Apple’s Cook asked about bigger screens, promises ‘great things’ are on the way

“Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook promised China Mobile Ltd.’s 763 million subscribers ‘great things’ after customers in Beijing asked him whether the iPhone maker was developing devices with larger displays,” Bloomberg News reports.

“Cook was at China Mobile’s headquarters store as the world’s largest carrier started selling the iPhone, concluding six years of negotiations with Apple. As Cook handed out autographed iPhones with carrier Chairman Xi Guohua, people asked him about bigger screens and the use of flexible displays,” Bloomberg News reports. “‘We never talk about future things,’ Cook said. ‘We have great things we are working on but we want to keep them secret. That way you will be so much happier when you see it.'”

Bloomberg News reports, “The iPhone maker faces challenges because many Chinese customers prefer to have one large-screen device for checking e-mail, browsing the Web and watching videos. Every other fourth-generation smartphone offered by China Mobile has a display at least a half-inch (1.27 centimeters) larger than Apple’s 4-inch models. Apple may introduce two larger-screen iPhone devices this year, Cleveland Research analyst Benjamin Bollin said in a note dated Jan. 13.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote earlier this week:

If the high-end wants larger phones (and if our polling is any indication, the high-end most certainly does), then Apple should already have larger screen iPhones available. This is Tim Cook’s mistake. He’s left money on the table. Fortunately, contracts run out every day. There’s still time to for Apple to offer proper choice to the mid- to high-end customers that Apple actually wants. One size does not fit all.

And, many Chinese customers do not “prefer” to have one device, one device is generally all they can afford. This is the case in many markets around the world. Apple needs to provide choices to quality customers everywhere. The 4-inch iPhone simply isn’t cutting it for far too many people.

If Apple needs iPhones with larger screens – and they do, because in some places, quality customers are still somewhat economically challenged and therefore try to do it all with a phone versus owning an iPhone and an iPad and, in every market, healthy percentages of quality customers simply prefer more screen real estate – then Apple should release iPhones with larger screens ASAP.

Apple is late on this, but there is still time to recover. Release the Kraken, Apple!

Related article:
Apple’s China push threatened by popularity of big screens – January 15, 2014

43 Comments

      1. Is an iPad not a larger iPhone in all but name?
        What would a larger iPhone do that an iPad does not??
        Or is the real request that Apple inc should install a dail up interface on the iPad so that it looks like a large iPhone???

        1. Is a 13″ MacBook Air not a larger version of a 11″ MBA? Why bother making a larger MBA? Why not make everyone buy a 11″ MBA?

          Is an iPod touch not an iPhone in all but name? Why bother with an iPod touch? Why not just sell iPhones?

          I could go on ad infinitum. But a phone is what it is: a phone. It’s marketed & sold as such and carriers have segmentised the market because that’s how consumers perceive the products.

        2. Well the one thing that the iPhone does that the iPad w/LTE does not is make phone calls.

          Personally, I think iPhones and iPod Touches should come in 4″, 5″ and 6″ sizes. Make a 6″ iPod Cinema optimized for movie and TV viewing with a 16:10 aspect ratio with a resolution of at least 1080p.

          Make a black and white iBook reader with extremely long battery life that can show color when desired.

          Make the iPod Classic a wifi storage drive up to 1 TB.

          Optimize each iOS device for a particular purpose and start selling accessories like camera body for interchangeable lenses.

          1. Thats just dumb. Apple doesn’t make niche products that only a few thousand people MAY want. Also, more than 2 sizes of products gets cost prohibitive, and confusing to potential customers. Hence 11&13″ MBA, 13&15″MBP, iPadMini/Air…
            The iPhone 6 may well have a bigger screen (which I might like) but it certainly won’t be a GIANT 5.5/6″, probably 4.7″ (so it still fits in ONE HAND), the 6c will stay the smaller 4″

            1. If one looks at both Apple’s Mac and iPod lines it is quite clear Apple DOES make products for different use cases. Just look at the radically different shapes of iPod across that product line.

              I myself would never buy an iPhone larger than 4.3″ But I can see that an iPhone between 5″ and 6″ would address a sizable market among people with large hands, people who’s vision isn’t what it used to be, and people who keep their phones in coat pockets and purses.

              For the same reason, a larger iPod with more storage in place of the cellular radio would appeal to folks who like video on the go, or enjoy reading on a screen larger than 4″.

              2 of 3 sizes in each category are a historically well established pattern in many of Apple’s product lines. It’s clear that the MacPro won’t sell in huge numbers, but Apple still makes that.

