A contentious debate is brewing in Cupertino. Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller on Friday took to Twitter to inform tech plebes that Apple devices should never be pluralized, a stance in diametric opposition to beliefs held by CEO Tim Cook.
According to Schiller, multiple Apple products should be referred to without pluralization, for example the plural of "iPhone" is "iPhone" or "iPhone devices." It seems years of rampant misuse have taken their toll, finally and absolutely corroding the exec's resolve to maintain an amiable public persona.
"It would be proper to say 'I have 3 Macintosh' or 'I have 3 Macintosh computers,'" Schiller said, teetering on the edge of despair.
The definitive exposition came in response to a tweet by Andreessen Horowitz partner, analyst and longtime Apple terminology truther Benedict Evans, who earlier in the day referenced "iPads Pro." An honest, albeit fatal, mistake. Or was it?
During Apple's most recent quarterly earnings conference call, Cook is clearly heard borrowing taboo phraseology, notably "iPhones" and "iPad Pros." So did CFO Luca Maestri, but his statements had the stink of fear. After all, Maestri was staring down a steely-eyed, pluralizing madman just across the table (at the time Cook was wearing his necklace of Android earpieces, a macabre trophy of war).
Evans' tweet was brought to Schiller's attention by longtime industry analyst turned Apple marketing director turned analyst Michael Gartenberg. Whether Gartenberg's posture on singular/plural nouns played a role in his departure from the company earlier this year is unclear.
At Apple, there is obvious dissension among the ranks. How far the rift runs no one knows, but battle lines are being drawn in the silicate.
As of this writing, Schiller's most recent tweet reads, "It's all fun until someone gets hurt," a telltale allusion to what must be roiling internal conflict. A winking smiley face was added for ironic — and utterly depressing — effect.