Terrific behind-the-scenes piece by Lance Ulanoff, with extensive interviews with Phil Schiller and John Ternus (VP of Mac and iPad engineering):
As the cloud looms larger, will the hardware we use still matter?
Schiller rejects this notion.
“No. 1, the importance and value of great hardware has not
diminished in any way,” he said. “Across the board, our goal is to
make the best in the categories we choose to compete in. It’s what
we’re doing and it’s reflected in customers choosing our products
over anyone else’s. So I do think people are showing with their
choice that they do value quality and beauty of the hardware and
that is not diminishing.”
“I have never heard anyone say, ‘Because I like to keep my stuff
in the cloud, I will take a cheap piece of hardware and I want it
to be ugly.’ All things being equal, of course, nobody wants
that,” Schiller said.
It’s a blockbuster piece, truly a must-read. Here’s a bit with Ternus on fit-and-finish:
In fact, Apple is apparently taking the time to custom-fit all
sorts of pieces in the MacBook through a process it calls
“binning.” Since there can be minuscule variances that might make,
for instance, the Force Touch trackpad not a perfect fit for the
body or the super-thin Retina display not exactly a match for the
top of the case, Apple finds matching parts from the production
line. Even the thickness of the stainless steel Apple Logo, which
replaced the backlit logo on previous MacBook models, can vary by
a micron or so, meaning Apple needs to find a top with the right
cutout depth. […]
The result is that every MacBook is, in a way, special and
imperceptibly different. I joked that every MacBook is like a
Cabbage Patch Kid. “Every one is unique,” I said. Ternus finished
the thought: “all in an effort to make them the same.”
It’s an almost unprecedented attention to detail. And with each
successive generation of Mac, Apple is getting better at it.
★ Wednesday, 28 October 2015