    1. If I had eyes the size of a giant squids eyes, then a larger screen would make the most sense. The logic being that a giant squid needs very large eyes to properly see its nemesis the sperm whale before the sperm whale sees it and eats it.
      My eyes cope quite well with spectacles. Give me a screen the size of spectacles for close quarter viewing or make them proportionately larger according to the distance I will be viewing the screen from. My statement does not quite make sense, but it should if you apply your needs to that statement rather than trying to imagine what my needs are.

    2. Agree with MDN, but the larger version of iPhones are probably more than just a larger screen. They will probably have a slightly modified OS, with different control functionality. We will see.

      In any case the iPhone 5 was successful enough, clearly. The 5S was a way to get the fingerprint sensor out there in time to field test for payments. Let’s revisit this in 12-18 months…

  1. Wider would allow thinner. Maybe much thinner. Therefore it may be that Apple is waiting for the liquidmetal insanely thin capability that should debut this year, given last year’s patent revelation of floating the production of the metal like glass. Imagine 5 inches of screen with a thinness of two credit cards. That’s what’s coming.

    1. Yeah, because that’s what we need… A 5-inch iPhone the thickness of two credit cards, with the same abysmal battery life that all these devices have now.

      Can we move past the “thin is in” mindset, and get back to a device that we can actually use AND that will last a normal frickin’ twelve-hour day without plugging in at least once?

      If you don’t understand what I’m talking about, just walk through an airport and look at all the people gathered around outlets like cattle at a watering hole, all sitting there tethered to a wall outlet, charging their phones so they can make it their destination and still have a phone. This includes iPhone users like myself.

      Don’t forget that the battery performance you get the day you get a new phone (or the day the press tests the phone) is a lot better than the performance you’ll get a year or 18 months into the phone’s life with you.

      God help you if you need to use the GPS and you’re not plugged in!

      To sum up, more battery performance is about ten times more important to most people than having a device that’s a few millimeters thinner.

    1. Exactly. Apple does extensive research into these things. I think there information is likely more comprehensive than anecdotal data or that provided by a specific type of customer.

      Apple may be wrong, but I’d hazard a guess that when they don’t do something it’s for a reason and there is some business strategy behind it.

      1. Self-selecting polls will ALWAYS show significantly higher numbers for fringe (and minority) opinions. The “silent majority” simply doesn’t get emotionally invested in the results of such a poll and feels no need to contribute. I didn’t bother voting because I like the size of my iPhone 5 and don’t feel the need for a larger screen. BLN most likely voted early and often, since he is so passionate about larges screens (as we all know).

        Judging by MDN’s numbers, even with such a passionate turn-out of the “large-screen” proponents, it looks like 5-5s-5c size is still the most popular one.

        Sales data indicate interesting trends: in the Far East, large screen seems to be doing quite well. In the West, though, not at all. According to the sales data in US and EU, large screens tend to be discounted rather quickly after the introduction (which is the usual indication of poor sales).

        I’m still not convinced that Apple will bother with the large screen. If they do, however, I’m sure it will sell well, because Apple will do it right, and because it will be an iPhone, and not some lame HTC, Nokia or Samsung.

  2. MDN keeps forgetting. The same thing was said about 7 inch tablets but Apple took their time and did it right. When Apple delivers larger iPhones it will be the one everybody wants. Since phones are replaced every two years it won’t take long for Apple to grab more than their share.

  3. This headline is bogus. You’re equating a larger iPhone with “great things” and making it appear like it came from Tim Cook. Tim Cook never commented on whether Apple was making a bigger iPhone.

    Apple’s Q1results will prove your big mistake complain is off base.

  4. Hmmmm, I keep remembering some Galaxy large thingie that did not sell. Infact weren’t there a number of larger things that did not sell???

    Please Apple we know you can do anti-gravity and teleportation…. So do those first…. As long as the phone does not get any thicker… Heavy /s

    1. A larger Samsung phone is not a larger iPhone. One has nothing to do with the other. Why the fear of a larger iPhone? I have never understood that? Those who don’t want it don’t have to buy it. It’s as simple as that. It really is. Those who don’t want the iPad Mini opt for the iPad Air. Guys with very small hands I guess? Jeez, even a guy with small hands can one hand a 5 inch phone. What is the problem anyway? Clearly Apple could have sold millions of a larger iPhone had they had it in the last two years. MDN’s own survey shows that it is wanted. It’s coming, and when it get’s here it will outsell the current form size easily. And possibly two sizes of a larger iPhone?

      1. I think you are misunderstanding quite a few people here. I don’t think anyone here is afraid of the larger iPhone. I guess I could count myself in the group of those who are skeptical of the value of the large-screen iPhone in the Apple line-up. I have no fear of a larger iPhone, though. I just think that there is this fairly loud minority (which is literally always the case, whether it be glossy screens, dropping of the SuperDrive or large-screen iPhones) that seems convinced that such a phone would be extremely popular. I have looked at a lot of data (real data, not self-selecting online polls, which literally ALWAYS skew heavily towards the minority, for reasons stated earlier) and sales data indicate that the large-screen phones aren’t really that popular in the developed West.

