In a new interview with the Independent, Apple marketing exec Phil Schiller discusses the new MacBook Pro. According to Schiller, “many things” have impressed people and “some” have caused controversy, referring to the ongoing war about Apple’s choice to go strictly USB-C on a pro machine.
Regardless, Schiller says the new MacBook Pros have set a new online sales record, beating previous sales of “pro Apple notebooks’.
In terms of removing I/O, Schiller touched on the removal of the SD card reader, noting that it is “cumbersome” as an inserted card sticks out from the side of the notebook. He also argues that most cameras have Wi-Fi capabilities now, making syncing much less convoluted. In addition, he recommends MacBook Pro users buy a USB-C adapter or transfer wirelessly.
The new Pros have no SD card slot for a camera memory card. Why not?
Because of a couple of things. One, it’s a bit of a cumbersome slot. You’ve got this thing sticking halfway out. Then there are very fine and fast USB card readers, and then you can use CompactFlash as well as SD. So we could never really resolve this – we picked SD because more consumer cameras have SD but you can only pick one.
So, that was a bit of a trade-off. And then more and more cameras are starting to build wireless transfer into the camera. That’s proving very useful. So we think there’s a path forward where you can use a physical adaptor if you want, or do wireless transfer.
The Independent also asked the question that’s on everyone’s mind, and that’s regarding the 3.5mm being the only other port on the notebook aside from USB-C. The firm asked if it was “inconsistent to keep the 3.5mm headphone jack as it’s no longer on the latest iPhone.”
Schiller’s argument is that the 3.5mm jack is more than just for headphones on laptops, it’s used for “studio monitors, amp, and other pro audio gear that do not have wireless solutions.” He says that if the jack was just for headphones, it wouldn’t be necessary.
Schiller also confronts those who say that Apple doesn’t care about the Mac anymore. He strongly, disagrees and says “We love the Mac and are as committed to it, in both desktops and notebooks, as we ever have been.” Interestingly enough, Schiller was shocked by this outrage and negative reactions.
Regarding the Touch Bar, Schiller reiterates what other Apple executives have said. Schiller says the notebook form factor isn’t going away anytime soon but the Touch Bar enables a more interactive experience that is “coplanar with keyboard and trackpad.” He also notes that iOS and macOS are fundamentally different.
We’re steadfast in our belief that there are fundamentally two different products to make for customers and they’re both important. There’s iPhone and iPad which are single pieces of glass, they’re direct-manipulation, multi-touch and tend towards full-screen applications.
And that’s that experience. And we want to make those the best in that direction anyone can imagine. We have a long road ahead of us on that.
Then there’s the Mac experience, dominated by our notebooks and that’s about indirect manipulation and cursors and menus. We want to make this the best experience we can dream of in this direction.
One specific example Schiller gives is the Mac menubar. He said if you made a Mac touchscreen, the menubar would be much more difficult to navigate and less intuitive than using a mouse and trackpad.