For as much hand-wringing as there's been over iOS 7, we won't know the new system's potential until Apple pairs it with a handset and a tablet. Apple is a hardware company, after all, says Tim Beyers of Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova in the following video.

Consider, too, that the new iOS borrows heavily from features found in Google's Android operating system. Playing catch-up is no way to juice sales, which leaves the base iPhone and iPad hardware as Apple's principal opportunities to leap ahead.

But even that may prove difficult considering how Samsung and the major Android device suppliers differentiate today. Samsung, in particular, is profiting from the "phablet" craze in which phones sport screens big enough to also act as mini-tablets.

Apple needn't play copycat here. But chief designer Jony Ive might also do well to rethink the smartphone platform. Consumers certainly have. If the "phablet" renaissance proves anything, it's that buyers don't want a phone so much as an at-the-ready computer that handles as well as a desktop. The message? Apple needs more than an iPhone refresh; it needs a full hardware redesign.

Do you agree? Watch the video below to get Tim's full take, and then leave a comment to let us know whether you'd consider buying an Apple phablet.

What's the next big iThing?
Apple has a history of cranking out revolutionary products... and then creatively destroying them with something better. Read about the future of Apple in the free report, "Apple Will Destroy Its Greatest Product." Can Apple really disrupt its own iPhones and iPads? Find out by clicking here.

The article The New iOS Is Cool, but It's Not Enough originally appeared on

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the  Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Apple and Google at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Google. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Google. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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I agree that a somewhat wider phone would fit my needs. I have sausage fingers and have figured out how to use my 4S nicely - but I sometimes hit the wrong key, since I'm using the edge of my finger, so something a bit wider would work for me. Another consideration is the fact that I ofter put my phone upside down, on speaker, in my shirt pocket. Then I can talk and have the use of both hands. I also use an OtterBox, so I already have extra width and thickness to deal with.
I'd never have a phone without an OtterBox Defender - not only for the grip factor, but my brother and I have both driven over our protected phones twice without any damage. I could probably go for something that's a half inch wider, with the OtterBox, it would still fit most of my work shirts.
I don't know if that's really a phablet, but it would work for me on many levels

June 18 2013 at 10:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply