Is it “iPod shuffles” or “iPods shuffle”? →

July 27, 2017 · 22:50

Peter Rojas, writing for Engadget on 19 January 2005:

It took us a few days of harrassing Apple’s PR department, but we were finally able to answer one of the most burning questions of the past seven days: Is it “iPod shuffles” or “iPods shuffle?” Here’s a transcript of our conversation…

If Phil Schiller answered, he’d probably troll Peter with “iPod Shuffle devices.”


Phil Schiller on App Store Upgrade Pricing →

May 6, 2017 · 19:20

Kunal Dua, interviewing Phil Schiller:

Phill Schiller: The reason we haven’t done it is that it’s much more complex than people know, and that’s okay, it’s our job to think about complex problems, but the App Store has reached so many successful milestones without it because the business model makes sense to customers. And the upgrade model, which I know very well from my days of running many large software programmes, is a model from the shrink-wrapped software days that for some developers is still very important, for most, it’s not really a part of the future we are going.

I think for many developers, subscription model is a better way to, go than try to come up with a list of features, and different pricing for upgrade, versus for new customers. I am not saying it doesn’t have value for some developers but for most it doesn’t, so that’s the challenge. And if you look at the App Store it would take a lot of engineering to do that and so would be at the expense of other features we can deliver.

Subscription models are fine for a very limited number of apps. If every app had subscription pricing, I’d probably be using five applications at most. I would however endorse in-app purchases to unlock new functions, added by developers. This isn’t always possible unfortunately, especially in scenarios where most of the apps code changes from version to version.


Apple Pushes the Reset Button on the Mac Pro →

April 5, 2017 · 10:20

Matthew Panzarino:

As representatives of the largest company on the planet, it’s not shocking that they need to consider how everything they say could be interpreted both by users and by the market. But it does highlight the difficulty of the balancing act they’re trying to pull off. Having a dialog with pro users (and other users) is healthy in the long run, and seeing Apple make an attempt at this is gratifying. On the other hand, I definitely get the impression that scaling from an audience of five to millions with that dialog is very much an experiment.

As we file out of the building, I can hear the whine of machines beginning to carve away on the next generation of Macs, now promised explicitly for the first time ever.

Great piece on the new Mac Pro, some tidbits about the ‘iMac Pro’, and lots more interesting conversation from Apple. The whole briefing was a huge surprise — this is definitely not something Apple would have done years past — but it’s a welcome one. As is the apology Apple issued to its pro users — it might not be enough to keep everything happy, waiting another year for the next Mac Pro, but it had to have calmed many people down, showing them a future without needing to change software platforms.


I Envy John Gruber’s Writing Style →

April 5, 2017 · 10:12

The bomb dropped yesterday — midday for me — that Apple was still working on the Mac Pro. Five people were invited for a unique briefing by four — Phil Schiller, Craig Federighi, John Ternus and Bill Evans. This was amazing news which I was not expecting. Quite frankly, I had assumed that the Mac Pro was dead, having gone so long without any updates. I was genuinely happy for most of the day because that meant that my favourite software platform — macOS — has a future. But as I write these words, I can’t help but go back to reading and re-reading John Gruber’s words:

We’re inside a nondescript single-story office building on Apple’s extended old campus, across De Anza Boulevard from One Infinite Loop. This is Apple’s “product realization lab” for Mac hardware, better known, internally, as “the machine lab”. This is where they make and refine prototypes for new Mac hardware. We don’t get to see anything cool. There is no moment where they lift a black cloth and show us prototypes of future hardware. The setting feels chosen simply to set the tone that innovative Mac hardware design — across the entire Mac lineup — is not a thing of the past.

There are only nine people at the table. Phil Schiller, Craig Federighi, and John Ternus (vice president, hardware engineering — in charge of Mac hardware) are there to speak for Apple. Bill Evans from Apple PR is there to set the ground rules and run the clock. (We had 90 minutes.) The other five are writers who were invited for what was billed as “a small roundtable discussion about the Mac”: Matthew Panzarino, Lance Ulanoff, Ina Fried, John Paczkowski, and yours truly.

The discussion is on the record.

I have been following John’s writing for many years now and these are the posts which always fascinate me most. Gruber has a knack for setting the mood for the reader, despite writing about a ‘normal’ meeting between technology executives and journalists — it reads as well as good thriller fiction.

