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Apple CEO hints bigger iPhone screen may come when 'trade-offs' can be avoided

post #1 of 139
Thread Starter 
When asked about the popularity of smartphones with particularly large displays, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook admitted that some customers may prefer larger screens, but said his company would not ship such a product until the technology for jumbo-sized phone displays improves.

Cook said Apple's main goal in developing the iPhone's screen is to provide the highest quality display for users. That applies to quality, color reproduction, power consumption, longevity, and a multitude of other factors.

iPhone Plus
Mockup of iPhone with 4.94-inch screen, created by Marco Arment.


Competitors that are producing handsets with jumbo-sized displays are sacrificing many of those important factors, Cook argued. He said Apple would never cut corners to release a product with a subpar display, but hinted that the company could reverse course as screen technology improves.

"We would not ship a larger display iPhone while these trade-offs exist," Cook said during his company's quarterly earnings conference call on Tuesday.

Apple did increase the display on its flagship handset last year with the launch of the iPhone 5, adopting a taller ? but not wider ? 4-inch display. All previous generation iPhone models featured a shorter 3.5-inch display.

In unveiling the larger iPhone display, Apple touted that the handset could still easily be operated while being held with one hand. Competing handsets with larger displays make it more difficult for users to reach the corners of the display without two-hand operation, the company said.

Still, smartphones with screen sizes of 5 inches and even greater have found noteworthy success in the growing smartphone space. Leading the way in that market has been Samsung's Galaxy Note series, which includes a stylus.

There have been rumors that Apple is secretly working on a new iPhone model with a larger 5-inch display for launch as soon as this year. However, there has been no concrete evidence that the launch of such a product is impending.
post #2 of 139

What?

 

He said that to make a bigger screen you have to make trade-offs (as evidenced by the very poor and low-end S4 display), so they won't do it.

 

That's what i heard.

post #3 of 139
I thought the hesitancy for a larger iPhone display was thumb ergonomics, not screen quality.

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post #4 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

I thought the hesitancy for a larger iPhone display was thumb ergonomics, not screen quality.

Both, and the proof is how those screens are very very poor when compared to the iPhone.

post #5 of 139

I don't get it.  Why is it difficult to make good 5" screen phones?

post #6 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post

I don't get it.  Why is it difficult to make good 5" screen phones?

Who said it was difficult to make a 5" display?

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #7 of 139

It's not particularly difficult, but I think it would be an expensive device if Apple approaches it with the "no trade off" attitude like it does with normal iPhones. Apple could make it for cheap, but then the screen quality would be lacking, like the competition, as Tim was saying.

post #8 of 139
Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post
I don't get it.  Why is it difficult to make good 5" screen phones?

 

Because people don't want to tie their thumbs to a miniature medieval rack and stretch them every night for a year in advance of purchase.

 

Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
Who said it was difficult to make a 5" display?

 

Ah, he didn't say that. He said "phone" and "good".

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post #9 of 139
This is all nonsense. Perfectly good displays exist at sizes much larger than 5 inches. If it were true, one can only assume Tim Cook thinks Retina Macbooks have awful screens. Apple just doesn't want to admit that they goofed when they did not provide developers a way to dynamically size screen layouts. The reason you had such low resolution on the iPad mini was that they only had two tablet resolutions where apps would work. The same problem exists with giving the iPhone a decent screen size. I'm not sure why people put up with this from Apple, none of the other new smart phone/tablet platforms have this problem.
post #10 of 139

What was that again about Apple always denying something is worth doing, right before they do it themselves? :)

post #11 of 139

The LCD screens in the 'jumbo' HTC phones of today pumping out 1920x1080 at a true 440+ ppi (the One is an insane 468ppi) made in part by the same suppliers as the iPhone screens essentially negates his entire point. Unless he's talking form factor, battery life, or some other screen related piece that's not the screen itself, I'm at a loss. The actual LCD tech is there, today. Samsung's AMOLED panels are still pure saturated trash. 

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post #12 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by brians View Post

This is all nonsense. Perfectly good displays exist at sizes much larger than 5 inches. If it were true, one can only assume Tim Cook thinks Retina Macbooks have awful screens. Apple just doesn't want to admit that they goofed when they did not provide developers a way to dynamically size screen layouts. The reason you had such low resolution on the iPad mini was that they only had two tablet resolutions where apps would work. The same problem exists with giving the iPhone a decent screen size. I'm not sure why people put up with this from Apple, none of the other new smart phone/tablet platforms have this problem.

