Phil Schiller: Apple has more orders for MacBook Pro with Touch Bar than for any other professional Mac notebook ever

“Last week, Apple launched its latest MacBook Pro laptops. They are deluxe, powerful machines with innovations including the Touch Bar, where the top row of function keys is replaced by a touch-sensitive screen where different functions appear, changing as you change programs,” David Phelan reports for The Independent. “The new models also have a fingerprint sensor built into the power button, to buy stuff online faster than you can say ‘impulse purchase.'”

“In this exclusive interview, Philip Schiller, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing, told The Independent all about them,” Phelan reports. “We first talked in an Apple-white private room at Infinite Loop, the company’s Californian headquarters, minutes after the new laptops had been unveiled and followed up a few days later…”

Two snippets:

Will macOS and iOS (the operating systems for Macs and iPhones) always be 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… 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.

Here’s one example of how they should remain distinct: the Mac from the very first has had a menu bar fixed at the top. It’s core to the identity and the experience you get. But iOS doesn’t have a menu at the top. It never will. The thought of pointing at a menu at the top of an iPhone feels wrong. If you made the Mac a touchscreen you’d have to figure out how to make it a good experience with your finger on a touchscreen. Trust me, we’ve looked at that — it’s a bad experience. It’s not as good or as intuitive as with a mouse and trackpad.

How would you describe the response to the new MacBook Pro?

There has certainly been a lot of passionate dialogue and debate about the new MacBook Pro! Many things have impressed people about it, and some have caused some controversy. I hope everyone gets a chance to try it for themselves and see how great the MacBook Pro is. It is a really big step forward and an example of how much we continue to invest in the Mac. We love the Mac and are as committed to it, in both desktops and notebooks, as we ever have been.

And we are proud to tell you that so far our online store has had more orders for the new MacBook Pro than any other pro notebook before. So there certainly are a lot of people as excited as we are about it.

Much more in the full interview here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple does touch right and the sales prove it.

The debate is over: IBM confirms that Apple Macs are $535 less expensive than Windows PCs – October 20, 2016
The key mission of Apple’s new MacBook Pros – October 28, 2016
TIME Magazine: Apple’s new MacBook Pro Touch Bar is an inventive new way to get work done more quickly – October 28, 2016
Apple does touch right and, as usual, Microsoft does it wrong – October 28, 2016
IBT: Apple’s MacBook Pro Touch Bar is the coolest thing ever; will change the way we use laptops – October 28, 2016
Wired hands on with Apple’s New MacBook Pro: It’s a whole new kind of laptop – October 27, 2016
CNET on the new MacBook Pro: Apple’s amazing strip show reinvents the notebook – October 27, 2016
Hands on with Apple’s new MacBook Pro: Looks and feels so good it’s unreal – October 27, 2016
Apple debuts three new TV ads for all-new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar – October 27, 2016
Apple unveils groundbreaking new MacBook Pro with revolutionary Touch Bar and huge Force Touch trackpad – October 27, 2016


  1. All that pent up demand for a new MacBook Pro has somewhere to go now.

    And yet this probably still won’t demonstrate to them that the demand for the Mac is higher than ever.

    macOS is the foundation upon which interest in every other Apple product is leveraged. If you remove macOS, suddenly the iPhone is nice, but not necessarily mandatory. Services are meh. Apple TV is a big who cares product. And that still silly as ever Watch can just flounder on forever.

    What makes all the other products interesting is that macOS is key to a foundation group of Apple Consumers. It’s the thread you don’t want to pull. Take it away an Apple is just “The company who makes iPhones.”

    1. Well said. I hope he is right and in particular about sales but with the deliberately created pent up demand this past year or more I think we will have to wait some 3 months to see if that demand is persistent.

      However I just can’t see it endlessly work out well thinking that we can sell 2 products to the customer at almost twice the price of what they can get one for elsewhere. A few years ago the trade off was massive I accept, today the options are quite attractive if not ideal but what about 2 or 5 years down the line especially when you compare the increasing costs of those Apple options. May look good to the accountants at the moment but longer term? Not so sure.

    2. “macOS is the foundation upon which interest in every other Apple product is leveraged.”

      Nice to THINK so, but no. For many…. very VERY many, people buy the iPhone to go with their “whatever they have” then they end up with a Watch and then a Mac. I’ve seen it several times where I work. And, when you consider that MANY times more iPhones are being sold than Macs, it really doesn’t make sense that a tiny sliver of Mac sales drives the HUGE VOLUME of iPhone sales.

      Also, “the company who makes iPhones” is a pretty big and pretty popular (high consumer ratings) company. EVERY other company in the world WISHES they were the company who made iPhones 🙂

  2. For now there are some excuses for design choices; low power Kaby lakes not available, sky lake not supporting more than 16gb RAM. It will be critical for Apple to address improvements quickly when Kaby is a go. Less excusable is the decision to make the housing thinner instead of keeping the scissor action keyboard. As Schiller points out, the keyboard is the primary input on the MacBook. It should have the best keyboard, not one compromised for the sake of thinness.

