mini and bought the bigger phone. Since then it has been my principal on-the-move communications device and I find it good for most things, from reading to browsing the web and working on documents. I think I would have made a mistake had I taken the easy route and bought the smaller iPhone 6.

Some second rethinking is now taking place among those who opted for the smaller phone as the safe choice. Did they make a mistake? It’s a valid question.

Rethink

Two respected journalists who have had six months with the smaller phone have this week re-examined their choice and their motivation. Stephen Hackett of 515Pixels has actually decided to change to the 6 Plus in mid-product cycle. This is something not many of us do; if we get it wrong we tend to leave it until upgrade time before making a change. On the other hand, Jason Snell of Sixcolours borrowed a 6 Plus for an extended test during a visit to Europe. While he liked the bigger device, he has now gone back to his original iPhone 6.

From my perspective, the 6 Plus did feel like quite a big device when I first received it. Fortunately I make very few calls these days so the size didn’t bother me overmuch. Now, with every week that passes, the phone seems to get smaller and smaller. It’s only when I get out my old iPhone 5S that I realise just how big it is (or how small is the 5S).

Enter The Watch

Another factor comes into play tomorrow. The Apple Watch will drastically reduce the number of times an iPhone has to be slid out of a pocket or stashed away again, thus emphasising that the iPhone it is no longer primarily a phone but has become a general computing and communications device. In a sense we are back to the old Personal Digital Assistant.

At some stage (in the not-too-distant future, I suspect) the Apple Watch will acquire call-making capabilities without the need for a tethered iPhone. When that happens, the concept of a hand-held phone will begin to tarnish. A phone on the wrist and a small (or large) iPad in the pocket is probably the future.

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