“Well, I won’t talk to either one specifically, [I] don’t want to. My mother used to have a saying that if you don’t have something nice to say, say nothing at all,” said Apple’s SVP of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller when asked about his thoughts on Google Home and Amazon Alexa.
Not exactly a ringing endorsement of technology that Schiller went on to describe as potentially somewhat useful in a few circumstances, but far from destined for the glory that is predicted for them — at least in their current instantiations.
“There are many moments where a voice assistant is really beneficial,” Schiller noted in an interview with India’s Gadgets 360, “but that doesn’t mean you’d never want a screen. So the idea of not having a screen, I don’t think suits many situations.”
Schiller said driving, photography and gaming were all examples of times where a visual interface is either useful or necessary.
What does the ceremonial throwing of the shade mean? It could be Apple being — well, Apple — when it comes to competitor projects. c|Net seems to think that the talking up of the importance of screens indicates that Apple is getting ready to launch its own personal assistant with a screen (totally different from the one that Amazon might also be offering).
“One imagines that if it did launch a home assistant, it would be so glorious to look at that you’d have to show it off to your friends,” one c|Net writer noted, shortly after speculating on an ideal world where one could set personal assistants to resemble Brad Pitt or Ivanka Trump — because there is nothing creepy about that at all.