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Apple's Phil Schiller: "We don't use any customer surveys, focus groups, or typical things of that nature"

Posted: , by Ray S.

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Apple's Phil Schiller:
Philip Schiller, Apple's SVP of Worldwide Marketing, is among the first people on Apple's list of witnesses who will testify at the Apple vs Samsung trial. The key executive began his testimony on Tuesday, but had to pause it after only a few minutes, as it was time for the court to wrap it up. Nevertheless, during his brief appearance, Schiller revealed an interesting fact about how Apple does market research: it doesn't.

Well, that's at least when it comes to the product creation process:

"We don't use any customer surveys, focus groups, or typical things of that nature. That plays no role in the creation of the products."

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was known to be an opponent of market researches in the traditional sense of the word, often alluding to the idea that it isn't the consumer's job to know what they want in a product. As you might guess, Jobs thought this was Apple's job.

Phil Schiller seems to be holding a similar stance, saying "you never ask people 'what features do you want in a new product? You need to accumulate that yourself."

Still, at least two relatively recent researches by Apple have been found, showing that the company does use such techniques from time to time, for one reason or another. Still, it sounds like when it's designing a new product, Apple listens to its own people first, and doesn't tolerate much external input.

Phil Schiller's testimony is set to resume this Friday. Stay tuned for more interesting details about the atmosphere and processes within Apple!

source: AppleInsider

43 Comments
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posted on 01 Aug 2012, 05:17 20

1. SonyFTW2020 (Posts: 305; Member since: 03 May 2012)


"you never ask people 'what features do you want in a new product? You need to accumulate that yourself."

Can you say, dictatorship?

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 07:29 2

9. Aeires (unregistered)


No, but I can say walled garden. Completely explains why there isn't an iPhone being sold that has a screen bigger than 3.5". Industry standard has moved on from that size long time ago.

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 08:38 4

12. JessJess (unregistered)


Did it? I guess that's another reason why the 4S sold only 26 million.

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 09:33 4

14. Aeires (unregistered)


People who were set on buying an iPhone had no choice, 3.5" or buy something else. How many phones were sold that had screens bigger than 3.5"? A lot more.

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 09:33 4

15. Fallout09 (Posts: 419; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


Yes it did. Open your eyes and take off your Apple colored glasses. There is a beautiful world of so many possiblities of sizes and shapes out there.

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 12:41 1

25. gallitoking (Posts: 4690; Member since: 17 May 2011)


does Obama ask you what direction the U.S is going etc...

posted on 02 Aug 2012, 18:55

42. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6588; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


This is not politics.

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 05:32 15

2. RapidCat (Posts: 351; Member since: 12 Jun 2012)


iThink,iGot the answer

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 05:41 11

3. frydaexiii (Posts: 1237; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


"you never ask people 'what features do you want in a new product? You need to accumulate that yourself."

So suddenly 3.5 inch isn't the perfect screen size anymore? Suddenly, the idea of 7 inch iPad isn't dumb?

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 05:46 1

4. SonyFTW2020 (Posts: 305; Member since: 03 May 2012)


Shows you how much weight that statement holds.... :(

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 10:25

16. gwuhua1984 (Posts: 1237; Member since: 06 Mar 2012)


Not to mention the possibility of the new iPhone screen being 4 in.

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 12:43 2

26. gallitoking (Posts: 4690; Member since: 17 May 2011)


that was SJ.. we are under new management.. in case you didnt know..

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 16:27

34. SonyFTW2020 (Posts: 305; Member since: 03 May 2012)


yea under android influenced management, you do know that iphone fans are asking for android ideas by now don't you?

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 06:26 9

5. humblebee (Posts: 3; Member since: 01 Aug 2012)


"you never ask people 'what features do you want in a new product? You need to accumulate that yourself."

This shows how they put customers in less priority. They would never know what other people want unless they make even just a little effort to know what people want.

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 12:45 1

27. gallitoking (Posts: 4690; Member since: 17 May 2011)


so Android does listen to their customers?.. really?..

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 06:29 17

6. andro. (Posts: 1962; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


This man is telling the truth,Apple never has and never will listen to what their ifans want or would possibly like,Apple simply TELL them what they should want,how much to pay for it and to buy it NOW and thats the bottom line from their point of view. Ifans accept this if the right amount of 'wow,this is cool' and 'this changes everything again' phrases are used to soften the stance

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 06:36 7

7. dickwyn (Posts: 597; Member since: 07 May 2012)


You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new.
~Steve Jobs~

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 07:56 5

11. humblebee (Posts: 3; Member since: 01 Aug 2012)


It's Steve Job's lame excuse just so he can do whatever he wants. He keeps assuming things like he's some kind of a genius who knows everything about how people thinks.

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 08:40 4

13. JessJess (unregistered)


True. It's not like his ideas ever got Apple anywhere. Oh.... wait.

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 12:51 2

30. darkkjedii (Posts: 11999; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Steve jobs doesn't assume anything, or make excuses. He's deceased idiot.

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 13:01

31. EclipseGSX (Posts: 1619; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


Thank god, now Apple can start making some real changes

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 11:58 3

23. andro. (Posts: 1962; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)


dickwyn that phrase was spoken like a true dictator. A company should always listen to its buying base and see what they actually want and need.

From a draconian order point of view the ultimate view of being a success is having your followers under your control and doing (or buying!) everything you wish while simultaneously having them under the belief that you are actually helping them and offering them everything they want,certain Apples success at this has to be noted.

Certainly for everyone else being told "This is what you must buy,this is what you want,you think this is cool,wow" is certainly not something which registers well.

