The iPhone is getting out of control

Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max and iPhone 14 Pro screens are shown.
Apple iPhone 14 Pro (left) and iPhone 15 Pro Max Andy Boxall/

When Apple launched the original iPhone in 2007, it was as simple as it could be – the Iphone, There was only one model, and when you said you wanted an iPhone, the sales rep would know what you meant… because that’s all there was.

Apple kept it simple for a few years until the iPhone 5s and 5c. That’s when it first began offering two iPhone variants: one labeled as more “affordable” (and uncharacteristically plastic) while the other was described as “core.” Then, starting with the iPhone 6, we had the smaller, “regular” sized iPhone 6 and the larger iPhone 6 Plus.

This continued until the iPhone 11 lineup, which introduced a regular iPhone, a smaller “Pro” model, and a larger Pro Max. The iPhone 12 series added a fourth “mini” option, which continued until the iPhone 13 mini, but then Apple removed the mini size to bring back the “Plus” version with the iPhone 14 and now the iPhone 15.

What started as a simple product lineup has evolved into something that seems unnecessarily complex, especially when compared to competitors – and I think it’s time for a change.

The current iPhone lineup is pretty much everything

Apple iPhone 15 Plus and iPhone 14 Plus camera module.
Apple iPhone 15 Plus (left) and iPhone 14 Plus Andy Boxall/

Since the iPhone 12, Apple has released four iPhone models each fall. Right now, with the current iPhone 15 lineup, we have the standard iPhone 15, the larger iPhone 15 Plus, the smaller iPhone 15 Pro, and the larger iPhone 15 Pro Max. Apple got rid of the Mini size after two years because it was considered a flop, indicating that more people were interested in the larger non-Pro iPhone.

That may be true, but I can’t help but feel that the iPhone Plus is in a bit of a weird place – and it’s easily the first one I’d get rid of. Price-wise it sits between the regular iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, and for just $100 more, you can jump to the iPhone 15 Pro line with more features.

Of course, the iPhone 15 Plus has a better battery than the standard iPhone 15, as well as a larger 6.7-inch display compared to the 6.1-inch display, but they’re otherwise identical. If you’re already going to pay at least $900 for a larger phone, you’d be better off paying a little more with the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which has a better display, new action button, more powerful A17 Pro chip. , and a triple-lens camera system with a new 5x telephoto.

Apple can take a lesson from Google

Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro in pink and white.
Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro Andrew Martonik /

Google, like Apple, is on an annual release schedule and released the Pixel 8 lineup last month. However, unlike Apple, which has four options, Google keeps it simple with just two: the standard Google Pixel 8 and the more powerful Google Pixel 8 Pro.

I wish Apple would simplify the iPhone lineup in a similar way. Keep a smaller “regular” iPhone, and a larger Pro model.

Although I’m not a big fan of having a big smartphone, I think there are a lot of options at the moment. Also, it’s annoying that Apple didn’t give the smaller iPhone 15 Pro the same 5x telephoto lens as the iPhone 15 Pro Max. If Apple had just introduced a smaller standard iPhone and a larger Pro Max, it would have simplified the choices.

This is especially true when Apple is already pushing back on people who choose the smaller Pro model — just get rid of that, and then everyone who wants a Pro model is on an equal footing. Also, at the moment, the standard iPhone 15 has a 48MP main camera and a 12MP ultrawide camera, which still takes excellent photos if you don’t need the telephoto sensor.

less is more

A pink Google Pixel 8 (left) is held alongside a green iPhone 15.
Christine Romero-Chan/

Apple is one of the only major smartphone brands to release four phones simultaneously every year. Samsung is also ahead with its Galaxy S smartphones, but by offering three different sizes it makes a little more sense. With Apple, you get two sizes spread across four different models – highly redundant.

I think Apple should really consider consolidating the iPhone lineup, as well as iPads, while we’re at it. There are a lot of options out there right now, and some of them don’t really make sense considering the price and features.

Less is often more, and I hope this is a lesson Apple can learn soon.

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