HTC has a few phones with excellent screens, e.g. HTC Butterfly. HTC is nearing bankruptcy.

 

And those rMacs have such attractive prices. I don't get it either now.

 

/s

post #13 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by brians View Post

This is all nonsense. Perfectly good displays exist at sizes much larger than 5 inches. If it were true, one can only assume Tim Cook thinks Retina Macbooks have awful screens. Apple just doesn't want to admit that they goofed when they did not provide developers a way to dynamically size screen layouts. The reason you had such low resolution on the iPad mini was that they only had two tablet resolutions where apps would work. The same problem exists with giving the iPhone a decent screen size. I'm not sure why people put up with this from Apple, none of the other new smart phone/tablet platforms have this problem.

This has nothing to do with what Cook stated.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #14 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by brians View Post

This is all nonsense. Perfectly good displays exist at sizes much larger than 5 inches. If it were true, one can only assume Tim Cook thinks Retina Macbooks have awful screens. Apple just doesn't want to admit that they goofed when they did not provide developers a way to dynamically size screen layouts. The reason you had such low resolution on the iPad mini was that they only had two tablet resolutions where apps would work. The same problem exists with giving the iPhone a decent screen size. I'm not sure why people put up with this from Apple, none of the other new smart phone/tablet platforms have this problem.

The only good screen on 5 inch phones are the ones used by HTC, and even those lose on some metrics. Also, that's one of the reasons they only manage to sell 5 phones per quarter.

 

Look at the other displays available.

 

We were talking about phones. There's no trade offs for the rMBP15", but bigger phones? Oversaturated, pentile, lower brightness levels, etc.

Very bad displays, overall, when compared to the iphone.

post #15 of 139

"Still, smartphones with screen sizes of 5 inches and even greater have found noteworthy success in the growing smartphone space. Leading the way in that market has been Samsung's Galaxy Note series, which includes a stylus."

 

Bull$hit. Leading the way was the Galaxy SIII at 4.8" and now the S4 at 5". The Note series is an interesting niche product compared to the S series.

 

Cook is full of it when he talks about the poor quality of larger displays. Tim, you take the panel material used in the current phone and cut it into bigger pieces. Same panel, bigger size. It's not rocket science.

 

The 4.9" mockups are based on something even easier for Apple and all its developers: chop up iPad LCD material into 4.9" panels instead of 9.7" ones. Same pixel count as every other iPhone, but physically larger.

 

In both cases there's no quality sacrifice because it's the same display technology you're already using!

 

It's clear to me that Apple badly underestimated the appeal of large smartphones and is struggling to come up with a compelling new product that won't look like a carbon copy of something HTC or Samsung already makes.

post #16 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

The LCD screens in the 'jumbo' HTC phones of today pumping out 1920x1080 at a true 440+ ppi (the One is an insane 468ppi) made in part by the same suppliers as the iPhone screens essentially negates his entire point. Unless he's talking form factor, battery life, or some other screen related piece that's not the screen itself, I'm at a loss. The actual LCD tech is there, today. Samsung's AMOLED panels are still pure saturated trash. 

Of course he's talking about form factor, battery life, and other screen related pieces. Cook didn't say that it's not possible to create a 5" display. They clearly make displays are both smaller and larger.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #17 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Who said it was difficult to make a 5" display?


The only trade-off to make is to get rid of the Home button and use 5" of the available space for the screen without even changing the case.
post #18 of 139

Perhaps he means terrible battery life on phones with larger displays?

 

A friend has moved from an iPhone 4S to a Samsung Galaxy SIII. 

 

Hates it.

 

Why?

 

Primarily terrible battery life. Certain aspects of the phone he does not like either but fundamentally it is down to battery life. I think this is what Tim is alluding to. If you go for a bigger size Apple want to provide a top class screen in terms of quality and the downside of that is that it would produce terrible battery life.

