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Tim Cook Explains Why Apple Won’t Build a Phablet

by Todd Haselton | May 29, 2013

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Tim Cook took the stage yesterday during AllThingsD’s D11 conference where he discussed a variety of topics ranging from iOS to OS X and the iPhone. Cook was asked why the company isn’t following the big-screen phablet smartphone trends set by Samsung and other competitors, to which he replied that there are too many trade-offs.

Cook advised that adding a larger screen would compromise a device’s lifespan and battery life — especially when one takes the brightness into consideration. While Cook’s comments do make sense, the screen is the largest hog of battery life on most Android smartphones, his statements don’t reflect the successes that Samsung has seen with its Note family. The Note II, for example, can cruise through a day of moderate usage just fine, and it packs a larger battery in order to offset the display’s power drain.

“My only point is these products all served a different person, a different type, they served different needs,” Cook explained during his interview. “For the phone that is the question. Are we now at a point to serve enough people that we need to do that?” Perhaps Apple doesn’t see enough demand from its customers. The iPhone is still incredibly popular — Apple sold 37.4 million iPhones during Q2 2013, up from the 35.1 million units it sold during the same quarter last year.

Despite Cook’s comments, rumors still suggest that Apple is considering boosting the size of the iPhone screen next year. Though, now, we have less reason to believe that will ever happen. We can’t forget that Steve Jobs once shot down any prospect of an iPad mini, however, so the tides can certainly change.

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Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...