Schiller schools internet on correct Apple device plurals, but Cook says 'iPad Pros'

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 2016
A contentious debate is brewing in Cupertino. Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller on Friday took to Twitter to inform tech plebes that Apple devices should never be pluralized, a stance in diametric opposition to beliefs held by CEO Tim Cook.


Apple SVP Phil Schiller emerges from the sea in triumphant defeat of grammar kraken monsters (not krakens).


According to Schiller, multiple Apple products should be referred to without pluralization, for example the plural of "iPhone" is "iPhone" or "iPhone devices." It seems years of rampant misuse have taken their toll, finally and absolutely corroding the exec's resolve to maintain an amiable public persona.

"It would be proper to say 'I have 3 Macintosh' or 'I have 3 Macintosh computers,'" Schiller said, teetering on the edge of despair.

The definitive exposition came in response to a tweet by Andreessen Horowitz partner, analyst and longtime Apple terminology truther Benedict Evans, who earlier in the day referenced "iPads Pro." An honest, albeit fatal, mistake. Or was it?

During Apple's most recent quarterly earnings conference call, Cook is clearly heard borrowing taboo phraseology, notably "iPhones" and "iPad Pros." So did CFO Luca Maestri, but his statements had the stink of fear. After all, Maestri was staring down a steely-eyed, pluralizing madman just across the table (at the time Cook was wearing his necklace of Android earpieces, a macabre trophy of war).

Evans' tweet was brought to Schiller's attention by longtime industry analyst turned Apple marketing director turned analyst Michael Gartenberg. Whether Gartenberg's posture on singular/plural nouns played a role in his departure from the company earlier this year is unclear.

At Apple, there is obvious dissension among the ranks. How far the rift runs no one knows, but battle lines are being drawn in the silicate.

As of this writing, Schiller's most recent tweet reads, "It's all fun until someone gets hurt," a telltale allusion to what must be roiling internal conflict. A winking smiley face was added for ironic -- and utterly depressing -- effect.
brakken
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 52
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,580member
    Well, when referring to a trademarked thing, the correct usage of the name by the company is important. Trademarks can be devalued and lost due to popular usage. Examples: 

    • "Make me a Xerox of this."
    • "I just Googled that."
    • "Go straight ahead, then take the escalator to the third floor."

    By not reinforcing the proper trademark, popular use will damage the brand name.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generic_trademark
    edited April 2016 digital_guycurtisthegeekmike1
  • Reply 2 of 52
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    I am siding with Tim Cook on this one. 

    Let's say that I am asking my friend how many iPads they own. Which of these am I going to choose?

    (1) How many iPad do you own?    
    (2) How many iPad devices do you own?
    (3) How many iPads do you own?

    I am obviously choosing #3, as that makes most sense, it's most logical, and anybody opting for #1 or #2 is just somebody who obviously must have various issues, hopefully none too serious.

    I am sorry, but saying "I have 3 Macintosh" just sounds semi-retarded, and I will have no part of it.
    curtisthegeekanantksundaramasdasdzoetmbbloggerblogjony0cornchipicoco3
  • Reply 3 of 52
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member

    Well, when referring to a trademarked thing, the correct usage of the name by the company is important. Trademarks can be devalued and lost due to popular usage. Examples: 

    • "Make me a Xerox of this."
    • "I just Googled that."
    • "Go straight ahead, then take the escalator to the third floor."

    By not reinforcing the proper trademark, popular use will damage the brand name.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generic_trademark

    Do you remember when the NFL was using Surface tablets, but the commentators called them iPads? I think that's a good thing, and it reinforces how important the original is, as it has worked its way into the vocabulary.
    curtisthegeekcalinostrathomasdysamoria
  • Reply 4 of 52
    Wow, what tough problems to have. I think I'd be happy people are buying them in plurals. Much better to sell iPhones than it is to sell an iPhone. I love the guys in charge at Apple, but maybe find something worth fighting over, like I don't know, maybe product design and new stuff. 
    nostrathomasdysamoria
  • Reply 5 of 52
    This plurality preference of Schiller's holds true easily for Microsoft in regard to Windows Mobile. "At Microsoft, we sell Windows Mobile Phone daily"
    edited April 2016 calinostrathomasJanNLcornchip
  • Reply 6 of 52
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,752member
    Hey MR, you got played. Schiller was trolling on Twitter. 
    asdasdnolamacguyindyfx
  • Reply 7 of 52
    calfotocalfoto Posts: 58member
    Hmmmmm...

    Perhaps if Mr. Schiller spent more time & attention marketing Macintoshes, iPads, Apple Watches, iPhones, and a myriad of other Apple devices instead of lecturing us on how we should pluralize their names, Apple wouldn't have had their worst stock performance in over 3 years this last week. This is just a theory....