        It is true that Android is not iOS, but since Google ripped of iOS, comparisons can be made with valid results. Within that Android eco-system, large-screen phones have done rather poorly in US and EU. They represent a small fraction of the market, and more importantly, they very quickly get discounted by the vendors (a sign of poor sales).

        The only possible reason some here may object to Apple’s introduction of a larger phone is that they may be Apple stock holders, and they believe that the large-screen iPhone might bomb (and take the stock value down). I don’t own stock, so I don’t have any objection to Apple’s fishing expedition into large-screen waters. I’m sure, though, that Apple doesn’t go fishing like that. If they do introduce larger screens, that will be because they have thoroughly researched their addressable market and determined that they can sell enough to make it worthwhile. Perhaps it will be like the Mac Pro — a niche model for the fringe market, priced higher, in order to preserve margins, as well as silence haters.

        1. We’ll just have to agree to disagree. As I said before I believe your argument is flawed. You cannot base the projection of large iPhone sales to other large phone sales. It’s truly apples and oranges. And yes, I do believe the large iPhone will outsell the current version easily. But it matters not, for we will see this year who is correct. And I can’t wait. I enjoy my iPhone 5s but will be glad to traded it in for something a little larger. Termination fee be damned! But hey, that’s just me. I believe there are millions and millions just like me out there waiting. But Apple is smart, they’ll always keep a smaller phone around for those who want a smaller phone. Different strokes for different folks. Apple either misjudged the market, they are not perfect, or they determined that they could not produce a larger iPhone to their high standards. In either case I believe that many new potential iPhone owners went elsewhere. Hopefully they will come to Apple later this year.

  5. I remember when MDN was adamantly against larger screens saying they were only a strategy used by Android device manufactures to allow them to to install larger batteries since Android was less efficient. My how times change. Guess you guys failed to iCal that!

      1. MDN deserves credit for being able to change their mind, and not being afraid to call out Apple on occasion. Apple should/could have offered a larger iPhone option sooner.

        But I will wait for it. Having iOS is more important to me than having a larger screen and they will get around to it.

        I think the price of Apple doing things really well is occasionally being slower than necessary. The companies that quickly throw in every “obviously” desirable features often do a very poor job of actually making them work.

  6. The promise of great things on the way is the centerpiece of the Tim Cook era. And, it’s basically a lie. Unless you think adding a fingerprint function (which doesn’t work very well) to the same phone we already have is a “great thing” then the only really great thing is the Mac Pro. And, Tim gets scant credit for that since it’s about five years too late to help AAPL.

    A bigger screen is also not a great thing since consumers will not even notice it since it is surrounded on every shelf by other brands of phones that have had a bigger screen option forever.

    Neither is turning the OS of all Apple products into a kindergarden exercise.

    Since the fat, dumb, happy and rich beyond imagination board of directors doesn’t care about shareholders, you might be just as well to shut down MDN and give the time it takes to read it back to its minions so they can get out of their pajamas and go find something worthwhile to do.

    1. You don’t get it. Apple doesn’t try and break the mold with every product release, they just deliver a better product.

      Sometimes the new version will be far better. Many times they add some small but nice changes. Often, especially with matured products, they just bump specs until the next big change is ready.

      Its about making a great product better each time, in small or big ways that are actually useful. Not about throwing in “new” things for the sake of it.

    1. Size is such a basic and practical consideration for a device people use all day long. After the operation system, screen size is the most basic feature of a touch screen computer.

      Could you explain conceptually why you cannot grasp the utility of various size touch screens for differently sized people with different sized hands, different eye sight, different use cases, different app preferences, different size pockets, and different budgets?

      It is precisely because the iOS software is so much appreciated that people would like to have it in the physical form best suited to their own individual real daily needs. If a range of storage sizes is important, a range of sizes is even more important.

      1. I don’t want a larger iPhone. I carry the iPhone 5S in an OtterBox case in a pocket or clipped to my belt. Current size is just right.

        A larger iPhone will be clumsier to hold for taking photos. I find myself taking more photos than making phone calls on it.

        Sorry, but another half inch or inch larger screen would result in a screen size that’s still too small for comfortable Web browsing and ebooks.

        Apple will probably offer iPhones with larger screens. I hope they continue to offer me the choice of the current size, which I prefer.

        If big mobile phones are so great, why is Samsung having trouble selling them? Why did they badly miss their last quarterly expectations?

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