iPhone 6 Plus Pre-Orders Are In For A Big Surprise

The final countdown is on. Apple has a record number of pre-orders under its belt for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and as Friday – and thus the first deliveries – fast approaches, many are anticipating a new iOS 8 smartphone in their lives tomorrow. Question is, with the huge changes involved in this generation, does everybody understand quite what they're getting?

Make no mistake, both of the new iPhones are mighty impressive handsets. As we found in our own review of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, each is fast, has a tremendous display and some great improvements in iOS 8, and come with highly capable cameras.

They're also very, very different to what iPhone users have been familiar with before, and ever since Apple's launch event a little over a week ago, I've found myself wondering whether those who pre-order are quite ready for that change.

It's easy to see why the knee-jerk reaction when ordering might be to go for the bigger model.

After generation on top of generation of relatively small screens, the lure of a genuinely big display is a powerful one. The fact that only the iPhone 6 Plus gets optical image stabilization for its camera is another consideration. Its bigger battery rounds out what you could argue is a better deal, even with a $100 premium over the iPhone 6.

In contrast, you could suggest, the iPhone 6 is a halfway house in screen size. Something to somewhat pacify those of the iPhone old-school, reluctant to shift too far away from the 4-inches of the iPhone 5s.

Rationally making a decision when you're pre-ordering devices effectively sight-unseen beyond photos and videos, in the heat of the brief window you need to be within if you want your new toy on day one, certainly holds the potential for some buyer's remorse later on.

When you're in front of all three most recent iPhones – 5s, 6, and 6 Plus – there's a natural progression of sorts to their escalating scale. The iPhone 5s is familiar, of course, but quickly looks small. Meanwhile, at the opposite end, the iPhone 6 Plus' sheer size is tempered somewhat by the iPhone 6 in-between.

Even so, I was still surprised by just how big the iPhone 6 Plus feels in the hand. The iPhone 6 is unmistakably an iPhone when you hold it; its bigger brother has that outsized "phablet" feel that dilutes the familiarity somewhat. When I ran into Vincent partway through his review process, and held the Plus again for the first time since the event – without the metaphorical hand-holding of the 5s to 6 to 6 Plus I'd had on September 9th – it somehow felt even bigger again.

People will love their new iPhones, of that I have no doubt. What I'm curious to see is whether those who opted first for the iPhone 6 Plus subsequently decide that a 4.7-inch display is actually more to their tastes. I doubt Apple will ever release exchange numbers, but I suspect there'll be a fair few who go from "biggest is best" to "perhaps a little too big" when they open the box.

Still, that's the good thing about having two sizes to choose between. Let's just hope Apple has sufficient stock to satisfy the switchers.