Apple will adhere to its policy of one high-end flagship smartphone per year, the tech giant’s CEO has insisted, despite pressure from shareholders to bring a phablet and low-cost iPhone to market.
Speaking at the D11 conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that bringing multiple handsets meant the company would have to make compromises that it regards as unacceptable.
Responding to a grilling from Walt Mossberg of AllThingsD, Cook said that unlike iPods, where Apple offers a range of different models, creating different iPhones for different market sectors is not viable.
This is because multi-functional smartphones are more complex to develop and require greater resources than iPods, which are essentially dedicated media/entertainment devices, he claimed.
Cook also repeated his previously stated reservations over an iPhone phablet, which focus on the difficulty of reproducing the market-leading Retina display on a larger screen.
He stated: "A large screen today comes with a lot of tradeoffs. Customers are clearly looking at the size, but they also look at things like 'do the photos show the proper colour? The white balance, the reflectivity, battery life. The longevity of the display.”
On the subject of a cheaper iPhone, however, Cook seemed a little more amenable. But no such that you should pencil in the fabled handset any time soon.
"Well, we haven't so far," he said. "That doesn't shut off the future."
Rumours around Apple’s entry in to the cheap phone market have been rife for years, with recent conjecture suggesting that if and when it does arrive it will swap premium materials for a low-cost plastic build.
Long-standing talk of an iPhone phablet, meanwhile, suggests that Apple is at least considering a device with a screen of up to five-inches, which means it just nudges the cut-off point after which devices are widely deemed to be tablets.