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Apple CEO Tim Cook on multiple iPhones: Think different

Apple's CEO sidesteps a question about whether the company's working on multiple iPhones.


Why hasn't Apple expanded to multiple iPhones after rolling out six different models?

According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, the company's just been too focused on trying to get it right on one product before expanding.

In an interview at the D11 conference Tuesday night, Cook noted that he wasn't ruling out the idea of expanding to multiple iPhones, but that when comparing it to something like what Apple did with the Mac, and later the iPad, you have to think different.

"These products all served a different person," Cook told interviewers Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. "On the phone, that is the question. Are we now at a point where we need to serve other people?"

Cook was also pressed about using a larger screen on the iPhone, something the company largely rallied against until the iPhone 5, which went from a 3.5-inch display up to 4-inches. Cook responded by saying there were tradeoffs with today's screens, including color, white balance and battery life. "Our customers want us to weigh those and come put with a decision," he added.

The comments come as Apple is rumored, once again, to be working on a lower-cost iPhone for release as soon as later this year. Reports have suggested Apple would sell it alongside an updated model of its flagship phone, instead of simply selling its last two generations of iPhone at lower prices.

The interview is Cook's second at All Things Digital's annual D conference series. Some of the highlights from last year's interview included Cook noting that the company was "doubling down" on secrecy. He also hinted at additional Siri features (which would be unveiled a few weeks later), bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States, and taking over the top spot at the company post Steve Jobs.

CNET Editor at Large Dan Farber contributed to this report.