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Internal email shows Apple was worried about maintaining iPhone growth in face of cheaper and larger screened alternatives

iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C

Phil Schiller wrapped up his testimony today, but not before Samsung attorneys showed the jury an internal Apple email which shows that the company was keenly aware that maintaining iPhone growth going forward was fraught with challenges.

According to Ina Fried over at Re/Code, the email in question was penned in 2014 by a member of Apple's sales team and reads in part: "Competitors have drastically improved their hardware and in some cases their ecosystems."

Fair points, to be sure.

What's more, the email expresses that much of the growth in the smartphone market was coming from sub $300 devices or larger screened devices, two market areas where Apple doesn't currently compete.

Other concerns noted in the document was that Android rivals were "spending 'obscene' amounts of money on advertising and/or carrier channel to gain traction." and that mobile carriers had a interest in limiting iPhone sales because of, among other things, the high subsidies they had to pay on the device.

Schiller noted that he didn't agree with much of the document, which he said didn't represent Apple policy.

Schiller was under oath so perhaps he truly didn't agree with much of the document, but it's hard to dispute that Samsung and other Android competitors have made significant marketshare gains by playing on price and screen size, not to mention inflated advertising budgets. At the same time, it's not as if iPhone 5s sales have been anything but tremendous.

Over the past few years, Apple, in an effort to prevent a price umbrella, has made generations old iPhone devices available for free with contract. That's a sound strategy, but it stands to reason that the company should have been equally as cognizant of the fact that Android devices were selling well because a lot of folks do, in fact, prefer larger screens. To that end, the rumor mill has been pointing to an iPhone 6 with a 4.7 or 5.5 inch display.

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