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Apple: New product categories coming soon, but don’t expect a larger iPhone

Apple posted its Q2 2013 earnings yesterday, with CEO Tim Cook talking to investors on a call shortly after the juicy numbers had been revealed. The company famously keeps its cards close to the chest, but Cook was surprisingly forthcoming on several topics during the call. Most notably, the CEO let the world know that Apple is indeed working on a new range of products that should be with us before the end of the year.

“We’ve got a lot of surprises in the works,” said Cook, going on to say that Apple was working on “exciting new product categories” that could be announced in time for Autumn. Naturally, Cook didn’t go on to say exactly what the company was working on, but most chatter on the internet for the past several months has revolved around a potential smartwatch. Apple isn’t the only company rumoured to be working on a wearable device either – Microsoft, Samsung, and LG have all been tipped to be working on similar products.

Cook was also questioned on whether Apple is considering producing an iPhone with an even larger screen given the recent shift towards bigger devices. The CEO skirted the issue at first, saying that the iPhone 5 has “the best display”, but then moved on to why Apple has reservations about producing a handset with a bigger screen. Cook laid out the numerous pitfalls the company would have to be mindful of, which included “resolution, color quality, brightness, reflectivity, screen longevity, power consumption, portability, [and] compatibility with apps”.

Most of those make sense, but some are curious. The HTC One, for example, has demonstrated that most of those issues have been tackled. The main gripes on that list would be power consumption and app compatibility: if Apple were to increase screen size, they would probably want to bump the resolution to keep the pixel density high. Apps would then have to be tweaked yet again to support the new resolution, a potential pain for iOS developers.

Battery life is probably the most significant problem, however. Cupertino has kept the battery capacities on iPhones small compared to the competition in order to keep handset profiles trim and svelte, but larger displays are known to be power guzzlers. Cook didn’t entirely rule out the possibility of a bigger iPhone, but he did ultimately make it clear that the company wouldn’t ship a device for the sake of it being bigger while the current tradeoffs existed.


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