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Friday, October 26, 2012, 10:03 am PT (01:03 pm ET)

Phil Schiller says Apple does with its Macs what PC makers are 'afraid' to do

Apple's aggressive strategy of abandoning legacy hardware like spinning disc drives and hard drives helps set it apart from competitors who are "afraid" to streamline their products, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller believes.

Schiller sat down with Harry McCracken of Time after unveiling his company's new Mac lineup this week. He spoke about the streamlining of Apple's Mac lineup that has gone on for years, most notably the transition to flash-based memory and the abandoning of optical disc drives.

"These old technologies are holding us back," Schiller said. "They're anchors on where we want to go."

While Apple feels features like disc drives have "outlived their useful purpose," he said Windows-based PC competitors are "afraid to remove them."

"We try to find better solutions," Schiller said. "Our customers have given us a lot of trust."

Schiller


McCracken noted that many pundits once assumed Apple would eventually add Blu-ray drives to its computers, though few would still make that case today with high-definition content available through iTunes. The same could be said of those who believed Apple would start making cheaper Macs — Apple instead released the iPad, which has been eating away at traditional PC sales.

Schiller also reminisced about when some industry watchers thought low-priced netbooks were "the future" of the industry, but Apple rejected them as substandard products.

"Even if the market was going there, we weren't going to chase everybody downhill," he said.

Apple's feelings about netbooks of yesteryear were largely echoed this week about cheap 7-inch tablets like the Google Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD. This week the company unveiled the iPad mini, with a 7.9-inch display and $329 entry price.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said on Thursday that he views the 7-inch tablets on the market as poor products. He said Apple would "never" make such a cheap product, but instead strives to create devices that people will love for months and years after they purchase it.

"We didn't set out to build a small, cheap tablet," Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer added. "We set out to build a smaller iPad that has the full iPad experience."