WWDC Talk Show with Phil Schiller

by Rob Poulter


Being an Apple nerd I've been following what's been going on at WWDC this year as usual, which includes listening to a slew of (often repetitive) podcasts from people who are actually there.

John Gruber of Daring Fireball fame has done a live episode of The Talk Show there for a while, and so that was on my list. Now I run hot and cold on Gruber; when he's in form he has some really good insights but lately I haven't been that impressed by a lot of episodes of the podcast. So when the intro started and it sounded like more of the same I just about deleted the episode and moved on with my life until he introduced the special guest (complete with an "I shit you not...") which was Phil Schiller.

As Marco Arment wrote in his post about this, this could have been a regular run of the mill PR exercise, and I think a lot of Gruber's critics would have written it off as one immediately, but there was some excellent discussion over the questions which were asked. Gruber asked some (no doubt vetted, regardless of how casual the conversation sounded) relatively tough questions and received pretty good answers overall considering how incredibly careful Apple usually is with communication with the press and public.

The question that jumped out at me, which I thought was especially well fielded was over Apple still offering a 16GB tier for their devices. Now when I saw that last year's still had such a comparatively tiny storage size I thought it was Apple either just being greedy or trying to shoehorn people into the more expensive tiers whilst still maintaining the "third option" (appearing reasonable and then offering a little bit more...). Now I don't know how much to believe Schiller given the margins on their phones, but I do appreciate his explanation of offering a lower storage tier since so much storage was going into the cloud now (and what went unsaid about the new "app thinning" policy where you download stripped down app bundles rather than something with universal resources packed in, amongst other things) so the local device doesn't need as much physical space. It's the same sort of concept behind Google's Chromebook, albeit not taken as far.

Anyhow, check out the podcast if you're into what Apple's been doing recently, and ignore the intro from Merlin and Adam if you can, since it's basically one giant in joke: http://daringfireball.net/thetalkshow/2015/06/09/ep-123