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
110 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
110 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
110 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
110 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
110 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
110 months ago
Aha. This is the same Os since 2007...get real. More like blah hah... Boring...
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Pro Display XDR Yella

Apple Working on External Display With Built-In A13 Chip

Friday July 23, 2021 9:37 am PDT by
Apple is developing an external display that includes an A13 chip with Neural Engine, according to a new rumor from 9to5Mac. The A13 chip with Neural Engine would presumably serve as an eGPU, though details are light at this time. Having a CPU/GPU built into the external display could help Macs deliver high-resolution graphics without using all the resources of the computer's internal chip....
airpods 3 gizmochina Feature

AirPods 3 Rumored to Launch Alongside iPhone 13 at Expected September Event

Friday July 23, 2021 12:54 am PDT by
The third-generation AirPods will likely launch at the same event revealing Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup, according to a report from DigiTimes, which makes the claim citing sources familiar with the matter. The report as a whole echoes previous reporting that production of the third-generation AirPods will kickstart in August, meaning a launch shortly after can be easily expected. DigiTi...
discount m1 macbook yellow

Deals: Shop Record Low Prices Across Apple's Full MacBook Pro and MacBook Air Lineup (Up to $499 Off)

Friday July 23, 2021 8:23 am PDT by
Apple's MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lineup is seeing all-time low discounts across the board today, including the 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro, 2020 13-inch MacBook Air, and 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. 13-Inch M1...
iPad mini pro feature

Next iPad Mini Won't Feature Mini-LED Display, Claims Display Analyst

Friday July 23, 2021 8:07 am PDT by
Yesterday, DigiTimes claimed that the upcoming iPad mini will feature a mini-LED display, but now, display analyst Ross Young is going at odds with that report, claiming that while the updated iPad mini continues to be on track for a release this year, it won't feature a mini-LED display. Young says he "confirmed" with Radiant Opto-Electronics, who DigiTimes claims would provide Apple with...
idos 2 app ios

Apple to Pull 'iDOS 2' DOS Emulator From App Store

Thursday July 22, 2021 3:22 pm PDT by
iDOS 2, an app designed to allow users to play classic DOS games, will soon be pulled from the App Store, the app's creator said today. According to iDOS developer Chaoji Li, he tried to submit an iDOS update with bug fixes to the App Store, but was told that the update was rejected because it violated the 2.5.2 App Store guideline that says apps cannot install or launch executable code.Durin...
m1 macbook air

Kuo: Mini-LED MacBook Air Coming in Mid-2022

Thursday July 22, 2021 7:48 pm PDT by
Apple will release a new version of the MacBook Air around the middle of 2022, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in note to investors seen by MacRumors. The upcoming MacBook Air will feature a 13.3-inch mini-LED display, which would make it the second Mac to gain mini-LED technology after the 2021 MacBook Pro, which is rumored to include a mini-LED display and is expected to launch later ...
iphone12cameras

iPhone Helps to Identify Rare Form of Cancer

Friday July 23, 2021 4:00 am PDT by
A photo taken on an iPhone has helped to identify a rare form of cancer, according to news reports. A mother of three from Gainesville, Florida took a photo of her three-month-old son using her iPhone and its True Tone flash, which highlighted an abnormality in his right eye. The boy's mother, a labor and delivery nurse, recalled learning about retinoblastoma during her training....
iphone 13 blue with text

iPhone 13 May Support 25W Fast Charge Power Adapter

Friday July 23, 2021 2:52 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 may support faster-charging speeds with a 25W power adapter, compared to the current limitation of the iPhone 12, which only supports fast charging at up to 20W, according to a rumor originating from China. The iPhone 12 supports fast charging with a 20W or higher power adapter; however, even if users use a more powerful wall adapter, the iPhone itself only supports up to 20W....
iPad mini pro feature

Next-Generation iPad Mini Will Reportedly Feature a Mini-LED Display

Thursday July 22, 2021 9:03 am PDT by
Apple is widely rumored to be planning a new iPad mini with a significant redesign, including a larger 8.5-inch to 9-inch display with slimmer bezels, a Touch ID power button instead of a home button, a USB-C port instead of a Lightning connector, and more. According to a paywalled preview of a DigiTimes report today, the sixth-generation iPad mini will also feature a mini-LED display:BLU...
magsafe battery pack iphone 12 mini

Top Stories: Hands-On With MagSafe Battery Pack, iPhone 13 Always-On Display?

Saturday July 24, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's new MagSafe Battery Pack is now available, and we went hands-on this week for some early impressions of the new accessory to get more battery life out of Apple's iPhone 12 lineup. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. This week also saw a number of rumors about the upcoming redesigned MacBook Pro models, the iPhone 13 lineup, the next-generation iPad mini, a new...