Tim Cook leaves door open for larger iPhone

The Apple chief disses competitors who sacrifice screen quality for larger size, and hints that his company can do better.

James Martin/CNET

While Apple maintains that the iPhone 5's 4-inch display is the best around, the company hasn't totally ruled out making a device with a larger screen.

When questioned Tuesday about Apple's stance on a 5-inch screen, CEO Tim Cook didn't exactly expound on the virtues of a larger screen -- in fact, he did just the opposite -- but he never wholly rejected the idea of going bigger either.

"My view continues to be that iPhone 5 has the absolute best display in the industry," Cook said on a postearnings call with investors. "Our competitors have made trade-offs to ship a larger display. We will not ship a larger display iPhone while these trade-offs exist."

In Cook's world, iPhone customers appreciate screen resolution, color, white balance, reflectivity, and compatibility with applications over a larger display. Larger screens produced by competitors, he insinuated, sacrifice these elements. Still, his reasoning seems to leave room for a bigger iPhone, so long as Apple can solve for the associated display shortcomings and best competitors like Samsung.

At least one analyst seems to believe that Apple has a multi-display-size strategy already in the works. Topeka analyst Brian White thinks Apple will unveil an iPhone 5S in at least two, but possibly three, different screen sizes .

Apple finished its second quarter of fiscal 2013 with $9.5 billion in profit on $43.6 billion in sales. The company sold 37.4 million iPhones and 19.5 million iPads during the quarter.


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