Key Apple execs Ive, Federighi, Schiller talk future of Apple, new MacBook Pro

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware
In an interview, Chief Design Officer Jony Ive, Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi, and Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller dole out the details on decisions made during the new MacBook Pro development process, convergence of iOS and macOS, and more.




"We challenge the teams to do great work and sometimes that great work can be done in one year, sometimes it takes three years," Schiller told CNet. "What we really care about is creating new innovations in the Mac and continuing the story that has really defined Apple for so many years."

The late 2016 MacBook Pro revision may not be widely heralded as revolutionary, but a big change that the device brings to the platform is the Touch Bar. The Touch Bar is a multi-touch Retina-class bar, replacing the physical function keys on the keyboard, which Apple calls a vestige of computing days gone by.
"We don't design for price, we design for the experience and the quality people expect from Mac." -- Apple SVP Phil Schiller
Ive, the head designer of the product, considers full touch screens not particularly useful, and mentioned that the decision to not implement the technology was made years ago.

"We unanimously were very compelled by [the Touch Bar] as a direction, based on, one, using it, and also having the sense this is the beginning of a very interesting direction," Ive said. "But [it] still just marks a beginning."

MacOS and iOS, never the two shall meet

The executives consider other additions to macOS that interact with iOS better replacements for full-screen touch on the Mac.

"It is great to provide two different ways to solve some of the same things, but they also do very unique things that the other doesn't," said Schiller. "Having them separate allows us to explore both, versus trying to force them into one -- and only one -- model."

"You can't try to turn MacOS into an iPhone," Schiller added. "Conversely, you can't turn iOS into a Mac.... So each one is best at what they're meant to be -- and we take what makes sense to add from each, but without fundamentally changing them so they're compromised."

On the MacBook Pro pricing

Apple is facing some criticism about the new MacBook Pro pricing, with the Internet apparently suddenly tone-deaf about Microsoft's offerings on Wednesday being considered overly expensive as well, if only briefly.

"We don't design for price, we design for the experience and the quality people expect from Mac," said Schiller. "Sometimes that means we end up at the higher end of the range, but not on purpose, just because that's what it costs."

Schiller may not be completely correct in his assessment. Recent market share analyses quoted by CNet say that while Apple is the world's fifth largest PC maker, with 8 percent of the total marketshare, it accounts for half of the PC industry profit.

The first post-Jobs MacBook Pro, but the influence is still felt

The quartet of executives have clearly leaned on one of founder Steve Jobs' last presentations. In 2010, Jobs famously said that the world was in the "post-PC" era, and users would soon vastly prefer mobile devices to desktop computers chained to an office, or laptops open on a desk.

While Apple's focus has made this shift apparent, Federighi and Schiller differ on the timetable of the extermination of the laptop. The pair believe that Apple laptops will be around for at least 25 more years.

"The idea of a laptop ... with a surface on the table that you can type on and a vertical screen has made sense for 25 years," said Schiller. "As far as our eyes can see, there will still be a place for this basic laptop architecture."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 55
    ktappektappe Posts: 759member
    >"We don't design for price, we design for the experience "

    Maybe they should take a brief look at price. Even I, a 30-year Apple vet, am starting to question why Apple keeps delivering 2 year old hardware specs at 2 years from now prices.
    goodbyeranchentropysaylkbdkennedy1002h2p
  • Reply 2 of 55
    ktappe said:
    Maybe they should take a brief look at price. Even I, a 30-year Apple vet, am starting to question why Apple keeps delivering 2 year old hardware specs at 2 years from now prices.
    The MBP is using Skylake quad core processors since Kaby Lake is only shipping in dual core configurations. It may be 2017 before Intel ships quad-core versions of KL. You can only ship the parts that are available.
    edited October 2016 andrewj5790stevehlolliverfastasleepargonautwilliamlondonRayz2016irelandwatto_cobrastantheman
  • Reply 3 of 55
    I do wish they would have followed what they did with iPhone 7 and put an adapter in the box for connecting your iOS device to the USB c port. If they're going to take USB-a away give people an adapter to make the transition to USB c less painful. These laptops are expensive enough I'm sure they could do it without cutting into margins much at all.  People hate dongles but they hate them even more when they have to be purchased separately.
    welshdograndominternetpersonGeorgeBMacwonkothesaneentropysargonautcroprh2p
  • Reply 4 of 55
    Agreed. The price is an issue. Having spoke to two extremely knowledgeable people this evening one who works for Apple. The response was disbelief and pure laughter from the other.

