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.

arment iphone plus galaxy
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.

Top Rated Comments

jmgregory1 Avatar
103 months ago
If you're "bored" with iOS and Apple in general and you're not getting the aha moment any more - switch to Android. You'll get that aha moment each time the device does what you want it to, if you can get it to do what you want it to.

Apple doesn't need to add animated icons or active weather lock screens - those kind of things are great if you're so bored you need your device to entertain you, but if you actually use your device these things seem rather pointless. Apple created such a simple OS that only takes a swipe and a click or two to get to things that can entertain you - and that's just too much work for people?

I'd hate to see how you act when it's time to open presents - and waiting for the microwave to heat up a bowl of soup must be physically painful. How can anyone be expected to wait 90 seconds for soup to heat up. But hey, while you're waiting you can stare at your Android device while it shows you it's raining outside with animated clouds and rain on the lock screen - because you don't have time to look out the window...
Score: 52 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GuitarDTO Avatar
103 months ago
You are correct, Tim. Experience is everything.....and I want to experience a larger iPhone or I'm likely to switch when I'm due for another upgrade.

EDIT: Wouldn't mind the ability to customize more as well. I have my Macbook Pro very personalized without sacrificing anything the OS has to offer. You couldn't pry that thing from my hands if you tried. Don't feel that way about my phone.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rogifan Avatar
103 months ago

Not since the "one more thing..." Has there been an Aha moment.

Apple are getting predictable. Where's the ambition gone?


The only thing predictable are the comments here these days.
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
g0odfr1end102 Avatar
103 months ago
"They want that "Aha!" moment each time that they use the product"

Get working on i OS7 then.
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bennyboy34 Avatar
103 months ago
I haven't had an 'Aha' moment while using an Apple product for a while now..
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bradgfromboo Avatar
103 months ago
Aha. This is the same Os since 2007...get real. More like blah hah... Boring...
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

cook cbs this morning

CBS This Morning: Apple to Make 'Big Announcement' Tomorrow Morning

Tuesday January 12, 2021 8:46 am PST by
CBS This Morning today shared a short clip of an upcoming interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook in which addressing last week's events at the U.S. Capitol, with Cook saying "it's key that people be held accountable for it." Following the clip, Gayle King of CBS noted that the interview with Cook was not specifically arranged to address the current controversy over Parler and other repercussions, ...
ipad pro 2021 mysmartprice cad

Allegedly Leaked 2021 iPad Pro CAD Images Suggest Few Design Changes

Tuesday January 12, 2021 3:38 am PST by
Tech blogs 91mobile and MySmartPrice on Tuesday posted a series of allegedly leaked factory CAD images of Apple's upcoming fifth-generation 11-inch iPad Pro. Rumors suggest Apple plans to announce two new iPad Pro models in both 11-inch and 12.9-inch versions, and today's images offer perhaps the clearest indication yet that Apple's next-generation iPad Pros will have minimal, if any,...
prototype iphone 12 pro

Prototype iPhone 12 Pro Shown Off in Photos

Wednesday January 13, 2021 3:39 pm PST by
Developer Giulio Zompetti, who often shows off prototype versions of Apple devices, today highlighted a prototype version of the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro is running an operating system called SwitchBoard, a nonUI version of the iOS 14 update that Apple uses internally. We've seen SwitchBoard on prototype devices before, as Apple uses it to test new features. Zompetti's prototype...
find my app safari post

Safari Allows Users to Enable Hidden 'Items' Tab in 'Find My' App Ahead of AirTags Launch

Wednesday January 13, 2021 5:45 am PST by
As seen in screenshots obtained by MacRumors in 2019, Apple's long-rumored AirTags items trackers are expected to be managed through the Find My app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Now, any user can get an early look at this tab. MacRumors reader David Chu today alerted us that the hidden "Items" tab in the Find My app can be enabled on an iPhone or iPad by typing in the link findmy://items in...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
mac anti reflective coating issue

Apple's Anti-Reflective Coating Repair Program Still in Effect for Some MacBooks With New Mail-In Policy

Tuesday January 12, 2021 10:07 am PST by
In an internal memo obtained by MacRumors, Apple recently informed its network of Apple Authorized Service Providers that mail-in repair is now required for Mac notebooks with anti-reflective coating issues in the United States. The new policy went into effect January 4, 2021 and means that customers who take an eligible 12-inch MacBook or MacBook Pro exhibiting this issue to an Apple...
pioneer carplay wc5700nex

The Best Apple-Related Accessories at CES 2021

Wednesday January 13, 2021 1:16 pm PST by
CES 2021 is taking place digitally this year, and it hasn't been as exciting as in past years because many vendors have opted out. That said, some companies are still showing off some interesting Apple-related accessories that are coming out this year and that will be of interest to Mac, iPad, and iPhone users. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Pioneer Wireless...
Hue module dimmer switch

Philips Hue Announces New Wall Switch Module, Dimmer Switch, and Outdoor Light Bar

Thursday January 14, 2021 3:11 am PST by
Philips Hue has announced a new wireless dimmer switch module that lets Hue bridge owners directly control the smart lighting from their standard wall switches. The new Philips Hue wall switch module is the ideal addition to any Philips Hue set up. Installed behind existing light switches, it allows users to turn their existing switch into a smart switch and ensures their smart lighting is...
whatsapp wallpapers 1

WhatsApp Affirms User Privacy Following Backlash Over Data Sharing With Facebook

Tuesday January 12, 2021 6:39 am PST by
Following backlash after changing its terms and privacy policy to consolidate a significant amount of data sharing with Facebook, WhatsApp is now assuring users about the privacy measures built into its app. Last week, WhatsApp began informing users of updates to the app's terms of service and privacy policy. The updated agreements, which users must consent to in order to continue using...
apple racial equity justice initiative propel center render 01132021

Apple Launches New Nationwide Racial Equity and Justice Initiative Projects

Wednesday January 13, 2021 4:08 am PST by
Apple today announced a set of new projects as part of its $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) to help dismantle systemic barriers to opportunity and combat injustices faced by communities of color. Rendering of the Propel Center The projects include the Propel Center, a global innovation and learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), an Apple ...