Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 22nd Jun 2017 22:46 UTC

The Computer History Museum organised an interview with Scott Forstall, led by John Markoff. Forstall led the iPhone operating system (now iOS) team for the iPhone and the iPad from their inception, and was a close friend and confidant of Steve Jobs. He was ousted by Tim Cook, supposedly because Forstall was a challenger to Cook's position and power inside the company. On top of that, much like Steve Jobs, Forstall supposedly wasn't the easiest person to get along with, and Cook wanted a more harmonious Apple.

Ever since his departure from Apple, Forstall has been silent. This interview is the first time he's opened up about his long, long tenure at first NeXT (where he was hired on the spot by Steve Jobs himself) and then Apple, and quite honestly, I didn't really know what to expect.

It turns out that if you close your eyes while listening to Forstall speak, it's almost like you're hearing Steve Jobs. The man is charming, well-spoken, has a thoughtful or funny reply to every question, sprinkles it with a touching or heartwarming story or anecdote - all the while showing a deep understanding of what made Apple's products great without having to resort to technical details or PR-approved talking points.

As the interview ended and I pondered the whole thing, it just became so very clear why Cook would want to get rid of Forstall as quickly as he could. Can you imagine a boring bean counter like Cook sharing the stage with a man who so closely resembles and feels like Steve Jobs?

It might very well be the case that a Jobs-like figure like Forstall would not have yielded the kinds of immense financial success Apple has enjoyed under Cook, but I can't help but shake the feeling that an Apple with Forstall at the helm - or even just an Apple with Forstall, period - would be a more exciting, a more innovative, a more boundary-pushing Apple. We'll most likely never know.

Then again... It wouldn't be the first time someone gets ousted from Apple, only to return when the time is right.

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RE: Umm?
by d3vi1 on Sat 24th Jun 2017 10:30 UTC in reply to "Umm?"
Member since:

My understanding from folks who worked with him was that Scott was asked to leave because he didn't think Apple should apologize to its customers over the problems with the early version of the maps

I can understand the refusal. The Maps application was excellent from the first release. The problem was the actual map data that Scott had no control over. In more than half of the EU countries it took Google more than 5 years to add even the basic road infrastructure. Everyone expected Apple to have from the start a perfect application and perfect data sources. And that was a ridiculous expectation to begin with.

The latest versions of Navigon or iGO are still inferior to the App that Scot's team designed.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Umm?
by Ford Prefect on Sat 24th Jun 2017 21:15 in reply to "RE: Umm?"
Ford Prefect Member since:

Apple forced their maps application including the inferior data onto their customers. The purpose was to cut out Google after their falling out.

This is what they needed to apologize for. They let their customers down for company politics. It was probably Steve Jobs' decision to make the move, in which case you are right that Scott Forstall would be the wrong person to sign an apology and take the blame.

Edited 2017-06-24 21:16 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Umm?
by Moochman on Sun 25th Jun 2017 11:01 in reply to "RE[2]: Umm?"
Moochman Member since:

Huh? How did they force anything? Installed by default is not the same as forcing - most people just kept on using Google Maps until Apple Maps caught up.

Reply Parent Score: 2