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Apple's Cook resets 3 popular, and wrong, Apple rumors

John Cox | April 26, 2013
Three comments this week by Apple CEO Tim Cook should have led to a reset of popular iOSphere rumors about the upcoming iPhone 6, iPad 5, and iPad mini 2, but probably didn’t.

Comment: In all three of its main mobile products, iPhone, iPad and iPad mini, the individual Apple models are by far the biggest selling in their product categories. Apple doesnt, at present, sell a variety of phones: it sells the iPhone. As successful as has been Samsungs Galaxy S III smartphone, the iPhone still outsells it.

"We've already sold 50 million units of the Galaxy S III since its launch last year [on May 3, 2012], according to J.K. Shin, Samsung's mobile chief, in a March 14, 2013 Wall Street Journal interview. But from April 2012 through March 2013, Apple sold 138.16 million iPhones. In just the October to December 2012 period, after iPhone 5 went on sale, it sold 47.79 million. 

As Apple executives acknowledged during the earnings call, the companys growth rate has slowed, especially compared to the spectacular results of 2012. But the companys existing products remain popular.

While Apple continues to improve and manage those products, Cook explicitly describes new product categories that are in development, and doubtless have been for several years at least. These eventually will take their place alongside the existing product categories of phones, tablets and laptops.

3. Rumoristas: Apple needs to release an iPhone with a 5-inch screen, because big-screen phones from rivals, especially Samsung have been so successful.

Cook: My view continues to be that iPhone 5 has the absolute best display in the industry. We always strive to create the very best display for our customers. Some customers value large screen size, others value also other factors, such as resolution, color quality, white balance, brightness, reflectivity, screen longevity, power consumption, portability, compatibility apps, many things.

Our competitors have made some significant trade-offs in many of these areas in order to ship a larger display. We would not ship a larger-display iPhone while these tradeoffs exist.

Translation: No, we dont. Yet.

Comment: Cook starts by emphasizing Apples criteria for the iPhone display the absolute best display in the industry. What follows is almost a definition of what Apple means by absolute best in this context. Interestingly, the definition doesnt include one-handed use or more accurately one-thumbed use. He acknowledges that some customers value large screen size. They may value that enough to make it their primary buying criteria. In which case, Apple loses that sale.

His list of other factors shows how complex is the meaning of best display a bundle of different but related technologies that have to be coordinated and optimized. Cook seems to be saying that Apples definition of best can best be applied to a 4-inch smartphone far.

He claims, with some justification, that rivals have made less-than-optimal tradeoffs in order to create larger-screened smartphones.


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