Tim Cook was asked about the relatively small share of the phone market Apple has compared to Android at the D11 conference.
He says that for Apple, “winning has never been about making the most.”
He says Apple makes the best laptops, but doesn’t sell the most. It makes the best MP3 players, but does sell the most. It makes the best tablet, sells the most. It makes the best smartphone, but doesn’t sell the most.
He keeps his eye on three other metrics: Engagement, commerce, and customer satisfaction. As long as those are strong, and Cook believes they are, then he’s happy.
Related to that, Cook talked a little bit about Apple’s iPhone portfolio, or lack thereof.
Walt Mossberg asked him why Apple made a wide range of iPods, but only one iPhone.
Cook first said “We haven’t so far, that doesn’t shut off the future.”
But the reason it hasn’t happened so far, according to Cook, is that it takes a lot of detail work to do a phone, with hardware, software, and services. In order to do that, he wanted to stay focused by not doing multiple lines of phones.
With the iPod, it had different functionality depending on the model. The shuffle was different than the Nano than the Classic.
He then asked, are we at a point for a wide variety of different phones? Mossberg suggested we were. There are large screened phones, phablets, and so on.
Cook’s answer to this was that larger screens involve trade offs. The colours get blown out, the battery can’t hold up, etc. “At this point, we felt that the Retina display that we’re shipping is overwhelmingly the best,” said Cook.
He then leaves the door open for new models of iPhones saying you can do things to differentiate the iPhone that would involve playing with the screen.
Watch Cook talk about Apple’s market share and below it, he talks about the iPhone portfolio.