While I did not appreaciate the other invitees articles as much, Matthew Panzarino’s piece was great too, although writting in his own style:

As representatives of the largest company on the planet, it’s not shocking that they need to consider how everything they say could be interpreted both by users and by the market. But it does highlight the difficulty of the balancing act they’re trying to pull off. Having a dialog with pro users (and other users) is healthy in the long run, and seeing Apple make an attempt at this is gratifying. On the other hand, I definitely get the impression that scaling from an audience of five to millions with that dialog is very much an experiment.

As we file out of the building, I can hear the whine of machines beginning to carve away on the next generation of Macs, now promised explicitly for the first time ever.

It’s John’s personal style and the way he describes the most mundane things that make me envious. I still remember his piece from 2012 about Mountain Lion:

“We’re starting to do some things differently,” Phil Schiller said to me.

We were sitting in a comfortable hotel suite in Manhattan just over a week ago. I’d been summoned a few days earlier by Apple PR with the offer of a private “product briefing”. I had no idea heading into the meeting what it was about. I had no idea how it would be conducted. This was new territory for me, and I think, for Apple (…)

Handshakes, a few pleasantries, good hot coffee, and then, well, then I got an Apple press event for one. Keynote slides that would have looked perfect had they been projected on stage at Moscone West or the Yerba Buena Center, but instead were shown on a big iMac on a coffee table in front of us (…)

Schiller has no notes. He is every bit as articulate, precise, and rehearsed as he is for major on-stage events. He knows the slide deck stone cold. It strikes me that I have spoken in front of a thousand people but I’ve never been as well-prepared for a presentation as Schiller is for this one-on-one meeting. (Note to self: I should be that rehearsed.)

This is an awful lot of effort and attention in order to brief what I’m guessing is a list of a dozen or two writers and journalists. It’s Phil Schiller, spending an entire week on the East Coast, repeating this presentation over and over to a series of audiences of one. There was no less effort put into the preparation of this presentation than there would have been if it had been the WWDC keynote address.

What do I think so far, Schiller asks.

These two articles are probably my two favourites pieces from his full archive. They could have just as easily not mentioned any products or Apple news itself — just reading about the atmosphere, settings, and people is fascinating enough for me.

Keep writing John. And Phil, please keep inviting John into stranger and stranger surroundings and situations.


Phil Schiller: ”It Feels Like WWDC is Going Home“ →

February 16, 2017 · 21:33

John Gruber:

Apple doesn’t like to explain itself. I don’t know why Apple moved WWDC to San Francisco in 2003. But my guess is that they sought more media attention. Apple went to where the attention was. Today, the attention comes to Apple. They could hold WWDC in the middle of a desert and it would still sell out in an instant and there’d be the same convoy of media trucks outside the hall the morning of the keynote. If a large corporation can be described as a homebody, Apple is it. And San Francisco is not Apple’s home turf.

Schiller has been at Apple (and on stage at WWDC) throughout this entire run, and he seems ready to go back. “It feels like WWDC is going home,” he told me.

It’s still one of my dreams to go to WWDC, but since I’m not a developer, it wouldn’t feel right taking part in the lottery. The costs are an issue too, of course, but the former is a primary deterrent for me.


Apple’s Philip Schiller Talks Computers, Touchscreens and Voice on the New MacBook Pro →

November 2, 2016 · 22:21

David Phelan:

We first talked in an Apple-white private room at Infinite Loop, the company’s Californian headquarters, minutes after the new laptops had been unveiled and followed up a few days later…

This rarely happens. I assume it’s because the internet almost burned down from the heat of the discussions after the new MacBook Pro event.

Phil Schiller answers David’s questions:

The new MacBook Pro is a product that celebrates that it is a notebook, this shape that has been with us for the last 25 years is probably going to be with us for another 25 years because there’s something eternal about the basic notebook form factor.

Now this will be an interesting quote to return to in 25 years. I will actually put this down in my calendar.

If you made the Mac a touchscreen you’d have to figure out how to make it a good experience with your finger on a touchscreen. Trust me, we’ve looked at that — it’s a bad experience. It’s not as good or as intuitive as with a mouse and trackpad.

People assume Apple has never tried to make a touchscreen device. I was more than certain that they entertained the thought more than once, without Phil’s confirmation.

Then there are very fine and fast USB card readers, and then you can use CompactFlash as well as SD (…) So, that was a bit of a trade-off. And then more and more cameras are starting to build wireless transfer into the camera. That’s proving very useful.

Quite frankly, the camera companies, such as Nikon and Canon, are terrible at implementing features, which should have been standard years ago, wireless transfers being right there at the top.

And we are proud to tell you that so far our online store has had more orders for the new MacBook Pro than any other pro notebook before. So there certainly are a lot of people as excited as we are about it.

