Multiple iPhone and iPad Form Factors
For desktops, Apple has 3 form factors (iMac, Mac Mini, Mac Pro). For Notebooks, it has 5 or 6 (Air 11, Air 13, Retina MacBook Pro, MacBook Pro 13, Macbook Pro 15, etc). The iPod is currently available in 3 sizes. For the iPad and the iPhone, Apple currently has one form factor each.
If rumors are true and a taller iPhone and/or an iPad mini are coming in the Fall, that’s pretty big news. Apple will learn a lot about what customers want based on which device they buy, because the existing iPhone and iPad form factors will almost certainly remain in production (the 3GS is 3 years old and still selling strong and you can still buy the iPad 2).
Will we start to see people choosing an older model just because it has a smaller or larger form factor? I expect so.
It’s not exactly uncharted territory for Apple, but it will be interesting to see how they apply their learnings from other multi-form-factor product lines to the iPhone and the iPad. Will this be a transitionary period or will the iPhone and iPad continue to ship in multiple form factors?