Apple chief Phil Schiller has defended the MacBook Pro’s high price tag following its unveiling on Thursday. Schiller, who featured in an interview for CNET alongside Jony Ive and Craig Federighi, said Apple designs “for the experience.”
Lots of Mac users are unhappy with the prices of Apple’s latest MacBook Pro lineup. The starting price for a 13-inch model with Touch Bar and Touch ID is $1,799 — a full $500 more than the starting price of the last 13-inch MacBook Pro.
Schiller said affordability is “absolutely something” Apple cares about, but the user experience is its main focus. Apple wants to ensure that customers get the best possible product, and if they must pay extra for it, so be it.
“We don’t design for price, we design for the experience and the quality people expect from Mac,” Schiller added. “Sometimes that means we end up at the higher end of the range, but not on purpose, just because that’s what it costs.”
One of the reasons for the hike is that new OLED Touch Bar. It’s been in development for at least two years, according to Ive, and it “marks a beginning” of a “very interesting direction” for future Apple computers. However, it doesn’t signal a move into touchscreens.
Ive doesn’t see a touchscreen Mac as “particularly useful,” while Schiller says that Apple has explored the possibility before but decided against it.
“We did spend a great deal of time looking at this a number of years ago and came to the conclusion that to make the best personal computer, you can’t try to turn MacOS into an iPhone,” Schiller said. “Conversely, you can’t turn iOS into a Mac.”
“So each one is best at what they’re meant to be — and we take what makes sense to add from each, but without fundamentally changing them so they’re compromised.”
Apple believes the laptop in its current form will be around for a while yet. “As far as our eyes can see, there will still be a place for this basic laptop architecture,” Schiller said. Read CNET’s full interview for more on Apple’s new MacBook Pro lineup.