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
146 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
146 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
146 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
146 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
146 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
146 months ago
Aha. This is the same Os since 2007...get real. More like blah hah... Boring...
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

iOS 18 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Friday April 12, 2024 11:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 is expected to be the "biggest" update in the iPhone's history. Below, we recap rumored features and changes for the iPhone. iOS 18 is rumored to include new generative AI features for Siri and many apps, and Apple plans to add RCS support to the Messages app for an improved texting experience between iPhones and Android devices. The update is also expected to introduce a more...
Delta Feature

Delta Game Emulator Now Available From App Store on iPhone

Wednesday April 17, 2024 9:58 am PDT by
Game emulator apps have come and gone since Apple announced App Store support for them on April 5, but now popular game emulator Delta from developer Riley Testut is available for download. Testut is known as the developer behind GBA4iOS, an open-source emulator that was available for a brief time more than a decade ago. GBA4iOS led to Delta, an emulator that has been available outside of...
iOS NES Emulator Bimmy Feature

NES Emulator for iPhone and iPad Now Available on App Store [Removed]

Tuesday April 16, 2024 11:33 am PDT by
The first approved Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) emulator for the iPhone and iPad was made available on the App Store today following Apple's rule change. The emulator is called Bimmy, and it was developed by Tom Salvo. On the App Store, Bimmy is described as a tool for testing and playing public domain/"homebrew" games created for the NES, but the app allows you to load ROMs for any...
iGBA Feature

Apple Removes Game Boy Emulator iGBA From App Store Due to Spam and Copyright Violations

Sunday April 14, 2024 9:22 pm PDT by
Apple today said it removed Game Boy emulator iGBA from the App Store for violating the company's App Review Guidelines related to spam (section 4.3) and copyright (section 5.2), but it did not provide any specific details. iGBA was a copycat version of developer Riley Testut's open-source GBA4iOS app. The emulator rose to the top of the App Store charts following its release this weekend,...
iPhone 15 Pro Action Button Translate

All iPhone 16 Models to Feature Action Button, But Usefulness Debated

Tuesday April 16, 2024 6:54 am PDT by
Last September, Apple's iPhone 15 Pro models debuted with a new customizable Action button, offering faster access to a handful of functions, as well as the ability to assign Shortcuts. Apple is poised to include the feature on all upcoming iPhone 16 models, so we asked iPhone 15 Pro users what their experience has been with the additional button so far. The Action button replaces the switch ...
iGBA Feature

Game Boy Emulator for iPhone Now Available in App Store Following Rule Change [Removed]

Sunday April 14, 2024 8:06 am PDT by
A week after Apple updated its App Review Guidelines to permit retro game console emulators, a Game Boy emulator for the iPhone called iGBA has appeared in the App Store worldwide. The emulator is already one of the top free apps on the App Store charts. It was not entirely clear if Apple would allow emulators to work with all and any games, but iGBA is able to load any Game Boy ROMs that...