 

Until the technology catches up and Apple can provide a larger phone that brings ALL the quality aspects together, then Apple won't ship one.

post #19 of 139
Is the term trade-offs some regional expression that is unknown to most people? 1confused.gif

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #20 of 139
It's a massive mistake to not increase display size. Apple is being killed in Asia by not having larger screens. EVERYONE is changing to Samsung. I wish the American based execs would come to Hong Kong and walk down the street.
post #21 of 139
3.5" display will do just great for me. The phone actually has to fit in my pocket. (I wear tight pants)
post #22 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by brians View Post

This is all nonsense. Perfectly good displays exist at sizes much larger than 5 inches. If it were true, one can only assume Tim Cook thinks Retina Macbooks have awful screens. Apple just doesn't want to admit that they goofed when they did not provide developers a way to dynamically size screen layouts. The reason you had such low resolution on the iPad mini was that they only had two tablet resolutions where apps would work. The same problem exists with giving the iPhone a decent screen size. I'm not sure why people put up with this from Apple, none of the other new smart phone/tablet platforms have this problem.

I am worried about Apple lately and would love to see Apple push a larger screen iPhone for those who enjoy 4.5'' displays (not me). However, you are talking as though you come from a position of authority. Do you have a degree in engineering or background to speak from? Support your case. There are screens that are quality of all different sizes. But cost goes up. Processor demand goes up, etc. Does Apple have all of the components to put into a 4.5'' iPhone? Probably not. It may need a custom Ax processor, similar to the one found in the iPad. Can Apple make one? On price point? Probably, but to maintain the quality of an iPhone and Apple's brand (the reason why I buy Apple gear, IT WORKS very well, even though I still like windows 7). It takes time, money, research, trial and error. Even a small change in design takes a lot of money, particularly with the type of materials that Apple uses. It may require a complete redesigning of the assembly process. Where as plastic, you may just change the molds. 

Anyway, I would really like to see Apple get some growth going again. Maybe a 4.5'' iPhone in the next 12 months, along with an iPad with a stylus that bests any on the market.

 

My two bits.

post #23 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Is the term trade-offs some regional expression that is unknown to most people? 1confused.gif

No, it's reading comprehension that is the unknown to most people.

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post #24 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lerxt View Post

It's a massive mistake to not increase display size. Apple is being killed in Asia by not having larger screens. EVERYONE is changing to Samsung. I wish the American based execs would come to Hong Kong and walk down the street.

Despite the best quarter ever?

 

God, what about the last quarter?

post #25 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post

"Still, smartphones with screen sizes of 5 inches and even greater have found noteworthy success in the growing smartphone space. Leading the way in that market has been Samsung's Galaxy Note series, which includes a stylus."

 

Bull$hit. Leading the way was the Galaxy SIII at 4.8" and now the S4 at 5". The Note series is an interesting niche product compared to the S series.

 

Cook is full of it when he talks about the poor quality of larger displays. Tim, you take the panel material used in the current phone and cut it into bigger pieces. Same panel, bigger size. It's not rocket science.

 

The 4.9" mockups are based on something even easier for Apple and all its developers: chop up iPad LCD material into 4.9" panels instead of 9.7" ones. Same pixel count as every other iPhone, but physically larger.

 

In both cases there's no quality sacrifice because it's the same display technology you're already using!

 

It's clear to me that Apple badly underestimated the appeal of large smartphones and is struggling to come up with a compelling new product that won't look like a carbon copy of something HTC or Samsung already makes.

And both screens are absolutely terrible for 500$ phones.

 

In fact, the whole build quality (that is also influenced for the needed design for such screen) is crap on a 500& phone.

post #26 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by brians View Post

This is all nonsense. Perfectly good displays exist at sizes much larger than 5 inches. If it were true, one can only assume Tim Cook thinks Retina Macbooks have awful screens. Apple just doesn't want to admit that they goofed when they did not provide developers a way to dynamically size screen layouts. The reason you had such low resolution on the iPad mini was that they only had two tablet resolutions where apps would work. The same problem exists with giving the iPhone a decent screen size. I'm not sure why people put up with this from Apple, none of the other new smart phone/tablet platforms have this problem.

