Schiller talks up Apple, offends HP

Madeleine Swain
30 January, 2014
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Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, has been making himself something of an attention magnet recently.

First, there was his telling decision to ‘unfollow’ Tony Fadell and Nest, after the one-time Apple employee and his company did a US$3.2 billion deal with Google.

This was followed last week by Schiller’s pointed tweet aimed at Android, comprising nothing but a link to a Cisco 2014 Security Report, which found a marked growth in malware on Android mobile systems.

And now Schiller’s name is the focus of internet discussion yet again. Only this time it’s for something he neglected to say. Sort of. Or ‘misspoke’, as seems to be the current common parlance.

With all the celebrations and reminiscences last Friday surrounding the 30th anniversary of the Apple Macintosh, many Apple executives old and new were asked for their comments.

Schiller exuberantly championed Apple’s proud historical record, telling Macworld‘s Jason Snell, “Every company that made computers when we started the Mac, they’re all gone. We’re the only one left. We’re still doing it, and growing faster than the rest of the PC industry because of that willingness to reinvent ourselves over and over.”

Which is all well and good. Except for the existence of a little company called Hewlett-Packard. Slashdot decided to find out how HP felt about Schiller’s remarks and was directed by a spokesperson to HP’s timeline history page. A page that kicks off with: “From its origins in a Palo Alto garage to its current position as one of the world’s leading technology companies, HP has grown and evolved significantly since its founding in 1939.”

Emil Protalinski at TNW was particularly keen to defend HP’s legacy, detailing “five important HP milestone years”, ranging from 1968 (“the HP 9100A – virtually the first PC”) to 1993 (“the 1.4kg HP OmniBook 300… the smallest and lightest PC on the market).

Of course, back at Slashdot, the frequently feisty and often fanatically, er, forthright commenters couldn’t wait to weigh in to the discussion – citing other companies that could perhaps also claim to share Apple’s longevity. But for every poster naming IBM, Dell, Acer, NEC, Sony and the like, there is another vehemently refuting such claims with reasons ranging from companies that exist in name only to those with totally altered business models.

As we all well know, it’s a dog eat dog world on the old internet. Sometimes perhaps it’s best to just not say anything at all. Though that’s always going to be hard if you’re the senior vice president of worldwide marketing… it comes with the territory, really.

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