The thinness should support the bigger form factor expected and make room for cameras, battery, wireless chips etc.
The media is of course quick to spell doom for Apple unless it jumps on the phablet bus. Take, for example, a recent write-up by Gareth Beavis over at TechRadar:
I don’t mean to sound alarmist, but 2014 could well be the year that Apple makes its biggest mistake in recent history.Countering his notion is Ben Bajarin who reminds us Apple hasn’t become so successful by skating where the puck is. “Apple has customers not competition,” he explains:
No, I’m not talking about the iWatch – I still think that could actually be rather good – no, Apple has to, HAS TO, bring out a large screen version of the iPhone or it’s going to really struggle to stay relevant in a rapidly changing world.
Folks claim that because Apple’s competition is doing something that Apple should also or they will lose. Yet what I love about Apple’s strategy is that it is never around what the competition is doing. Apple marches to beat of their own drum.
Apple has customers not competition. The decisions they make as a company are not based around what their competition is doing but around what is best for their customers. Like it or not, this is their strategy.