    The price is very difficult to justify. Certainly in the UK at the moment. A like for like model is £600 more expensive overnight. Making the spec of machine I was wanting to order £3300 when it was £2700. 

    Its too much, I can see our clients scaling down. 

    Part of me thinks that is what Apple wants. Kill of the Mac lineups slowly by pricing people out of them. 

    Pleasant even if it is only lip service to hear they expect the laptop to stay. Shame they can't be bothered to update the Mac Mini and the other one. 


    goodbyeranchentropysh2p
  • Reply 5 of 55
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member

    "We unanimously were very compelled by [the Touch Bar] as a direction, based on, one, using it, and also having the sense this is the beginning of a very interesting direction," Ive said. "But [it] still just marks a beginning."AppleInsider said:
    Next step: OLED touch-screen?
    That could make it much easier to eliminate the trackpad and sense gestures directly over the virtual key surface.
    Even less wasted motion that way.  But only if it improves the experience of using the keyboard.


    "It is great to provide two different ways to solve some of the same things, but they also do very unique things that the other doesn't," said Schiller. "Having them separate allows us to explore both, versus trying to force them into one -- and only one -- model."
    Microsoft fell for the head fake.
    Ballmer thought Apple was moving toward unifying iOS and OS X.
    He saw a few cosmetic and functional changes being shared between iOS to OS X.
    So he jumped to the conclusion that Apple would merge the two OS-es.

    I can just see him bellowing "Apple is going to do a mash-up of iOS and OS X.  Let's beat them to it."
    "For once, Apple will be copying Microsoft", he must have said, triumphantly.

    Well, no.  
    Merging the mobile and desktop Windows experiences was a sucker move.
    Enjoy your retirement, Ballmer.
    How 'bout them Clippers?


    edited October 2016 tmaylolliverfastasleepargonautwatto_cobrah2pjony0
  • Reply 6 of 55
    hmlongco said:
    ktappe said:
    Maybe they should take a brief look at price. Even I, a 30-year Apple vet, am starting to question why Apple keeps delivering 2 year old hardware specs at 2 years from now prices.
    The MBP is using Skylake quad core processors since Kaby Lake is only shipping in dual core configurations. It may be 2017 before Intel ships quad-core versions of KL. You can only ship the parts that are available.
    But unfortunately. I cannot see them updating these machines quickly with the new chips. Can you? Skylake will sit in the machines for far longer than it should while the price stays high ala the Mac Pro. 

    Apple will just soak the profit up as the chip prices fall. 

    I hope I'm wrong, but I doubt it 
    entropys
  • Reply 7 of 55
    hmlongco said:
    ktappe said:
    Maybe they should take a brief look at price. Even I, a 30-year Apple vet, am starting to question why Apple keeps delivering 2 year old hardware specs at 2 years from now prices.
    The MBP is using Skylake quad core processors since Kaby Lake is only shipping in dual core configurations. It may be 2017 before Intel ships quad-core versions of KL. You can only ship the parts that are available.
    But unfortunately. I cannot see them updating these machines quickly with the new chips. Can you? Skylake will sit in the machines for far longer than it should while the price stays high ala the Mac Pro. 

    Apple will just soak the profit up as the chip prices fall. 

    I hope I'm wrong, but I doubt it 
    People need to realize that Intel's newer CPU's are the barest improvements. Kaby Lake is just a slight tweak to Skylake, nothing more. The days of legitimate CPU improvements from Intel are over.

