Apple’s Phil Schiller Discusses the New MacBook Pro, SD Card Slots, and Headphone Jacks


Apple marketing guy Phil Schiller sat down for a conversation with The Independent, and discussed the new MacBook Pro lineup, and why Apple did away with the SD Card slot, but kept the 3.5mm headphone jack.

Apple's Phil Schiller Discusses the New MacBook Pro, SD Card Slots, and Headphone Jacks

Apple’s Phil Schiller intros the new MacBook Pro at Apple’s ‘Hello Again’ event.

Asked about the lack of an SD Card slot on newer models, a decision which has been met with ridicule by many on the Internet, Schiller replied:

Because of a couple of things. One, it’s a bit of a cumbersome slot. You’ve got this thing sticking halfway out. Then there are very fine and fast USB card readers, and then you can use CompactFlash as well as SD. So we could never really resolve this – we picked SD because more consumer cameras have SD but you can only pick one. So, that was a bit of a trade-off. And then more and more cameras are starting to build wireless transfer into the camera. That’s proving very useful. So we think there’s a path forward where you can use a physical adaptor if you want, or do wireless transfer.

When asked if it was “inconsistent” to keep the 3.5mm headphone jack on the new MacBook Pros, while removing it from the iPhone 7, Schiller replied the jack is about more than just headphones on the MacBook.

Not at all. These are pro machines. If it was just about headphones then it doesn’t need to be there, we believe that wireless is a great solution for headphones. But many users have setups with studio monitors, amps, and other pro audio gear that do not have wireless solutions and need the 3.5mm jack.

Schiller admits he was taken aback a bit by the reaction in some camps to the new MacBook Pro models.

To be fair it has been a bit of a surprise to me. But then, it shouldn’t be. I have never seen a great new Apple product that didn’t have its share of early criticism and debate — and that’s cool. We took a bold risk, and of course with every step forward there is also some change to deal with. Our customers are so passionate, which is amazing. 

Schiller went on to say Apple still loves the Mac, and is committed to it, in both desktop and laptop forms.

Schiller also discussed the new Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro models, saying the Touch Bar enables a more interactive experience that is “coplanar with the keyboard and trackpad”.

The team came up with this idea that you can create a multi-touch surface that’s coplanar with the keyboard and the trackpad but brings a whole new experience into it, one that’s more interactive, with multi-touch.

The full interview makes for interesting reading, and is available on The Independent’s website.

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