Now here’s an ironic turn of events: consumers who bought iPads so that they could access their news feeds and other digital content on a larger, easier-on-the-eye screen are reverting to iPhones in droves. Is Apple about to bring about the extinction of a newer product line via an older one?
Well, not exactly. But new data from the “save-for-later” video and reading app Pocket strongly suggests that those larger screens on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are working their magic and enticing users away from the tablets back to the smartphone.
Pocket drew data from literally millions of videos, articles and other Web content that had been saved to its platform by users each day. With a sample size in excess of 2 million video and article “opens”, the research attempted to compare the behaviour of users before and after iPhone 6 (it looked at how their consumption patterns changed when they upgraded from iPhone 5 or 5s to 6 or 6 Plus). And boy, did they change.
When they still had iPhone 5s, they spent 55 per cent of their reading/viewing time on their phones and 45 per cent on their iPads. After upgrading to iPhone 6, that distribution became far less equal, with viewing time on the phone soaring to 72 per cent while the iPad’s shrivelled to 28 per cent. And it was even more marked for the larger-screened iPhone 6 Plus: the equivalent figures are a mighty 80 per cent and feeble 20 per cent respectively.
iPhone 6 Plus users opened a thundering 65 per cent more saved items on that phone than they had when they owned an iPhone 5 or 5s (iPhone 6 users opened 33 per cent more). This more than hints at the prospect that with the advent of iPhone 6-sized screens, users actively prefer consuming digital content on their smartphones than on their tablets (and they’re consuming a lot more content, too).
Those of us who got excited by the “new toy” effect of the iPad tablet screen may now be weighing it up, literally, in a less deliriously febrile state of mind. The screen size is nice, especially for watching video. But it’s just a tad cumbersome compared to a smartphone, even one with a substantially bigger screen.