On Monday, Apple celebrated 10 years since the launch of the original iPhone, and huge expectations have been set for the anniversary model - the iPhone 8. On this occasion, the company’s Senior Vice President of World Wide Marketing, Phil Schiller, gave an interview to Backchannel where he remembered the glorious days. Here, we take a look at some interesting anecdotes Schiller revealed.
In the interview, Schiller talked about how people at the company knew that the iPhone was going to be big, but could not envision the scale at which the smartphone grew and changed the course of smartphones forever.
Schiller in the interview elaborates upon Apple’s decision to go with a product that was closed to third party app developers in the beginning. Internally, some were in favour of it being an open ecosystem like the Mac, but time constraints prevented them from opening the iPhone to developers, which it eventually did a year later. Just recently, Apple’s one day purchases on the App Store totalled $240 million (approximately Rs. 1,630 crores), so it’s safe to say that the decision was fruitful.
When asked if the recent iterations of the iPhone aren’t as boldly different than the ones that came before, Schiller underscored the importance of changes that new iPhone models have brought to the table, including bigger screens and better camera capability. So how much of an influence does competition have on Apple products? He remarked, “Competition is great. It pushes us”. Android phones may have a much higher market share, but Apple still enjoys a majority of the profits made by companies selling smartphones. On the matter of more affordable Apple products, Schiller had this to say, “The quality is unmatched. The ease of use is still unmatched. The integration of hardware software is unmatched. We’re not about the cheapest, we’re not about the most, we’re about the best”.
This year at CES, conversational voice assistants made a buzz, with Amazon’s Alexa being integrated in everything from refrigerators, to cars, to smartphones, etc. Phil Schiller didn’t seem to be a big fan of virtual assistants that don’t have a screen, suggesting that the best assistant is the one that travels with you everywhere, and “is better than something stuck in my kitchen or on a wall somewhere”.
Steve Jobs often downplayed new product lines from competitors’ products, until Apple made their own. There have been rumours about Apple building a Siri speaker last year.