Smith gives a partial quote from Cook's interview: "When asked by Walt Mossberg if Apple would come out with multiple iPhone models in the same year, Tim Cook responded, 'We haven't so far, that doesn't shut off the future.'"
Here's a more complete paraphrase: "We haven't so far. That doesn't shut off the future. Why? It takes a lot of really hard work to do a phone right when you manage the hardware and software and services in it. We've chosen to put our energy on doing that right. We haven't been focused on working multiple lines."
(You can find the full one hour and 20-minute interview online via The Wall Street Journal. Cook's comments start at about minute 37.)
Cook contrasts the iPhone with the iPod music player that Apple developed into multiple different models:
"Think about the evolution of the iPod over time. The shuffle didn't have the same functionality as other products. It was a really good product, but it played a different role — it was great for some customers that it was strikingly different than other iPods. The mini played a different role than the classic did. If you remember when we brought out the mini people said we'd never sell any. It was too expensive and had too little storage. The mini proved that people want something lighter, thinner, smaller. My only point is that these products all served a different person, a different type, a different need. For the phone that is the question. Are we now at a point that we need to do that?"
Cook's comments show something of how Apple thinks about products. First of all, it really thinks about them. It doesn't bring out products in different models as experiments, to see which one will prove to be popular. It creates a high quality product that satisfies, in a satisfying way, the job or jobs for which consumers "hire" the product.
As Cook says, "for the phone, that is the question. Are we now at a point that we need to do that?" It's not self-evident, at least not yet, that the answer is "yes." The iPhone is a handheld computer that's also a handheld phone. The iPod is a handheld music/video player, not a computer. Apple's other computers — desktops and laptops — don't constitute a wide or even deep portfolio of products aimed at different perceived computing consumers.
By contrast, this listing of Samsung smartphones shows 74 listed as "smartphones" (excluding 11 Samsung tablets that also appear on the list); every one of them was announced in 2012 or 2013. There are three more pages of Samsung smartphones, though many of the older ones probably are no longer available.
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