Phil Schiller Gets Interviewed

Apple’s SVP of Worldwide Marketing was interviewed by Harry McCracken of Time. In the talk, Schiller discusses the Mac, legacy technologies, focusing on the high-end of the market, and netbooks.

On the removal of older technologies such as optical drives from the Mac:

“These old technologies are holding us back,” he said. “They’re anchors on where we want to go.”

“We find the things that have outlived their useful purpose. Our competitors are afraid to remove them. We try to find better solutions — our customers have given us a lot of trust.”


“It actually comes from similar thinking as with the portables,” Schiller said. “In general, it’s a good idea to remove these rotating medias from our computers and other devices. They have inherent issues — they’re mechanical and sometimes break, they use power and are large. We can create products that are smaller, lighter and consume less power.”

Asked about Apple’s strategy of catering to the high-end of the market, Schiller responds thusly:

“Our approach at Apple has always been to make products we’re proud to own and use ourselves,” he told me. “…We wouldn’t make something cheap or low quality. When the economy is difficult, people care a great deal about the things they spend their money on. Customers have come to understand that Apple’s products aren’t priced high — they’re priced on the value of what we build into them.”

“There’s something that happened in the industry…that made that topic meaningless. There were these products being created called netbooks. People said they were the future. We rejected them because we thought they were poor. Even if the market was going there, we weren’t going to chase everybody downhill.”

And about the iPad as a response to the netbook craze, Schiller adds:

“The iPad became our answer to the $500 computer. Time has proved us right on that point. And now 100 million people agree that the iPad is a great computer.”

(I’ve always found it amusing that a guy named Schiller is a company’s marketing chief.)

See also: Schiller's defense of the iPad Mini's $329 price in an interview with Reuters. 

(via 512px)