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Cook: no larger iPhone until display "tradeoffs" can be eliminated

updated 07:22 pm EDT, Tue April 23, 2013

CEO claims iPhone 5 best screen

Apple CEO Tim Cook has shed fresh light on Apple's reluctance to build an iPhone with a larger display, while fueling speculation that such a device may be in the works. Answering an analyst question during the company's fiscal Q2 financial conference call, the executive claimed competitors have made sacrifices to resolution, white balance, color quality, screen longevity and portability in their drive to create ever-larger smartphones.

"My view continues to be that the iPhone 5 has the absolute best display in the industry, and we always strive to create the very best display for our customers," Cook said. "We wouldn't ship a larger iPhone while these tradeoffs exist."

The comments echo the opinion once voiced by late CEO Steve Jobs when asked about rumors of a smaller counterpart to the initial 9.7-inch iPads. Jobs had dismissed the 2010 rumors, claiming a seven-inch tablet would be uncomfortable to hold and too small for the software experience, however the company late last year released the iPad mini and appeared to encounter difficulty keeping up with initial demand.

Rumors surrounding a larger iPhone have persisted for years. Apple retained a 3.5-inch display for many generations, eventually stretching only the vertical measurement for the four-inch panel of the iPhone 5. Recent rumors claim Apple is working on a 4.5-inch variant slated for 2014.

The company's Android competition has embraced larger screens, with flagship devices such as Samsung's Galaxy S 4 stretching to five inches with 1920x1080 resolution.

Apple has yet to officially confirm details of its next-generation smartphone. During the conference call, Cook also hinted that no major product announcements may come until the fall, aligning with the timing of previous iPhone unveilings.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. macmediausa

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 02-23-05

    While Apple ponders on how to get the best quality screen on a larger display, the competitors Samsung, HTC and LG have already released stunning screens that trump what Apple has.

    I prefer the iphone 5 size but as I am working in China this week, I have yet to see ONE person hold a iphone 5 in their hand. With thousands upon thousands of Chinese users on the Metro and walking down the streets in Shanghai, I see the Samsung S3 as the most prevalent phone held by most everyone. Apple is surely missing the boat. One size does NOT fit all. In fact a large percentage of users here are holding the ginormous Samsung Note.

    Bad decision Apple - get with it now and listen to the users. People want a choice. They also want to be able to change their own batteries!

  1. cgc

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 03-25-03

    Those larger screens place phones between a traditional smartphone and a small tablet. To me they seem clumsy and way too large but then I'm that guy who wishes smartphones would focus on call quality since it's a phone first and a PDA second.

  1. pairof9s

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 01-03-08

    I'm sorta w/ macmediausa on this matter. While I don't have the need personally to have a screen as large as the S3, I do wish the iPhone 5 had made a slightly wider screen rather than just longer...perhaps an 1/8 of an inch. It would make a big difference to me. Other than that, I have no issue w/ the iPhone...love it!

  1. ruel24

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-17-09

    Um, the Samsung screens are subpar to Apple's. It's a PenTile display, which means it only use 2 color sub-pixels per pixel instead of 3. That means it has a smaller gamma range than the iPhone. You may like how bright the AMOLED screen appears to be, but the color reproduction is far from ideal.

    I think this is where Cook is coming from. I'm sure he wants a quality screen that doesn't also run the battery down fast.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Yes. The AMOLED screen pop like crazy and are a great sell due to first impression, but in reality, they're the equivalent of over compressed music: once you get over the wow, you realize that it's shit.

  1. BLAZE_MkIV

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 02-23-00

    Also just because they release phones with huge screens, doesn't mean they're selling allot of them.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by Spheric HarlotView Post

    Yes. The AMOLED screen pop like crazy and are a great sell due to first impression, but in reality, they're the equivalent of over compressed music: once you get over the wow, you realize that it's shit.



    I retract this statement. At the high end, they can be almost at the quality of the iPhone 5's display:

    Three years in, AMOLED displays are finally getting it right | Ars Technica

  1. cgc

    Professional Poster

    Joined: 03-25-03

    Still too big to be practical...I think the current iPhone is the biggest people can tolerate. I wouldn't fight other phone manufacturers in the size department, just make whatever size research proves will work with the vast majority of phone buyers and then make sure the phone is fantastic features-wise. It's akin to the megapixel race...more pixels in a camera don't equate to better photos, it might, but it's one factor out of many. Size of the display is a nice selling point but it's oftentimes too large for a pocket or a hand. That's why I'd sell a phone and some tablets, kind of like what Apple's done and done exceptionally well. Don't fall into the trap of large phones...

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