Tim Cook: For iPhones, The Experience Is Key, Not Just a Larger Screen
At this morning's Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about a number of topics including vaguely addressing rumors of a possible future iPhone with a larger screen.
Left to right: iPhone 5, Galaxy S III, "iPhone Plus", Galaxy Note II, courtesy Marco Arment
Cook focused his comments on the user experience, saying that was more important than specifications. Answering a question about larger screen sizes, Cook had this to say (transcript from Macworld):
I don't want to say what we will do or won't do [regarding a larger screen for the iPhone], and so don't interpret anything I say along those lines. Let me go back and compare it to the PC industry for a minute. The PC industry over the years, the way that companies competed were two things: specs and price. And so people would want to say, "I've got the largest drive," or, "I've got the fastest processor," or in the camera business people began to say, "I've got the most megapixels."
The truth is, customers want a great experience, and they want quality. They want that "Aha!" moment each time that they use the product. And that's rarely a function of any of those things. These are things that technology companies invent because they can't have a great experience, and so they talk about the spec of something.
Cook went on to talk about smartphone displays, saying that "some people are focused on size." He explained that some things are more important than simply size, citing the poor color saturation and brightness on OLED displays.
And so I only bring these points up to say there are many attributes of a display, and what Apple does is sweat every detail. We care about all of them, and we want the best display. And I think we've got it. I feel great about it.
I'm not going to comment about what we're going to do in the future, because that releases our magic, and I'm not going to do that. But, you know, the customer experience is always broader than that which can be defined by a simple number.
Going back to language that he has used before, Cook said that Apple will "never … make a crappy product." He said that for new products, Apple must design "something great, something bold, something ambitious."
One thing he didn't mention was Apple's frequent assertion that the iPhone's screen is the perfect size for "your thumb" -- the ability to hold and use the phone in one hand -- a fact that was mentioned in one of the first television ads for the iPhone 5.