By: Hillel Fuld (@Hilzfuld)
Ok, so this is crazy exciting for me. Not only have I not done this type of interview in a long time, way too long (You can see my previous interviews here), but Mark Gurman is somewhat of a legend to me, and millions of others. You know all those Apple scoops and leaks you read about on the web? The leaked images of the next iPhone, the Apple rumors that have become somewhat of an industry in an of itself? Mark is the man who always brings that information to us. The man is Mr. Scoop himself!
I have been following Mark’s work and him personally for the past decade in total awe and respect. The man is the best there is! For that reason, when I somehow gathered enough courage to ask him for an interview and he responded (almost instantly) with a positive answer, I could not wait to send over the questions and read his answers.
Hope you enjoy and learn a lot from this interview. I know I did. Mark, you, sir, are the man!
1. Who is Mark Gurman? Give me some background. Start from wherever.
Hi everyone. I cover consumer technology for Bloomberg News, focusing on new products coming from Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and other companies you might frequent for new gadgets. I also talk about the latest breaking technology news on Bloomberg TV and host Gadgets with Gurman, a new weekly show about new tech products, every Wednesday at 12:30 Pacific time. It’s on www.bloomberg.com/technology, Facebook Live, Twitter, and YouTube.
2. Let’s jump to the end. How do you explain your rise to the top of the Apple authorities on the internet? You are number one. Tell me that story.
That’s very kind of you to say, I really appreciate that. But I don’t really look at this in terms of rankings, who is number one, number two or number twenty. My sole focus is making sure I am doing the best job I can, elevating myself, and working with great colleagues so that we can collectively do great work. I leave those opinions up to others.
3. How, in your opinion, will Apple change over the next decade to maintain its edge?
I actually don’t think Apple is going to change in any super significant way over the next decade. But I think we’re going to see a continuation of the company entering new categories, expanding on current categories, and bolstering its services business. I am very interested to see how the company inches away from the Mac and expands its iOS device categories. You see this year Apple coming out with three new iPhone line updates. You saw the iPhone SE release last year. That’s four distinct iPhone lines. There’s the iPad mini, the regular iPad, and the iPad Pro in two screen sizes. What replaces the iMac? A giant, 20-inch iPad? Will there be more iPhones to expand the line, new price points? These are all questions that should be answered — in addition to what actually supplants the iPhone. I think that will be AR glasses.
4. What are your predictions for the iPhone 8? I know you covered this at length, give me some highlights.
Sure. This is going to be exciting. Three new models. Two of them will be upgrades to the 7 and 7 Plus, adding the usual bells and whistles like faster processors and new cameras, but you can likely also count on glass backs and inductive charging. The main entree of the new iPhone launch will be a high-end, more expensive model that has a larger OLED screen, slimmer bezels, a 3D facial recognition scanner for unlocking the phone (instead of Touch ID), and new touch gestures to replace the Home button. Please see our roundup https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2017-apple-iphone8/
5. Any product categories you see Apple going into in the next few years? Which and how will that unfold?
It definitely seems like the major new category, and this is in services, that we’ll see from Apple is more original content. I think Apple has seen how widely successful Netflix and Amazon have been in the original movie and TV show space. Apple wants to be spoken of in the same breath, and I think they’re certainly going to try. On the hardware side, the next major product will likely be a pair of augmented reality glasses; basically bringing the iPhone to your face.
6. Android: Like? Hate? Give me your thoughts on the world of Android and mobile as a whole, Apple aside.
I think Android is great. In my work, I am not bent to a certain platform over others. I am very much in the middle. But I personally use an iPhone. I think it’s incredible that one mobile platform powers billions of devices, from phones to tablets to even fridges, across the world. I look at Android vs. iOS as the next step of Windows vs. the Mac. It’s so similar in so many ways. There are some great Android devices like the Galaxy S8 and others where we see innovation, like in the Essential phone, but there’s a lot to be said for the tight integration between iOS and iPhone hardware.
7. How is working at a world-class publication and what has the transition been like?
I am always excited and eager to get into work each day. I feel very lucky and gracious for the opportunity to work at Bloomberg. The transition has been so smooth I wouldn’t even qualify it as a transition. I just showed up on day one and I was immediately ingrained.
8. What is the coolest and most important device you use that is not an Apple device?
The Bloomberg Terminal of course. Seriously, I am on the terminal for most of my day. That’s where I keep up with the news and break news from.
9. What are your thoughts on Apple, as a company embracing the social web all of a sudden? Now they’re on Twitter, Instagram, and they even started a blog recently. Why the shift in strategy?
I think they see the power of social media and are looking to embrace it. It makes perfect sense for support. The instagram is a good way to market the iPhone camera. Let’s see what else they do in the near future.
Over the past couple of years, you see a growing number of competitors. Apple already knocked out the BlackBerries, Motorolas, and HTCs of the world. Next up is Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook. Those companies are producing (or working on) inventive new products. Amazon ushered in the world of voice connected speakers. Now you see the HomePod. Let’s see if others continue to beat Apple to new categories. I think the competitors will be stronger than Apple’s past ones, but I don’t see Apple being critically affected.
Mark, thank you again for doing this interview and please, for the sake of the entire tech community, keep doing what you’re doing. We all depend on it!