Former Wall Street Journal reporter Yukari Iwatani Kane has a book coming in March on Apple called “Haunted Empire, Apple After Steve Jobs“.
Kane was a great Apple reporter at the Journal, and the post-Steve Jobs era should be great subject material for a book. We’ve been excited to see what she would turn up.
It looks like her book will not be kind to Tim Cook’s Apple. In a post for the New Yorker, she has a brutal take down of Apple in the post-Jobs era. This isn’t anything we haven’t heard before, but coming from someone that spent years working on a book about Apple, it carries a little more weight:
Apple’s supporters point to the company’s billions of dollars in quarterly profit and its tens of billions in revenue as proof that it continues to thrive. But Apple’s employees again know differently, despite the executive team’s best efforts to preserve Jobs’s legacy. People who shouldn’t be hired are being hired (like Apple’s former retail chief, John Browett, who tried to incorporate big-box-retailer sensibilities into Apple’s refined store experience). People who shouldn’t leave are leaving, or, in the case of the mobile-software executive Scott Forstall, being fired.
Mistakes, in turn, are being made: Apple Maps was a fiasco, and ads, like the company’s short-lived Genius ads and last summer’s self-absorbed manifesto ad, have been mediocre. Apple’s latest version of its mobile operating system, iOS 7, looks pretty but is full of bugs and flaws. As for innovation, the last time Apple created something that was truly great was the original iPad, when Jobs was still alive.
There are some problems with this take down, though. She says Apple Maps was a mess, but that was Scott Forstall’s project, and she suggests he shouldn’t have left the company.