Recently we have commented a lot here on the website how Apple is more "open". Some attribute this to Tim Cook's style; others, the departure of Katie Cotton (former head of communications at Apple who, like Steve Jobs, was very strict when it came to external communication). Regardless of who is responsible for this “new Apple”, the truth is that we, users, are getting to know even more how the company works because of these beautiful interviews that some journalists are then managing to carry out.
Not long ago, we highlight a very good one made by Steven Levy, who brought details about the creation of the 21.5-inch iMacs with Retina 4K screen and the new peripherals from Ma (Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 2) . Now it was time for Lance Ulanoff, of Mashable, talk to Phil Schiller (senior vice president of worldwide marketing for Apple) and John Ternus (vice president of Mac and iPad engineering).
Schiller has been with Apple since 1987, when the Mac SE and Mac II were launched. Because of this, he closely followed not only the evolution of the products but also the company itself.
Since the beginning, the Mac has been about Apple (the idea of) taking responsibility for everything: hardware, software, how applications can work and, increasingly, internet services. But that today means something different than 20 years ago.
Today, these teams are not only integrated and designing something together, they are really thinking about characteristics that could only exist because of this integration and solving problems that could only be solved because of this unique advantage.
from this collaboration that the great innovations of Apple are born, although many of them go unnoticed by the general public, such as speaktenna (name given to the speaker module of the new MacBook that has a thin strip that nothing more than the computer's Wi-Fi and Bluetooth antenna), the shape of the MacBook's chassis to house the “layers” of batteries, the cuts on the MacBook chassis that are not just for the battery fit, but to reduce the weight of the structure, among other things.
It is a very different Apple from that of many years ago, in which teams worked separately, resulting in a path that is not so clear in the design and production of a product. For Ternus, one of the most surprising things about the new Apple is that everything is very stable from the first product models (prototypes) until the final version, which hits the market.
This type of collaboration can also be seen in the partnerships that Apple has with its suppliers. According to Schiller, it is not uncommon for Apple to help its partners refine some specification so that such a company can provide exactly what Ma needs. Apple is often looking for technologies and features that have not yet been created, such as when Steve Jobs “helped” Corning create Gorilla Glass or now, with the new technology (butterfly mechanism) on the MacBook keyboard.
Almost all new products have a new material, process or technology that we have never done before. In many cases, no one has ever done it before.
Collaboration is so important to Apple today that the company's new campus was built with that in mind.
Schiller explained that the spaceship's inner and outer ring are the corridors, and they run through the entire building. It is a totally open space, designed to encourage all employees to bump into each other, talk and work together.
Apple's marketing head was also asked whether, with the increasingly constant use of cloud services, hardware remains as important as that. Schiller tried to reject this idea:
No. The importance and value of good hardware has not diminished in any way. Overall, our goal is to do the best in the categories we choose to compete. what we are doing and this is reflected in the choice of customers for our products over others. So, I think people are showing with their choices that they value the quality and beauty of the hardware, and that this is not diminishing.
I never heard anyone say, “Because I like to keep my stuff in the cloud, I'm going to get a piece of cheap hardware and I want it to be ugly. () "
The executive also commented on the fact that the Mac has something that other computers don't have: being loved by its owners.
It is important for us, something that we are lucky to have and that we never forget, that we have customers who really love these products deeply.
This is something that goes back to the first generations of Macs, by which people felt a connection and cared about their Macs in a way that you would not normally expect from inanimate objects.
Truth be told, knowing that this may be the case, we certainly try to explore and reinforce that, not only delivering amazing products but identifying ourselves with them.
Schiller also ended up commenting a little indirectly on Microsoft's new onslaught (with the Surface Book), saying that although there are more hybrid devices (notebooks that are also tablets) on the market, he believes that it is still a very small (niche) market and that doesn't grow to the point of becoming relevant. "Time will tell," he said. That is, if Apple at any time bet on such a product, a sign that it has revised its concepts and that this market has become important.
An interesting story about the new MacBooks was also shared, about how each machine is meticulously assembled, how the parts are chosen very individually, creating “unique computers”. That's because, weighing only 920 grams, I need to combine the elements so that nothing is disproportionate. As there are natural variations for the same piece, Apple needs to make sure that everything is as it expects. So, when it comes to assembling a MacBook, Apple's mirrored logo is a little heavier than normal, I need to choose a slightly lighter housing to offset this.
"All units are measured to see the force needed to open it and we really adjusted each unit," said Ternus. The result that each MacBook, in a way, special and imperceptibly different. Each is unique, but "all in an effort to make them equal".
When asked if Apple is perfect, Schiller said, “No, of course not. And we don't want to look like we're perfect. We never are, we always have to improve and we always have to listen to where (in what area) we are not doing well. ” Proof of this is the autocracy that the company is always carrying out, choosing to invest in ideas that were rejected in the past (such as increasing the screen of the iPhone, launching the iPad mini and iPad Pro with a stylus, Among other things).
It is very worthwhile to check Ulanoff's article.