It wasn’t exactly a banner news day in the Apple world, but there are a couple of items that are definitely worth taking note of. First off, Phil Schiller, Apple’s longtime VP of Worldwide Marketing has stepped down from his executive-level role at the company.
This was not a move that had been predicted, so it did come as a surprise. However, it’s also worth noting that Mr Schiller isn’t fully retiring or leaving the company. He will still work as an “Apple Fellow” and retain control of the company’s App Store and it’s events.
According to Apple’s press statement, Schiller doesn’t sound like a man who’s about to stop working altogether:
“It has been a dream come true for me to work at Apple, on so many products I love, with all of these great friends — Steve, Tim, and so many more,” said Schiller. “I first started at Apple when I was 27, this year I turned 60 and it is time for some planned changes in my life. I’ll keep working here as long as they will have me, I bleed six colors, but I also want to make some time in the years ahead for my family, friends, and a few personal projects I care deeply about.”
Taking a step back after working in a demanding role at a very demanding company since 1987 makes a lot of sense. It’s interesting that this announcement comes on the heels of the House Antitrust Subcommittee hearing last week where Tim Cook was grilled over Apple’s App Store policies. However, considering that Schiller is retaining that leadership role, the proximity of the hearing to him taking a step back is likely just coincidence.
I can’t say that I’m Schiller’s biggest fan. Gaffe’s like his “Can’t innovate my ass” quote during the announcement of the previous Mac Pro design, which turned out to be flawed, stand out. However, I still wish him a happy transition to this new role, which should be a first step toward full retirement.
Phil Schiller’s departure wasn’t the only noteworthy event today. Apple also released the long-rumored iMac refresh. Jon Prosser predicted it would arrive in August and here we are. As for the details, there isn’t too much to cover. The refreshed 21.5″ and 27″ iMac retain the same design, with all of changes coming to the internals.
First off, the processors were upgraded to Intel’s 10th Gen Comet Lake version. In a move that suggests that Apple is listening to recent criticism while many of their users are working and taking classes from home, they upgraded the webcam to a higher-resolution 1080p HD sensor. This replaces the dated low-res 720p versions found in other Macs. All models also comes with SSDs now and there is a new matte screen coating available. And that’s pretty much it.
With a new Apple hardware finally dropping via press release, keep an eye out for more launches like this in the coming during the month of August. These could include the new AirPods Studio over the ear headphones, new HomePods, AirTags, and maybe even a re-designed AirPower wireless charger. We have already had a rumor calling another release window two weeks from tomorrow, so it is certainly possible.
I know I’m waiting not-so-patiently for the AirPods Studio, so I am taking today’s iMac launch as a good sign. Hopefully some of our friendly neighborhood Apple leakers will show up to tell us what we can expect when.