The iPhone 6 can comfortably fit in your jeans pocket, but it's a different story for the iPhone 6 Plus especially if you have a penchant for fashion jeans that contour to the body. Will the iPhone 6 Plus cause fashion designers to rethink their jeans and other tight clothes going forward?
That's the question Mashable recently tried to get answered when they polled a number of different clothing makers. Everyone from American Eagle to Levi's chimed in.
If you wear relaxed fit men's jeans and some other styles, the good news is that you're probably already in luck. Companies like American Eagle say the pockets of their men's jeans are already large enough to accommodate an iPhone 6 Plus. Rene's shown off his ability to pocket the iPhone 6 Plus, and I've confirmed that my jeans can hold the iPhone 6 Plus just fine too. Your mileage may vary, if your tastes run to the hipster skinny jeans variety.
Others polled by Mashable say that they're evaluating the need for or already working with designers to accommodate larger phones like the iPhone 6 Plus. So relief may be on the way for those of you stuck with jeans whose pockets just aren't big enough for the iPhone 6 Plus.
Obviously the iPhone 6 Plus isn't the only larger-format iPhone on the market. So called "phablet" phones have been on the market for a few years now. So why haven't clothes makers taken stock of the larger phones before now and made more jeans to fit them?
A lot of it is because the iPhone 6 Plus has captured the public's interest like few phones before it. The iPhone 6 Plus is Apple's first big iPhone, and it's a phone that a lot of consumers want: One that's being heavily marketed and promoted to them right now.
Another reason is that consumers are grabbing on to the idea that larger-format phones can be great primary computing devices. Many iPhone 6 Plus users are already noticing, for example, that they're less likely to pick up their iPad now than they used to be. I've long heard the same from Galaxy Note-using friends who also have tablet devices. As word spreads that you can do more with your larger phone, I expect that trend will continue.
Of course, a lot of digital ink has been spilled over the past week talking about "Bendgate" or "Bendghazi," the allegation that the iPhone 6 Plus bends too easily if force is applied to a specific part of the case. In some instances, it's been alleged that this bending was the result of the iPhone 6 Plus being put in a back pocket then sat on.
Apple has tried to put the complaints into perspective: They cited a total of nine bending complaints, after selling more than 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices during the first weekend. Apple also said it will replace phones that have been bent through normal use (and yeah, putting it in your back pocket without a case is normal use, if a bit daft, in my opinion).
Right now we're still pretty close to the iPhone 6's debut. Apple's still rolling the phone out in different parts of the world and has been having trouble keeping up with demand for the new device — in some cases people are having to wait weeks before they get theirs.
Over time it'll be interesting to see if interest in the iPhone 6 Plus is sustained or if it drops off. Improved availability of iPhone 6 Plus over time may cause a corresponding drop in the perception of scarcity, which in turn may reduce public demand for the device. After all, why covet something you can get easily? Is it possible that the iPhone 6 Plus is in high demand right now just because Apple didn't make enough to fit initial demand? Or is it instead because there's a backlog of iPhone users who have long wanted a phablet-sized device, a backlog that will soon dissipate once that group gets theirs?
Assuming the iPhone 6 Plus remains popular, it's entirely reasonable to expect that at least a few designers here and there are going to make clothing designed to fit the big iPhone better. Few consumer electronics hold public interest like Apple's devices, and many big names in fashion have created accessories for iPhones in the past and continue to do so now.
One thing's for sure: Overall, cell phones are getting bigger. And there are a few reasons why. Screen technology in mobile devices has improved, along with the graphics and battery capacity to keep the screen (and the device) working. Now that handset makers can make larger phones without huge drawbacks, they are doing it. Certainly sub-5-inch phones are still the norm, but more and more we're seeing larger devices make their way out into the marketplace.
There have already been a few very successful large-format phones: Samsung's Galaxy Note II set the stage for a lot of other large-format phones to follow. While Windows Phone devices haven't had a huge impact on the market, Nokia's Lumia 1520 certainly generated a lot of buzz for itself with its big screen (and 41 megapixel camera).
Over the last few years, we've seen a steady rise in the average size of phones, from 3.5 inches to 4 and now close to 5. Will that trend continue to climb upward? We'll see. One way or the other, Apple's in it for the long haul. And as far as the future of jeans are concerned, I'm reminded of this quote from George Bernard Shaw:
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
If the worst thing to happen in the wake of the iPhone 6 Plus release and "Bendgate" is that some jeans pockets get a bit bigger, I suspect a lot of long-suffering skinny jeans wearers will be happier for it.