I not an expert on screen resolution, but it is my understanding that if you don't match the image resolution to the screen you can get shitty performance from sizing the image to the pixels. Apple has avoided this problem by keeping screen size uniform.  Last fall they kept the horizontal the same, which means an image can be easily letter boxed and new apps can utilized the space and movies didn't have to be letter boxed anymore.  

post #27 of 139

It seem petty obvious to me that Cook is using the same lingo that Jobs used to foreshadow the coming of the iPad when he said, "we will release a $500 computer when we figure out how to build one that doesn't suck".  

 

Apple's delay of one year before releasing a bigger screen is not going to kill their market share.  The Galaxy S3 and S4 do have a significant number of users in Apple's turf, which is why they need to address the issue, but it isn't like this is do or die.

post #28 of 139
Another problem for Apple introducing an iPhone with a larger display is how much would it increase their sales vs how much it would cost (both in direct costs to Apple and costs to app developers having to cope with yet another screen size). Everyone talks about the "notable success" of larger screened Android phones, but their success is largely only "notable" compared to most other models of Android phones and still only really applies to Samsung handsets, compared to Apple's iPhones sales they're nothing to get excited about..

The only really good sellers among the larger screened Android phones have been the Galaxy Note series (which surprised almost everyone by having sales that were simply better
than expected) and the Galaxy S3 (and possibly the S4 though it's early to declare that as successful as the S3 just yet). Bigger screens haven't helped HTC, LG or Moto much if at all, they're still struggling to survive in a market dominated by Samsung and Apple. Have the Galaxy Note and S series phones outsold their Android brethren because they have larger screens or because they're from Samsung, and Samsung are the only Android manufacturer that has significant name recognition and cachet?
post #29 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post

"Still, smartphones with screen sizes of 5 inches and even greater have found noteworthy success in the growing smartphone space. Leading the way in that market has been Samsung's Galaxy Note series, which includes a stylus."

 

Bull$hit. Leading the way was the Galaxy SIII at 4.8" and now the S4 at 5". The Note series is an interesting niche product compared to the S series.

 

Cook is full of it when he talks about the poor quality of larger displays. Tim, you take the panel material used in the current phone and cut it into bigger pieces. Same panel, bigger size. It's not rocket science.

 

The 4.9" mockups are based on something even easier for Apple and all its developers: chop up iPad LCD material into 4.9" panels instead of 9.7" ones. Same pixel count as every other iPhone, but physically larger.

 

In both cases there's no quality sacrifice because it's the same display technology you're already using!

 

It's clear to me that Apple badly underestimated the appeal of large smartphones and is struggling to come up with a compelling new product that won't look like a carbon copy of something HTC or Samsung already makes.

Are you an engineer? Do you have more knowledge of the industry than Tim? No, I bet not. I am not trying to be an "Apple fanboy" here but your comments are terribly ignorant. This guy has worked in this industry for a long time. Have you seen the comparing of Apple's LCD vs Samsung's OLED? The reviews, in terms of accuracy, almost (if not always) say that Apple's LCD is MILES above the rest. 

 

Sometimes the newest technology just isn't practical, like electric cars, how are they emission free/pollutant? Power Plant emissions........Tires......Lubs.......Battery (acids too).....    Just feed the people what they want to hear and they won't do their homework.

 

Apple has defined the smartphone industry (Even Apple haters admit this), they will find their way.

Although I am nervous watching their profits state a negative slope. I think Apple will need to adapt to maintain growth. The problem is not abandoning Apple. They must adapt but maintain the quality, usability, and precision of the Apple brand.

post #30 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seankill View Post

I am worried about Apple lately and would love to see Apple push a larger screen iPhone for those who enjoy 4.5'' displays (not me). However, you are talking as though you come from a position of authority. Do you have a degree in engineering or background to speak from? Support your case. There are screens that are quality of all different sizes. But cost goes up. Processor demand goes up, etc. Does Apple have all of the components to put into a 4.5'' iPhone? Probably not. It may need a custom Ax processor, similar to the one found in the iPad. Can Apple make one? On price point? Probably, but to maintain the quality of an iPhone and Apple's brand (the reason why I buy Apple gear, IT WORKS very well, even though I still like windows 7). It takes time, money, research, trial and error. Even a small change in design takes a lot of money, particularly with the type of materials that Apple uses. It may require a complete redesigning of the assembly process. Where as plastic, you may just change the molds. 

