I’m willing to wager that the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus introduced today will give a boost to news organizations as well as Apple.

Samsung has already demonstrated that there’s a market for so-called “phablets.” The addition of Apple’s strong brand is certain to validate this marriage of smartphones and mini tablets.

For news organizations, smartphones with larger screens should make reading and viewing their content more appealing to owners of all ages, especially seniors. And if news organizations make the effort to enhance the value of their content for phablets, owners should be more inclined to pay for the content.

Our 2014 Mobile Media News Consumption Research found that people who had tablets and smartphones tended to use mobile media more for news than those who only had smartphones. They also were more likely to pay for mobile news content.

As a senior and one of the people who uses an iPad mini and an iPhone 5 for news nearly every day, I’m looking forward to owning an iPhone 6 Plus for the following reasons:

  • Nearly everything I do on my iPad mini with its 7.9-inch screen I should be able to do just as easily on the iPhone Plus with its 5.5-inch screen.
  • While I prefer reading long stories and watching videos on my mini tablet, it’s a Wi-Fi-only model. So I can only update content when I’m at home, at the university or at another location with a Wi-Fi hotspot. I haven’t been interested in paying extra for a cellular-enabled iPad because I’m already paying my mobile carrier around $150 a month for the use of two iPhones.
  • Like many owners, I’m now using my smartphone more for data than voice calls. So even though the larger size may make the iPhone Plus somewhat more awkward to hold when I need to use it for voice calls, I don’t believe that will be more than a minor inconvenience.
  • The ability to combine the continuous connectivity of my smartphone with a more tablet-like screen means I won’t need to carry around two mobile devices anymore. I’ll probably keep my iPad mini for use mostly at home in the evenings.

I’m also looking forward to owning the new Apple Watch when it becomes available early next year. I’m not sure how news organizations and news consumers will use the Apple Watch, but I suspect it will become a much more important and popular digital technology than we can imagine at this time.

Roger Fidler  
Program Director for Digital Publishing (Retired)


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