    Funny though, when I type "ipads", on my iPad, it auto corrects to iPads, not iPad devices - perhaps some programmer just lost their job at Apple. 



    paxman
  • Reply 8 of 52
    I like 'iPads Pro' myself.  Like 'attorneys general' or 'Traders Joe'.

    But he is right "It's all fun until someone gets hurt."   Then it's hilarious!
    brakkennostrathomaspscooter63
  • Reply 9 of 52
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 813member
    apple ][ said:
    I am siding with Tim Cook on this one. 

    Let's say that I am asking my friend how many iPads they own. Which of these am I going to choose?

    (1) How many iPad do you own?    
    (2) How many iPad devices do you own?
    (3) How many iPads do you own?

    I am obviously choosing #3, as that makes most sense, it's most logical, and anybody opting for #1 or #2 is just somebody who obviously must have various issues, hopefully none too serious.

    I am sorry, but saying "I have 3 Macintosh" just sounds semi-retarded, and I will have no part of it.
    I think the real issue is saying iPads Pro. I always say I have 3 Macintosh computers or 3 macs. Lol


  • Reply 10 of 52
    the iPhone / mac spell checker will spell check i p h o n e s as iPhones , so that there overrules Phil Schiller

    brakkendysamoriacornchip
  • Reply 11 of 52
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,069member

    Guess that's why I prefer Bowers & Wilkins headphones over Apple's Beat. They elegantly solved the plural issue single-handedly  >:)
    baconstangbrakken
  • Reply 12 of 52
    brakkenbrakken Posts: 676member
    Great work, Campbell - your best and funniest article!
    LOVE it!!
    mikeycampbell81
  • Reply 13 of 52
    latifbplatifbp Posts: 544member
    apple ][ said:
    I am siding with Tim Cook on this one. 

    Let's say that I am asking my friend how many iPads they own. Which of these am I going to choose?

    (1) How many iPad do you own?    
    (2) How many iPad devices do you own?
    (3) How many iPads do you own?

    I am obviously choosing #3, as that makes most sense, it's most logical, and anybody opting for #1 or #2 is just somebody who obviously must have various issues, hopefully none too serious.

    I am sorry, but saying "I have 3 Macintosh" just sounds semi-retarded, and I will have no part of it.
    To be proper is logical, it's just not the path of least resistance which you seem to find most comfortable
    mike1
  • Reply 14 of 52
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,589member
    iPads Pro, though :s 
    iPhones 6s?
    MacBooks Air?
    Somebody needs to get hurt. 
  • Reply 15 of 52
    cw414cw414 Posts: 1member
  • Reply 16 of 52
    irelandireland Posts: 17,531member
    iPhones, iPads, Macs, BMWs, PS3s, Mercs.
  • Reply 17 of 52
    irelandireland Posts: 17,531member
    cw414 said:
    He said need not, not cannot. Anyhow I think it was wrong of him to interfere in the sense that iPhones and iPads is part of the culture and sounds perfectly fine when referring to multiples of these devices. If he was to say anything he should have said iPad devices or 'iPads' was fine when referring to multiples of them.
    edited April 2016
  • Reply 18 of 52
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 982member
    This isn't like Lego vs Legos as a collective noun. It would be notable for a customer to have more than one of any one device so you should pluralise. 
  • Reply 19 of 52
    oakieoakie Posts: 35member
    apple ][ said:
    I am siding with Tim Cook on this one. 

    Let's say that I am asking my friend how many iPads they own. Which of these am I going to choose?

    (1) How many iPad do you own?    
    (2) How many iPad devices do you own?
    (3) How many iPads do you own?

    I am obviously choosing #3, as that makes most sense, it's most logical, and anybody opting for #1 or #2 is just somebody who obviously must have various issues, hopefully none too serious.

    I am sorry, but saying "I have 3 Macintosh" just sounds semi-retarded, and I will have no part of it.
    do you say, "hand me some Kleenex," or "hand me some Kleenexes," or "hand me some Kleenex tissues"? or do you avoid the conundrum altogether by just calling it what it is, tissue paper? and if the latter, do you pluralize it as "tissue papers" or "tissues paper"? XD
  • Reply 20 of 52
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,205member
    Schiller was taking the piss of Evans. Of course the plural of iPad is iPads. What's not correct is iPads Pro and that's what Schiller was obliquely joking about.

    The plural is  iPad Pros. The iPad Pro is the singular name of the device. 

    The only reason why attorney general is pluralised to attorneys general is because this phrase is a direct transliteration of the French. In English it means head attorney. General is the adjective. 

    Ive no idea why anybody thinks the plural of trader joe is traders joe. 
    edited April 2016 brakken
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