    Intel has already announced that high end Cannonlake will be delayed even further, and Coffee Lake will be produced to fill in the gap, meaning they'll have had four CPU's on the 14nm process. (Broadwell/Skylake/Kaby Lake/Coffee Lake).
    lolliveraylkargonautmdriftmeyerbrucemch2pjony0
  • Reply 8 of 55
    The WHEEL has made sense for a lot longer. 

    And its its basic architecture will be around until MAN is gone. 

    Just because a design has been around a while doesn't mean it isn't the absolute best way to do something. 

    watto_cobramdriftmeyerjony0
  • Reply 9 of 55
    The WHEEL has made sense for a lot longer. 

    And its its basic architecture will be around until MAN is gone. 

    Just because a design has been around a while doesn't mean it isn't the absolute best way to do something. 

    Exactly. There's a reason the PowerBook's design has lasted as long as it has. You don't reinvent the wheel just because tech junkies are bored and need to be wowed every 5 seconds. Having said that I do think perception often times becomes reality and Apple needs to do a better job from a narrative standpoint to counter the perception it's being out innovated.
    tmaylolliverh2p
  • Reply 10 of 55

    hmlongco said:
    ktappe said:
    Maybe they should take a brief look at price. Even I, a 30-year Apple vet, am starting to question why Apple keeps delivering 2 year old hardware specs at 2 years from now prices.
    The MBP is using Skylake quad core processors since Kaby Lake is only shipping in dual core configurations. It may be 2017 before Intel ships quad-core versions of KL. You can only ship the parts that are available.
    But unfortunately. I cannot see them updating these machines quickly with the new chips. Can you? Skylake will sit in the machines for far longer than it should while the price stays high ala the Mac Pro. 

    Apple will just soak the profit up as the chip prices fall. 

    I hope I'm wrong, but I doubt it 
    Is there something special about Kaby Lake? Will it provide noticible battery life improvement or faster processing?
    h2pchasm
  • Reply 11 of 55
    hmlongco said:
    ktappe said:
    Maybe they should take a brief look at price. Even I, a 30-year Apple vet, am starting to question why Apple keeps delivering 2 year old hardware specs at 2 years from now prices.
    The MBP is using Skylake quad core processors since Kaby Lake is only shipping in dual core configurations. It may be 2017 before Intel ships quad-core versions of KL. You can only ship the parts that are available.
    Actually, to be more precise, Kaby Lake is only shipping in low-power 4.5W & 15W dual-core versions, definitely not the high performance 28W dual-core / 45W quad-core that would go in the 13" & 15" MBP respectively.
    thewhitefalconlolliverfastasleepwilliamlondonbrucemch2p
  • Reply 12 of 55
    hmlongco said:
    ktappe said:
    Maybe they should take a brief look at price. Even I, a 30-year Apple vet, am starting to question why Apple keeps delivering 2 year old hardware specs at 2 years from now prices.
    The MBP is using Skylake quad core processors since Kaby Lake is only shipping in dual core configurations. It may be 2017 before Intel ships quad-core versions of KL. You can only ship the parts that are available.
    But unfortunately. I cannot see them updating these machines quickly with the new chips. Can you? Skylake will sit in the machines for far longer than it should while the price stays high ala the Mac Pro. 

    Apple will just soak the profit up as the chip prices fall. 

    I hope I'm wrong, but I doubt it 
    "Can you"

    Actually, I can.
    randominternetpersonlolliver
  • Reply 13 of 55
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 4,339administrator
    Re: Kaby Lake. From a raw performance standpoint, no. There are slight battery life and thermal advantages to the chipset. The base KL chips may have an advantage on the integrated GPU machines, but until we figure out exactly which Skylake chips are in the new machines, its hard to tell how much, if any.