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 12:48 1

29. gallitoking (Posts: 4690; Member since: 17 May 2011)


marketing tells you what to buy.. so go buy the new jordans.. only 300 dollars... and you better like it.. or you will not be cool

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 13:46 1

32. networkdood (Posts: 6276; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


sub the word jordans for iphone....

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 16:30 1

35. SonyFTW2020 (Posts: 305; Member since: 03 May 2012)


hahah that is "Partially" true....People are "cool" with a variety of different shoes....

posted on 02 Aug 2012, 18:57

43. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6588; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


Anything made by apple their fans will buy it. They probably will buy it and not ask what they want.

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 07:25 7

8. ibap (Posts: 703; Member since: 09 Sep 2009)


We don't care what you want, we know what you need.

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

These are not the Droids you are looking for.

Here, drink this Kool-Aid.

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 16:31

36. SonyFTW2020 (Posts: 305; Member since: 03 May 2012)


hahahha O MY GOD!! Hilarious!

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 07:40 4

10. paulyyd (Posts: 327; Member since: 08 Jan 2011)


Lol u guys mad?

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 10:30 2

17. snowgator (Posts: 3245; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


Not pro-Apple, and anyone who reads this forum often knows that, but I kinda agree with JessJess and paulyyd on this one. You can argue the product all you want, but not the results. Apple has been extremely consumer savvy, regardless of how it gets it's ideas. They know how to produce good, dependable, user friendly devices. Those that use Macs, iPods, IPads, and iPhones flat out love them. And buy the living crap out of them.

Hard to argue success.....

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 11:08 1

18. 1701nino (unregistered)


Ahhh guys its simple how would an ordinary JOE or JANE possibly know what feauters to want in a mobile device???Did google ask what feauters to put i jellybean, a big NOOO,thats why there is a tech industry and these companies exists.They have a lot talented people who think of these things all day long.
NO TECH COMPANY IN THE WORLD ASKS CONSUMERS WHAT DO THEY WANT IN A PRODUCT ANYONE WHO THINGS DIFERENT IS AN COMPLETE IDIOT.

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 11:20

19. gwuhua1984 (Posts: 1237; Member since: 06 Mar 2012)


Very true, but they will look to other companies to see what feature would be a good add-on for their product.

I know what kind of features I want in my phone. Teleportation, intergalatic travel, portal to another dimension, a button go back in time... Now if only these features will come true...

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 11:44 3

20. AppleConspiracy (Posts: 630; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


I was saying that for almost a year on this site: Apple doesn't ask what people they want, they TELL them what they want. And that's the true essence of consumerism (Baudrillard), all this expensive marketing campaigns that are undertaken by competition are almost worthless in comparison to Apple's seductive politics, and seduction is, like allways, the question of charismatic leaders and dictatorships. It's just how things work in human history, it's stupid to ignore that.

All economists and technological enterpreneurs of this world were wrong. Only Steve Jobs was right. He didn't knew nothing more than average philosopher, however no philosopher was enterpreneur.

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 11:47

21. CWBAlfredo (Posts: 28; Member since: 26 Apr 2012)


I know enough about industrial design to know that observing your customers is one of the biggest necessities in design and ergonomics. It's amazing does so well considering.

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 12:04 2

24. AppleConspiracy (Posts: 630; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


I'm an industrial designer. I disagree. "Form follows function", listening to people's needs, as well as following ergonomical laws are the biggest mistakes theory of design produced during the 20th century.

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 16:40

38. SonyFTW2020 (Posts: 305; Member since: 03 May 2012)


I sooo wish i could thumbs you down twice you not only sound like you're a designer that believes the dictatorship of steve jobs but you just may be working for them too! If those philophies were the only way to make a profit (by telling people who, what,when,where, and how) then why is samsung doing just fine in the mobile world? Why is apple so mad at samsung for rivaling them? Why does apple have to dictate even the judicial system to protect there "flawed" and tainted beliefs? You can say what you want about how successful apple is but it still doesn't change the fact that denying people of having a "choice" on "choosing" the best possible "choice" for them(o yea I said it like that) , IS WRONG!

posted on 02 Aug 2012, 06:25 2

40. AppleConspiracy (Posts: 630; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


Samsung is successful only because it's a cult based on opposition of Apple's dominance that is precisely confirmed by it.

I wish I could explain you in detail why you are wrong, but I'm afraid you wouldn't understand.

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 11:47

22. Bluesky02 (Posts: 1439; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


Oh i thought there was something called Market Research, when doing business. Now Apple will say, we're not doing business just bringing out some few innovations that competitors is ripping off

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 12:46

28. btbk2010 (Posts: 4; Member since: 15 Feb 2012)


This is only a problem once Apple doesn't understand what the customers want. In general they do, I think a larger screen on their iPhone is long overdue but the rest of the phone is good.

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 13:49 2

33. networkdood (Posts: 6276; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Google does listen to the developers and takes their opinions into consideration when upgrading to a new OS - a little.
What APPLE has done has worked for them, so far.
Americans really do not know what they want until they see it.

APPLE's real motto:

'A sucker is born every minute'

posted on 01 Aug 2012, 16:39 1

37. tedkord (Posts: 4975; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


No, they don't take customer input when designing a product. Apparently they just check what Sony is planning.

posted on 02 Aug 2012, 01:49

39. roscuthiii (Posts: 1847; Member since: 18 Jul 2010)


So, then what do they use to give people the great products they want to give them, of course without focusing on making money at all???
Must be either divine providence, or invasion of privacy then. It's couldn't possibly be all the resources and effort they put into marketing could it? All those Apple product product-placement spots has to be out of the simple kindness of their hearts right?

posted on 02 Aug 2012, 07:50

41. aakashram2001 (Posts: 14; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)


"We don't use any customer surveys, focus groups, or typical things of that nature. That plays no role in the creation of the products."

we just copy or steal

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