With Apple’s (AAPL) usual showman on the bench — co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs skipped his Macworld keynote this year — it was up to marketing exec Phil Schiller to show off Apple’s latest products, including some software and hardware updates.
How’d he do? Pretty well, actually — better than we expected, and perhaps better than any other tech executive besides Steve could have done.
The products were’t very exciting, but that isn’t Phil’s fault. We wonder if even Steve could make the new iWork features — like better graphing and maths formula tools — sexier than they are.
Phil was comfortable, composed, and sounded good, if a bit fast. He mixed in a joke or two — though not as quippy as Jobs typically is, especially during his masterful iPhone keynote at Macworld two years ago. And he shined during smooth product demos — his strong suit, something he’s done for Jobs multiple times in the past.
Like Steve, Phil knew when to call in the experts. An Apple software engineer showed off some of the tricky parts of the new iMovie software. And Phil showed a video of Apple hardware engineers explaining how the new MacBook Pro battery worked and why it needed to be locked into the case.
We’d obviously love to see Steve Jobs give every Apple speech forever. But that’s not realistic.
Phil showed today that Apple’s executive bench is deep. And that even Apple’s no. 2 is a lot better than most — if not every — other tech companies’ no. 1.
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