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Tim Cook still not convinced about 'phablet' smartphone experience

Though most of its competitors have ventured into the world of 'phablets', Apple is still not convinced that a larger display provides the best smartphone experience.

During a first-quarter earnings call, Apple chief Tim Cook acknowledged that some people want larger screens. But others, he said, "value other factors," such as resolution, color quality, white balance, brightness, reflectivity, screen longevity, power consumption, portability, and compatibility with apps - suggesting that these are qualities that phablets like the Galaxy Note 2 or upcoming Galaxy S4 do not possess.

Rivals like Samsung have "made some significant trade-offs in many of these areas in order to ship a larger display," Cook said. "We would not ship a larger display iPhone while these trade-offs exist."

"My view continues to be that the iPhone 5 has the absolute best display in the industry," Cook said.

For four years, the iPhone display remained at 3.5in, even as the 4.8in Galaxy S3 and the 5in Galaxy Note hit the market. Last year, the iPhone 5 got slightly bigger at 4in, but compared to other devices hitting the market in the coming months - like the 5in Galaxy S4 and the 4.7in HTC One - the iPhone 5 is positively tiny.

During a February appearance at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, Cook was asked the same question.

"Does it matter?" Cook responded at the time. "The truth is, customers want a great experience and quality, and that's rarely a function of" having the largest specs.

Cook said OLED displays produce "awful" color saturation, whereas Apple's Retina display is "twice as bright as an OLED display."

"The customer experience is always broader [than what] can be defined by a simple number," he said. "What Apple does is sweat every detail."

It appears that Apple might be sweating those details for a few more months. Cook suggested that we won't see any Apple product launches until the autumn.