An Open Letter to Phil Schiller about iPhones, iPads, and Macs

| Editorial

Dear Mr. Schiller,

I'm sorry, but you are wrong. On Thursday you tweeted the following three messages:

I can only imagine this is some kind of delayed April Fool's prank, because your position is not only illogical, it violates Apple's own usage and the usage of Apple's own execs—including you—who chose to think logically when they said things like this (as noted by a MacRumors reader):

Note that you yourself did not say "iPad devices in the dugout," while Mr. Cook did not say, "Enjoy your new iPhone smartphones!" Apple's own press releases refer to Macs and iPhones, as well. And we've all heard "iPads," "iPhones," and "Macs" in keynote events throughout the years.

Mr. Schiller, it was also pointed out at MacRumors in the aftermath of Pluralgate that you favorited this tweet from one Joseph Rooks.

But that doesn't cut it for me. Your initial argument was not just that one need not pluralize Apple devices, but that one could also use those names as a plural. I argue that I do not own two iPad or two Mac. I would further argue that no one has ever owned multiple Mac or iPhone. Because that's just silly.

With all due respect, of course, because you're kind of the bee's knees.

Even if there is some inner Apple bylaw declaring that Apple product names can be plural or singular, you lost control of this particular issue decades ago. Talk to Kleenex and Xerox about this topic if you have any questions.

In the meanwhile, I proudly own two Macs, two iPads, and my current iPhone is merely one of many iPhones I have owned throughout the years.

Sincerely yours,

Bryan Chaffin

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We have two iPhoneS, two iPadS, and three MacBook ProS. Over the years I’ve owned many iPodS and many MacS as well.

Every once in a while someone tries to declare unilaterally that this or that language rule has changed. They are usually about as successful as a single field mouse is trying to change the evolution of their species. Language responds to the environment.

Bob LeVitus

Bravo, Bryan. Well said.

Richard Smith 1

To be clear, adding the letter “S” to pluralise a word is a common, ignorant, and bad way of pluralising words to which we (yes, I include myself) do not know how to pluralise. This situation gets worse when we try to pluralise made up words like iPhone, or iPad. Since such words are made up, it is only fair that those whom made up the word can decide how the word should be pluralised.

Thank you Apple for making it clear.


Re: Steve Jobs:
You’re just not SAYING it right: it should be “iPhone$”

Meant with only sarcasm and humor of course

Gary Dauphin

Excuse me, but with all of the things (plural) that could be fixed at Apple right now (including my drowning stock value), I think we have more critical things to discuss with Mr. Schiller.



I don’t understands your point.

I have had many iPhone, iPad and Mac, many of which I still uses. Deciding which of these word, which are recent invention, are difficult to pluralise with any common conventions.

Personally, I thinks we should all just goes with the flows, and pluralise as we pleases. Jeez(s)

Jesus Garrido

Dear Bryan:

I have 2 iPhones, 3 iPads and 2 Macs.
In Spanish, Portuguese or English.

Best regards.

Old UNIX Guy

Dear Phil,

E-mail has never worked right in OS X El Capitan if you have a standard IMAP account configured.  10.11.0-3 had an egregious memory leak.  10.11.4 fixes that but introduces a deleted messages come back bug.

And Apple is taking time to tell us how to properly pronounce device names?!?!

Unfortunately, I cannot just box up the 27” iMac I’m typing this on and drive it over to Craig Federighi’s house, drop it off, and come back a day or two later with things fixed.  Believe me, if I could, I would.

So please quit wasting my time and start paying attention to things that actually matter.  Thank you.


A poor long-suffering soul who has the evidently unreasonable expectation that e-mail should work.


Whatever happened to “the customer is usually right”?

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