Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Inside Apple’s Perfectionism Machine

Apple seems to be opening up a little more these days; or, perhaps, their form of opening up is shifting: instead of Newsweek and Time, they’re granting exclusive interviews to Fast Company and Mashable. The latter publication scored a good one with Phil Schiller and John Ternu. Lance Ulanoff:

In fact, Apple is apparently taking the time to custom-fit all sorts of pieces in the MacBook through a process it calls “binning.” Since there can be minuscule variances that might make, for instance, the Force Touch trackpad not a perfect fit for the body or the super-thin Retina display not exactly a match for the top of the case, Apple finds matching parts from the production line. Even the thickness of the stainless steel Apple Logo, which replaced the backlit logo on previous MacBook models, can vary by a micron or so, meaning Apple needs to find a top with the right cutout depth.

Apple started doing this with the glass cutouts on the iPhone 5, and has been ramping it up across their product lines. It shows: every new product from them feels tighter and better-built than anything that came before. I doubt any other company is doing anything like this, and I believe few other companies can do anything like this. Nobody has the same scale of production dedicated to building such a narrow set of products.