There’s much more to read about in our exclusive interview with Apple’s top executives, but some interesting bits didn’t make it into the final version. Fortunately, we have the Web, where extra material can thrive. Read on to learn more about tablets, design, and the perils of fingerprint scanners.
Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, on the growth of the tablet market (and what it means for PCs):
I’ve always said the tablet market was going to surpass the PC market. I was saying that well before it was viewed to be sane to say that. It’s clear that we’re, well, 24 months away from that.
So that probably has accelerated even more than I would have thought over the last year. And so, to do well in the PC market, you have even more differentiation. There has to be a different reason for buying a PC. Of course, we think about that a lot with the Mac and believe that we’re doing that with the Mac. But if you’re a PC player, it’s not a great world to be in right now.
Apple’s design head, Jonathan Ive, on designing without “designing”:
We try to make tools for people that enable them to do things that they couldn’t without the tool. But we want them to not have to be preoccupied with the tool. One of the ironies from a design point of view is that we feel that we’ve done our job when you finally get to that point and you think, ‘Well, there couldn’t be a rational alternative.’ It appears inevitable. It almost appears like it wasn’t designed.
Apple’s software chief, Craig Federighi, on the implications of developing the Touch ID fingerprint sensor:
Wouldn’t it be great that you could use your finger to unlock your phone or to make a purchase? It sounds like a simple idea, but how many places could that become a bad idea because you failed to execute on it? We thought, ‘Well, one place where that could be a bad idea is somebody who writes a malicious app, somebody who breaks into your phone, starts capturing your fingerprint. What are they doing with that? Can they reuse that in some other location? Can they use it to spoof their way into other people’s phones?’
That would be worse than never having done the feature at all if you did those things, right? And so you take that all the way to that spectrum, and we said, ‘My gosh, in our silicon we’re going to have to build a little island, a little enclave that’s walled off so that, literally, the main processor—no matter if you took ownership of the whole device and ran whatever code you wanted on the main processor—could not get that fingerprint out of there. Literally, the physical lines of communication in and out of the chip would not permit that ever to escape.’ It was something we considered fundamental to solving the overall problem.