Asymco’s Horace Dediu: Tim Cook’s answer to my first question

Yesterday evening in California, “Tim Cook was asked the first question (on the iPhone portfolio),” Horace Dediu writes for Asymco.

“Here is how I interpret the answer: The iPhone portfolio may still arrive,” Dediu writes. “It hasn’t so far because the cost/benefit is not there for Apple. On one hand it would take a great deal more sourcing effort and risk while dealing with constraints in production. On the other it would not not offer meaningful additions to the customer base. At least so far. The economics and the demand may change (or have changed) and the time will come for a broader portfolio.”

Much more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Brawndo Drinker” for the heads up.]


  1. Perhaps helping slow Samsung’s rather profitable excursion into the higher echelons of the smartphone market might have been a worthwhile consideration rather than simple out and out instant profit. Best to look 5 and 10 years ahead than 1 or 2 and consumer perception is something that innovators tend to gauge where accountants never will. Lets hope this isn’t becoming an accountant led business.

    1. On the flip side, there are people demanding Apple make an even bigger iPhone. Can’t make everyone happy unless you make a wide variety of the product, but then we’re back to the disaster era and what was going on before Steve took the reins back in the ’90’s and simplified the product lines which made most people happy, but never all.

        1. No because the point needs to be made that Steve was on to something when he paired down the offerings and removed confusion. People forget that move or weren’t alive then, or old enough to remember it.

  2. I really liked Cook’s answer. Simple, but well thought out. As usual Apple’s thinking cuts through the MBA BS and gets right to the truth of it.

    Essentially they have product lines with different products hitting different price-points when it makes sense because the different versions of the product can be used in legitimately different ways and require different physical/technical characteristics (Macs, iPods).

    At this point an iPhone is essentially an iPhone.

    If “larger” can be made to offer a real advantage (not just a larger display for phone apps, but something providing actual iPad-like usability), without a large compromise, they’ll do it.

    1. The simple truth is that the 5″ Samsung phones are a compromise for people who can’t afford a phone AND a tablet. As usual with compromises, it performs neither function optimally. Why would Apple make a 5″ phone when they are trying to sell both kinds of devices, and their typical customers can afford to buy both?

      1. I don’t see a 5″ screen as a compromise between having both tablet and phone. I don’t want two devices and a 5″ screen would make reading more comfortable. What isn’t mentioned here is the potential for defections. I looked at the new Samsung S4 and would have dropped the iPhone if Android was just a little better. If Apple waits too long they will start losing customers.

  3. O my lord – is the “iPhone portfolio” the new buzz – and if so, did it have to be so… well, inane?

    If I force myself I can command myself to see what this guy is trying to say, even then, it’s just a ridiculous paradigm that is nearly as cut and dry as he seems to take for granted it is.

  4. Said in another way – it’ll be yet another criteria that everyone else is doing, that Apple won’t do, and therefore will fail.

    Damn. Apple makes great stuff – second to none, and has done that the whole time it’s been in business. The only real problem has ever been that most of the public is either too stubborn and duped. But there’s other cool stuff out there too and if you don’t want to use Apple’s stuff go use somebody else’s.

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