Apple's Tim Cook disses phablets and Google Glass

Apple boss Tim Cook has criticised big-screen phones and Google's Glass gadget in an interview last night at the AllThingsD conference.

Apple boss Tim Cook criticised big-screen phones and Google's Glass gadget in an interview last night at the AllThingsD conference, explaining why Apple hasn't made a 5-inch phone and giving a taste of his thinking on wearable tech.

"A large screen today comes with a lot of tradeoffs," the CEO said. "Customers clearly are looking at size, but they're also looking at do the photos show the proper colour, the white balance, reflectivity, battery life, brightness, the longevity of the display -- so there's a whole bunch of things that are very important to the display.

"What our customers want is for us to weigh those and come out with a decision. At this point we felt that the retina display we're shipping is overwhelmingly the best. In a hypothetical world where the tradeoffs didn't exist you could see that being one of the things that differentiates.

"We haven't so far, that doesn't shut off the future. It takes a lot of really detailed work to do a phone right when you do the hardware, the software and services around it. We've chosen to put our energy in getting those right and have made the choices in order to do that and we haven't become defocused working multiple lines."

That's a clear dig at Samsung, which has taken the exact opposite approach to Apple, producing phones and tablets with dozens of different sizes and prices, and hoping some of them will find an audience. That means there's probably a Samsung phone for you, but it might take some effort to work out which one it is.

Asked about Google Glass, the Apple boss was also far from effusive -- and pretty cautious about the prospects of an iWatch.

"I think there are some positive points in the product," Cook said. "I think it's probably more likely to appeal to certain vertical markets," meaning doctors or warehouse managers or other specific work-based uses. "I think the likelihood that it has broad range appeal is tough to see. But I think wearables is really interesting and could be a profound area for technology.

"I wear glasses because I have to. I don't know a lot of people that wear them that don’t have to. I think the wrist is interesting. The wrist is natural. But you have to convince people that something's so incredible they have to wear it.

"You guys are wearing watches, but if we had a room of 10-20 year-olds and asked everyone to stand up who was wearing a watch, I don't think anyone would stand up. Their watch is this," he said, waving his white iPhone 5.

While he had plenty to say about what other companies are doing, he wouldn't answer many questions on what Apple is up to. We'll have to wait until the companies' WWDC show next month for that, with a revamped iOS 7 on the cards .

Do you think Apple is right to ignore bigger screens? What kind of tech would you wear? Let me know in the comments below, or over on our Facebook page.

Image credit: AllThingsD

 

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