While tech enthusiasts hope against hope that Apple will adopt Android-style display dimensions, Tim Cook suggests that Cupertino will stand pat with the current screen specs for the iPhone 6.
With the onset of larger-screened smartphone designs, those who follow consumer electronics continue to bemoan Apple’s reticence to adopt larger, more Android-like screen dimensions for the iPhone. After retaining the original iPhone’s 3.5-inch screen up until last year, the expanded display on the iPhone 5 was met with middling reviews, as the elongated screen failed to give some users the large, phablet-like real estate they’re looking for on future iPhones.
For those who are holding out hope that the iPhone 6 will finally debut a large, wide screen, recent comments from Tim Cook suggest that Apple is not looking to significantly revamp the iPhone 6′s display dimensions anytime soon.
According to Expert Reviews, recently released Apple patents have suggested to some tech pundits and enthusiasts that “the next-generation iPhone 6 is thought to include a large-format display – possibly using flexible plastic-backing technology to reduce thickness and improve impact resistance.” However, Tim Cook’s recent comments appear to conflict with that sentiment:
That, however, isn’t a move Apple is looking to make just yet, according to comments made by Cook during the company’s most recent earnings call with investors, press and analysts. “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,” said Cook. “Some customers value large screen size, others value other factors such as resolution, colour quality, white balance, brightness, reflectivity, screen longevity, power consumption, portability, compatibility with apps and many things.
“Our competitors had 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 trade-offs exist.”
Tim Cook’s candid comments aren’t good news for those hoping that Apple will steer iPhone R&D toward a phablet-like design. However, the Apple chief’s comments are indeed consistent with what Apple has held true to since the inception of the original iPhone: overall, they like the iPhone’s dimensions, and they don’t want to mess with it all that much.
The elongated iPhone 5, with its odd aspect ratio, was a kind of compromise to consumers on Apple’s part, giving them more screen real estate while not expanding the device’s width — a spec that Cupertino developers clearly feel strongly about. Considering that Apple rode the 3.5-inch screen for years, it stands to reason that the new dimensions could stick around for quite a long time as well.
Particularly interesting are Cook’s comments about “trade-offs” in offering wider screens on smartphones.We don’t have a lot of follow-up insight on what he’s specifically talking about, but one could imagine that it has something to do with the balance of quality, performance, and manufacturing costs for the iPhone as it pertains to the display component. Another trade-off could be the avoidance of further product cannibalization: we’ve already witnessed how the iPad Mini has reduced the iPad to more of a niche device in the marketplace, as consumers are willing to trade off the regular iPad’s premium features and dimensions for a lower price point. If the screen on the iPhone and iPad Mini converge, the iPad Mini could become obsolete to consumers who would see it as nothing more than an overgrown iPod Touch.
Of course, Apple also likes to be different, and its current chassis for the iPhone is indeed distinct from any other smartphone on the market today. Tim Cook apparently feels that Cupertino can R&D an iPhone 6 that rises to the level of an “overhaul” without changing the dimensions of the screen or chassis. Chances are, that will mean that the device will be even thinner, sporting a new exterior construction material (LiquidMetal, once and for all?) and perhaps even narrower by paring back the sides of the devices, similar to the rumors about the upcoming iPad 5′s form factor changes.
One thing is for sure: it doesn’t look like Apple is going to blink on adopting a big Android screen anytime soon.