Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

A Profile of Apple SVP of Hardware Technologies Johny Srouji

Brad Stone, Adam Satariano, and Gwen Ackerman, for Bloomberg:

Srouji recently spent several hours with Bloomberg Businessweek over several days and guided a tour of Apple chip facilities in Cupertino, Calif., and Herzliya, Israel. This was, no doubt, strategic. Investors have battered Apple stock over the past year, sending it down more than 25 percent. Most people are already pretty satisfied with their phones, the criticism goes, and aren’t compelled to spend an additional few hundred bucks on an upgrade. (In March, Apple intends to announce an updated iPad and smaller-screen iPhone featuring the latest A9x and A9 chips, according to a person familiar with the plans, who wasn’t authorized to comment publicly.)

Apple’s usual response is to point to Jony Ive and his team of fastidiously cool, Wallabee-shod industrial designers, or to highlight elegantly tooled aluminum or an app or some new feature or gadget. There’s always something new to show off. But none of that has ever explained anything about a crucial part of Apple’s profit machine: its chips.

“I think it’s too good of a story not to be told at this stage,” Srouji says. “Hopefully, we won’t reveal too much.”

True to form, very little is revealed in this interview. There is, however, a terrific explanation and a bit of a peek into the rigorous challenges that must be overcome to bring a new A-series chip to market, and a few telling responses as to what Apple will do next with their rapid rise in silicon prowess.