May 30, 2013
Apple’s Large Screen iPhone
When the CEO of a famously quiet company gives an interview anywhere, people are going to listen. Tim Cook has even spoken for companies that aren’t his own, and even here people were asking about Apple and trying to parse out the things he said and apply them to future Apple products.
It’s a bit ridiculous, actually.
Ah, but Tuesday night’s interview during the All Things D conference was different. Apple’s CEOs have often been a headlining act at these conferences, be it Jobs or Cook. Jobs even used the stage to show off the iTunes store many years back. A few conferences later, Jobs famously met with Bill Gates just moments after making a comment about iTunes on Windows being a glass of ice water in hell.
This year, Cook took the stage to answer questions about wearable computing, screwy tax practices, iPhones and smartphone market share, and that damn TV. Each of these topics has been dissected at length by other sites (including this one), but there’s one answer that I found particularly interesting.
Well, two answers, counting Cook’s remarkable restraint in not completely demolishing the Google Glass glasses, but he’s a classy guy. He’d probably never do that anyway.
Walt Mossberg asked about the iPhone in context to the iPod, saying that Apple once released music players at multiple price points for multiple purposes. He then goes on to explain to Cook (as if he didn’t know) the way Apple releases a new phone every year and bumps back the previous models to cover price points. For instance, the new iPhone 5 is $199, iPhone 4S is $99, and iPhone 4 is often offered for fee. After the preamble, Mossberg mentions Apple has never released two iPhones for different purposes at different price points and follows with, “Why not? It worked on iPod, why doesn’t it work on iPhone?”
Cook cooly replies, “Well, we haven’t so far. That doesn’t shut off the future.”
From there, Cook goes on to more or less tow the Apple party line, commenting on things like photo quality and battery life.
And it’s true; larger screens require larger batteries, and more often than not, that’s exactly what’s packed behind them.
Cook then admits something that many Apple watchers have been saying for years;
“What our customers want is for us to weigh those and come out with a decision. At this point we felt that the Retina Display that we’re shipping is overwhelmingly the best.”
In other words, that Apple tax that people often talk about? It’s going to pay the engineers at Apple to weigh all the options for us and come up with what they believe to be the best product.
Sure, there’s a little dystopian element going on there, what with us handing over our money and Lord Apple delivering what they believe to be the best for us all, but it’s mostly true, isn’t it?
I’ve seen the Samsung Galaxy screens and others of its ilk, be it AMOLED or otherwise, and the Retina Screen, though it has fewer pixels than some, really does look the best.
There’s not that harsh and off-putting blue tint to everything found on Samsung screens. It’s well balanced and truly pleasant to look at.
Cook calls up a hypothetical world “where tradeoffs didn’t exist” as the perfect world for Apple to release a larger screen iPhone.
Jobs may be gone, but the spirit of Apple remains. And I think Cook’s response best shows off Apple’s spirit: make the best product they know how and deliver it to consumers.