Phil Schiller talks about 16GB iPhone, single-USB MacBook and thinness vs. battery life tradeoffs

phil schill

Apple SVP of Marketing Phil Schiller sat down with John Gruber of Daring Fireball yesterday for an interview on the latter’s The Talk Show podcast. 

During the interview, Gruber asked some questions to Schiller that loyal Apple followers have probably long wanted to ask a high-profile executive of the company.

Gruber criticised Apple’s decision to ship the base model of the iPhone with only 16GB of storage space, which is clearly insufficient in this day and age. He even reminded Schiller that Apple has been shipping 16GB as the base storage variant for the handset since the iPhone 3GS in 2010. Schiller replied that cloud storage services are making up for the lack of gobbles of internal storage on devices, and that “most price-conscious customers are able to live in an environment where they don’t need gobs of local storage because these services are lightening the load.” He also added that the money saved on a higher capacity NAND chip can be used by Apple to further improve the camera, display or other features.

Whether Apple accepts it or not though, the decision to ship the base variant of the iPhone with only 16GB of internal memory is not a good one as most users frequently run out of space. The low internal storage was also a reason why the initial iOS 8 adoption rate was so slow among iOS device owners. Apple has even tried to fix this issue with iOS 9 by reducing the amount of space needed to install any OTA updates and reducing the overall app installation size.

Gruber also questioned Schiller about why Apple keeps on making the iPhone, iPad and other devices thinner instead of using the space to fit in a bigger battery in them for better battery life — something that almost every consumer wants. To this, the SVP of Marketing at Apple replied that there are certain tradeoffs with a thicker battery like slower charging times, increased weight and size, and more. Once these tradeoffs are factored in, Schiller says that most consumers will realize that Apple has hit the right balance by making some “great choices”.

Schiller accepted during the interview that the new 12-inch Retina MacBook — which comes with a single USB-C port — is not for everyone. However, he says that Apple needs to release forward-thinking products to push other other OEMs and consumers into adopting new future technologies, where they will not have to plug things into laptops.

“That’s the Apple I want — I want an Apple that’s bold and taking risks and being aggressive.”

The final version of The Talk Show is not out yet, but should be released very soon.

Do you agree with Schiller’s statement that Apple has made some “great decisions” when it comes to making a tradeoff between thinness and battery life and the base iPhone model only coming with 16GB of storage space?

[Via The Verge]