Many say that Apple’s events are no longer the same, that the company has lost its surprise effect, among many other things. In fact, Steve Jobs was unique, especially on the stage. It will be a while before we see someone with the charisma and control of the situation as he had.
But it is not because of that that the events of the Apple became less interesting. I particularly liked the last one, which happened last Tuesday (10/23) at the California Theater. And I confess that a big part of my appreciation was seeing that Apple still shows concern and attention to the Mac platform. Much of the event was focused on Macintoshes (MacBook Pro with 13-inch Retina display, Mac mini and iMac) and without a doubt any the new all-in-one shared the spotlight with the main launch of the day, the iPad mini. Seeing a desktop – increasingly reneged on account of the mobility of notebooks and the “post-PC” world – resurfacing like that, in style, made me love the event!
Harry McCracken, from TIME.com, interviewed Phil Schiller (Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing) shortly after the event. He started by asking about Apple’s strategy of adopting unibody for practically the entire line, in addition to sealing batteries, removing optical drives, HDDs (in newer notebooks), eliminating old ports / connections … in short, a movement normally contrary to that of other manufacturers, who always want to add more and more functionality.
Schiller said that this has always been the essence of the Mac and Apple, since the beginning of time. The idea has always been to build the best Mac they know how to make and the benefits are clear: ease of use, cutting-edge features, etc. Speaking of “old” technologies, the executive said they hinder progress. Like HDDs, for example, they consume more power and are more prone to failure than SSDs.
For Phil, Apple’s competitors are afraid to take that step, while the company focuses on what’s best, on the technologies ahead. Asked if the decision to remove optical drives from the new generation of iMacs had been difficult, Phil said no. For him, in general, the idea of removing rotating media from computers (and other devices) is great, as they are very mechanical and the probability of breakage is great – not to mention energy consumption and physical size. “We can create products that are smaller, lighter and that consume less energy,” said Phil.
One of the great benefits of optical drives was the distribution of software. However, today virtually everything is done digitally. Specifically about Blu-ray, Schiller said that the media came up with several issues unrelated to the real quality of the film. This made it complex and bad technology, so for several reasons it made sense to get rid of optical discs on desktops and notebooks.
A subject that always comes up when we’re talking about Apple is price. McCracken questioned Apple’s senior vice president about the price of Macs, saying that he imagined their cheapness over the years, but that it didn’t. Phil explained that Apple’s approach has always been to make products that they are proud to have, to use. The company will never do anything cheap or low quality. He also made an interesting observation, saying that, in times of difficult economics, people are very concerned about how to spend their money and that Apple consumers have come to understand that her product is priceless; the price reflects the value of his construction, the quality of everything that is used to make that product real. Of course Phil is talking about the American market and not the Brazilian… ?
As an example that Apple holds on to its conviction, Schiller said that recently, the entire market has moved towards netbooks, but that Apple rejected the idea from the beginning because it knew that the design of a netbook did not have the quality that it aims for its products. The company’s response? The iPad, a “computer” – at least for many people – that costs $ 500. “Today, 100 million people agree that the iPad is a great computer,” he said.
Finally, McCracken asked what Schiller thought about Windows 8 and the strategy to develop the same system for both PCs and tablets. The Apple marketing boss chose not to respond, saying that at Apple, they think what they are doing, not what others are doing.