Anyway, I would really like to see Apple get some growth going again. Maybe a 4.5'' iPhone in the next 12 months, along with an iPad with a stylus that bests any on the market.

 

My two bits.

Good points....however what's up with "iPad with a sylus".  Apple is never going to do that.  If you want a stylus, buy one off Amazon.

post #31 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by ash471 View Post

Good points....however what's up with "iPad with a sylus".  Apple is never going to do that.  If you want a stylus, buy one off Amazon.

I use my iPad for school/work. Stylus has become a huge issue for me. I have not seen a good stylus that has reviews any better than "its not bad."

 

I have not messed with a Note 10.1 yet, but if the pen is great, it would be very tempting to switch and just remain Apple as far as iPhone & Macbook.

post #32 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by ash471 View Post

Good points....however what's up with "iPad with a sylus".  Apple is never going to do that.  If you want a stylus, buy one off Amazon.

I don't expect them to ever include a stylus but I hope they follow the Note line by adding a digitizer and software support that allows one to purchase a proper stylus for use on the device. The current styluses for the iPad are in no way the same as what is available for a digitizer.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #33 of 139

I have to call BS on the trade offs. Proof? iPad Retina. 9" display and there were no trade offs. Also, having a bigger form factor for a bigger display means having more room for a bigger battery. Try again, Tim. 

post #34 of 139
Originally Posted by AppleFanPro View Post
Proof? iPad Retina.

 

Yep. A tablet sure is proof of a phone… anything¡

Originally Posted by Marvin

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Originally Posted by Marvin

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post #35 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by brians View Post

Apple just doesn't want to admit that they goofed when they did not provide developers a way to dynamically size screen layouts. 

What? Apple encourages "dynamically size screen layouts" and yes Apple does provide a way to do so

post #36 of 139

Apple's iPhone grew by measly 6.5%. Pathetic :( Time to sell my AAPL shares and take a loss… things are not gonna improve anytime soon with Cook at the helm.

post #37 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleFanPro View Post

I have to call BS on the trade offs. Proof? iPad Retina. 9" display and there were no trade offs. Also, having a bigger form factor for a bigger display means having more room for a bigger battery. Try again, Tim. 

You... you...

 

go away.

post #38 of 139
Originally Posted by bighype View Post
Apple's iPhone grew by measly 6.5%. Pathetic :( Time to sell my AAPL shares and take a loss… things are not gonna improve anytime soon with Cook at the helm.

 

/s

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

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post #39 of 139
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleFanPro View Post

I have to call BS on the trade offs. Proof? iPad Retina. 9" display and there were no trade offs. Also, having a bigger form factor for a bigger display means having more room for a bigger battery. Try again, Tim. 

No tradeoffs? They added 4x the pixels which meant they needed a more powerful GPU just to get the same performance (trade off 1) then they needed a special backlighting system because the single light bar wasn't enough with the double density display (trade off 2), then they needed to put all that into a case that was just as thin and lighter (or thinner and lighter) than the previous generation (trade offs 3 and 4) and finally had to power it for around the same duration as the previous generation (trade off 5).

And that's all without considering any potential trade offs in display yields for a 264 PPI display at 9.7 4:3, without considering how the OS would need to be written and tested to support older apps at 2x resolution, without considering rewriting iOS to support the proper 2x for the iPad with bitmapped images, without considering how Xcode would have to be adopted for this second resolution, without considering app store changes, and without considering the cost of this display, the backlights, the Apple A chip, the 42% larger battery, and all other little costs that go into making it seem like an Apple product is perfect and without any trade offs.

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

Reply
post #40 of 139
Tim Cook is full of shit. There are plenty of high quality displays larger than 4", many on Apple products. As for battery life, make the phone bigger and a little thicker and increase the battery.

As for those who are digital.....ly challenged, like TS, keep the 5 form factor too.

Bottom line is this is about making phones to satisfy multiple target audiences. Apple gets this with the desktop, with the laptop and even with the iPad. Why it's so hard to grasp OPTIONS for the iPhone is puzzling to say the least. Cook can babble on about displays, quality etc but bottom line is they could make an Apple quality 4.5 or 4.6" phone and sell them like hotcakes.
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