This is a tough one to judge — people have waited for so long for a new MacBook Pro, that it could just be then finally putting their orders down.

To be fair it has been a bit of a surprise to me. But then, it shouldn’t be. I have never seen a great new Apple product that didn’t have its share of early criticism and debate — and that’s cool. We took a bold risk, and of course with every step forward there is also some change to deal with. Our customers are so passionate, which is amazing.

We care about what they love and what they are worried about. And it’s our job to help people through these changes.

That’s the thing. I curse, swear, and shout, because I love, not because I hate. I want and expect the new MacBook Pros to be the best — my iPhone too, for that matter — but apart from the usual suspects, I do have two complaints:

  • there is no screen cloth included in the box; I still use the one from my 17″ MacBook Pro and have two more stashed away, for when this one finally gives out; I use it every single day to wipe down my screen and I expect a new one for every Mac; perhaps this is strange of me, but this is an expensive machine — I want to feel that Apple sweated the details;
  • the charger extender is missing and now a $19 optional accessory, which I consider bad taste; I’m sure most people never used it, but that’s besides the point.

Anyway, I have one on order too… with the Touch Bar.


Phil Schiller Calls John Gruber to Talk About the App Store →

June 9, 2016 · 15:36

John Gruber:

“We’re doing something a little different this year. We’ve got a bunch of App Store/developer-related announcements for WWDC next week, but frankly, we’ve got a busy enough keynote that we decided we’re not going to cover those in the keynote. And rather, just cover them in the afternoon and throughout the week. We’re talking to people today for news tomorrow about those things, in advance of WWDC, and then developers can come and be ready for sessions about these things, with knowledge about them before the conference. We haven’t done this before, but we figured, what the heck, let’s give it a try.”

So started my phone call with Phil Schiller yesterday.

More information from John. I love how the ‘new Apple’ communicates with people like Gruber and Dalrymple. And it surprises me every single time.


Phil Schiller Talks to Jim Dalrymple About Changes to the App Store →

June 9, 2016 · 15:34

Jim Dalrymple:

These are some major changes from the App Store team—more than we’ve seen in years from Apple. It’s a good sign that Apple is focusing so much attention on making the App Store better for developers and customers. We’ll have to see how it all works out in the coming months, but a focus on making things relevant, fair, and easier to use should pay off for Apple, its developers and the customer.

A nice set of changes overall, although I am worried that many developers will want to jump on the bandwagon, ultimately resulting in a failed attempt at the newly announced subscription model.


Phil Schiller Has Some Fun on Twitter

April 30, 2016 · 10:43

My attention was brought to a few of Phil’s tweets, while catching up on my timeline. At first I just stared incredulously, and then it clicked.

Phil Schiller: 1. Twitter: 0.


Did Tim Cook, Phil Schiller or Someone at Apple Accelerate My Order?

December 23, 2015 · 13:15

I just picked up my iPad Pro Smart Keyboard from TNT and since I need to write something to test it out, I chose to speculate a little. You see, while the Smart Keyboard was available in the EU, the Polish Apple Online Store said it would be ‘coming soon’. I already had my iPad Pro at the time, miraculously managed to snag an Apple Pencil, but couldn’t get my hands on the most important accessory, especially since I was wondering if the Pro would replace most or all of my MacBook needs. I wrote a post directed at Tim Cook and Phil Schiller at the time, keeping my fingers crossed…

Continue reading →


Jeff Williams Named COO, Phil Schiller’s Role Expanded and More →

December 17, 2015 · 16:35

Apple:

Apple today announced that Jeff Williams has been named chief operating officer and Johny Srouji is joining Apple’s executive team as senior vice president for Hardware Technologies. Phil Schiller, senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, will expand his role to include leadership of the revolutionary App Store® across all Apple platforms. Apple also announced that Tor Myhren will join Apple in the first calendar quarter of 2016 as vice president of Marketing Communications, reporting to CEO Tim Cook.

“We are fortunate to have incredible depth and breadth of talent across Apple’s executive team. As we come to the end of the year, we’re recognizing the contributions already being made by two key executives,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Jeff is hands-down the best operations executive I’ve ever worked with, and Johny’s team delivers world-class silicon designs which enable new innovations in our products year after year.”

Cook continued, “In addition, Phil is taking on new responsibilities for advancing our ecosystem, led by the App Store, which has grown from a single, groundbreaking iOS store into four powerful platforms and an increasingly important part of our business. And I’m incredibly happy to welcome Tor Myhren, who will bring his creative talents to our advertising and marcom functions.”