    1. The other problem with Kaby is that there are only 4 parts shipping right now in the i5&i7 flavors. One Y processor, and one U processor. No quad cores, no desktop chips, no high performance dual cores, skylake is the main shipppng part right now. Nothing they can do about that. The other issue with skylake is its implementation of ddr3 & ddr4, it can use 32GB with two slots, but the controller can’t allocate the memory efficiently and causes a big power draw, Phil is right about hat, as evidenced by some of the new windows skylake systems that have very large batteries (like the new Alienware 13″) that only manage a 4.5 hour rating, and likely get closer to 3.5 hours. That’s partly widows’ power management issue, and also the memory controller. The fact that apple has been able to get 10 hours with smaller batteries than the previous models is remarkable and shouldn’t be discounted.

      1. Yes very true, the Kaby, though useful is really just a hurriedly put together Skylake with go faster stripes, spoilers and fatter wheel arches. Doesn’t excuse not having Skylakes earlier though the new pros would not look so good if they had and equally will Apple actually update when the appropriate Kaby chips become available, I have my doubts knowing Apple so the present machines will start to drag the opposition at least in terms of paper specs, again quite soon I fear.

        1. I don’t know about that. I think it should be obvious that the MacBook Pro represents a fresh redesign that has been in the works for a while. It needed both hardware (made problematic by Intel) AND macOS revs to make it possible. Now that the heavy lifting is done I can see Apple in a better position to make more rapid incremental upgrades with new processors and RAM. I also hope they expand the GPU options before I am due to buy another laptop.

  3. Lets be honest – the new prices represent GREED!

    Steve Jobs was right!

    “What ruined Apple wasn’t growth … They got very greedy. Instead of following the original trajectory of the original vision, which was to make the thing an appliance and get this out there to as many people as possible, they went for profits. They made outlandish profits for about four years… What that cost them was their future. What they should have been doing is making rational profits and going for market share.”

    1. They are stuck with Wall Street margin expectations. The stock gets pounded when their margins go down a single percentage point. If Apple had the same PE as other tech companies they might be able to back off on the margins.

      1. Apple has nearly 40% margins across the board! I don’t think they have ever sold anything for much less than that, certainly nowhere near “single digits.”

        Apple is benefiting HUGELY by its incredible margins and stock value. RICHLY rewarded by its stock value, regardless of the low P/E ratio.

        I agree with Grumpy up there. Greed was Apple’s downfall before the Second Coming of Jobs, and they should be very cautious about pricing themselves out of the market again with these disposable, non-upgradable computers.

        It seems so clear to me that Apple is working hard to make designed obsolesce a business strategy with its Macs. They want that 2-3 year turn around they have with the very profitable iPhone and these Macs laptops used to stay relevant for 7-9 years.

        It really breaks my heart to see such beautiful design and no easy way to upgrade these otherwise well-made machines around year 4 when they need their second wind.

    2. You can look at it through the lens of greed and not be challenged. But it is a point of view. Another point of view is that Apple wants to make high end products, because that’s who they are, and by definition that means those products are going to be more expensive.

      Apple also has a lot of competition that would like to eat Apple’s lunch if they were given the chance. To survive and thrive Apple must continue to push the envelope and invest heavily in design and engineering in a way that its competition does not. That is also expensive.

      You are entitled to your point of view that it is greed that drives Apple if that’s the way you see the world. But other equally compelling reasons exist for Apple’s pricing strategy.

  4. “And we are proud to tell you that so far our online store has had more orders for the new MacBook Pro than any other pro notebook before. So there certainly are a lot of people as excited as we are about it.”

    Also noteworthy in light of BOGUS FUD reports to the contrary :

    AirPods are on track to ship this year.

  5. As others have pointed out, the price is only high for those who do not need the performance chops of the new MacBook Pro. If it’s important enough to you, then $2000 is acceptable. A business class laptop was in the $2000 range back in 2000 as well, and so pro-level users are long used to paying this much for a laptop. And my old Sony Vaio with Windows XP looks pretty humorous now in comparison with the new MBP!

  6. Like SJ, TC should just eliminate any connection with the media. The media are merely a collection of bloated attention grabbing manipulative F-tards. They realize they would be in favor of the android cult if they publish anti Apple fud so that’s the path to their recognition and ‘fame’.

  7. And yet you go into an Apple store with ipad pros all lined up vertically with keyboards attached, so apparently Apple is promoting this as a good experience.

    Apple are wrong on this, the only question is how much market share they lose until they figure it out. My prediction is we’ll see a reverse on this within 3 years.

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