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CES 2017 had a lot of attention on AI assistants and smart home speakers, however, it looks like Apple might not exactly be going down that route.
According to an interview with Backchannel blog to mark the 10th anniversary of the original iPhone's launch, Apple SVP Phil Schiller suggests that the company has little time for voice-only products and interfaces."Having my iPhone with me as the thing I speak to is better than something stuck in my kitchen or on a wall somewhere,” he said.
Schiller believes that a display plays an important role when it comes to comfortable user interaction. “People are forgetting the value and importance of the display,” said Schiller. “Some of the greatest innovations on iPhone over the last ten years have been in display. Displays are not going to go away. We still like to take pictures and we need to look at them, and a disembodied voice is not going to show me what the picture is.” "I’m so glad the team years ago set out to create Siri — I think we do more with that conversational interface than anyone else," he stated.
However, with the success of voice based home assistants at CES 2017, some suggest that Schiller's statement might simply be defensive, a protective measure for the ten year legacy of the screen-focused iPhone experience.