  • Reply 14 of 55
    Price increase is a killer... big mistake!
    entropys
  • Reply 15 of 55
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,657member
    What price increase?  15" MacBook Pros have been $2349 - $2399 forever.  In fact I paid that much for my 12" G4 Powerbook years ago.  If anything Apple is holding prices down while increassing performance.
    jkichlinelolliverSpamSandwichargonaut
  • Reply 16 of 55
    walter77 said:
    Price increase is a killer... big mistake!
    Need I remind you what Apple laptops used to cost?

    From their video today:

    PowerBook 170: $4600
    PowerBook 540c: $4840
    PowerBook G3 Wallstreet (250 14.1"): $4399
    iBook (FireWire): $1499
    Titanium PowerBook G4: $2499
    MacBook: $1099
    MacBook Air: $1799
    MacBook Pro Retina: $2199.

    None of those are adjusted for inflation, so charging $1799 and $2399 for significantly better laptops in 2016 is reasonable, and on average they're still cheaper than the historical trend.

    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 55
    The single problem I have with the new MBP is the fact that you are still limited to 16 GB OF RAM. 

    THE OS and the hardware are capable of supporting more than 32. 

    It it is bordering on inexcusable to leave it at 16 max. Hopefully this is addressed in a quiet update early 2017. 

    Im working with a loaded iMac 5k and I exceed RAM capacity daily. Fast SSD or not, I need the RAM. 

    other than that, id pull the trigger now. 

    The only other minir minor complaint is aesthetic with the hinge now looking like an older model hinge style. The previous gen had a very clean look. This looks just a tad more clunky. 
    edited October 2016 entropysh2p
  • Reply 18 of 55
    sockrolid said:

    "We unanimously were very compelled by [the Touch Bar] as a direction, based on, one, using it, and also having the sense this is the beginning of a very interesting direction," Ive said. "But [it] still just marks a beginning."AppleInsider said:
    Next step: OLED touch-screen?
    That could make it much easier to eliminate the trackpad and sense gestures directly over the virtual key surface.
    Even less wasted motion that way.  But only if it improves the experience of using the keyboard.

    Logical next step (and one that would turbo boost the Apple ecosystem) would be to integrate iOS devices as MacOS peripherals.

    No, not integrating the OSes, just letting us use those brand new TouchBar capabilities with, say, a 12.9" ipadPro as a super peripheral. Will have a much bigger bang than a 1/2" wide strip. With the changes to MacOS and Mac software to support touchbar, all the elements are there.

    All that iPad real estate paired in slave mode to a MacOS rebuilt for *optional* touch peripheral use? Game changer!

    lolliverargonautRayz2016watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 55
    CTwentyTwoCTwentyTwo Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    I do wish they would have followed what they did with iPhone 7 and put an adapter in the box for connecting your iOS device to the USB c port. If they're going to take USB-a away give people an adapter to make the transition to USB c less painful. These laptops are expensive enough I'm sure they could do it without cutting into margins much at all.  People hate dongles but they hate them even more when they have to be purchased separately.
    You can sync your iOS device wirelessly. A more prominent issue is connecting other legacy USB and Thurnderbolt devices. Kind of like the previous teething issues with Firewire a while back.
    lolliverfastasleep
  • Reply 20 of 55
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,134member
    Agreed. The price is an issue. Having spoke to two extremely knowledgeable people this evening one who works for Apple. The response was disbelief and pure laughter from the other.

    The price is very difficult to justify. Certainly in the UK at the moment. A like for like model is £600 more expensive overnight. Making the spec of machine I was wanting to order £3300 when it was £2700. 

    Its too much, I can see our clients scaling down. 

    Part of me thinks that is what Apple wants. Kill of the Mac lineups slowly by pricing people out of them. 

    Pleasant even if it is only lip service to hear they expect the laptop to stay. Shame they can't be bothered to update the Mac Mini and the other one. 


    They were open about one thing during the presentation:   MacBook Pros are for Pros...   The pros will pay because their livelihood depends on having the tools they need.
    lolliverargonaut
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