Scott Forstall was fired from Apple 10 years ago today

It may be hard to believe, but now it’s been ten years since Scott Forstall was fired from Apple. Forstall was replaced by Craig Federighi on October 29, 2012, although he stayed on as a consultant for about six months after that.

Here’s a look back at what happened… and what happened next.

Map of Forstall’s death

Forstall was one of Steve Jobs’ closest associates at Apple. They eat lunch and work together all the time. But after the death of Steve Jobs in 2011, rumors began that Forstall was not very popular in the executive ranks. Many saw Forstall as a copycat of Jobs, and were quick to avoid blame. In particular, Forstall was said to be at odds with Jony Ive, the head of technology, so they refused to collaborate.

Although Forstall has been known to be unpopular (at least on the executive level, many have shown him to have produced the best improvements of his leadership in the years since), the iPhone has grown enormously and with IOS, and Forstall’s political credit in the face of Apple’s mobile software division could not be achieved. He may not have many friends in the executive team, but it is hard to deny the results of his team. However, then came September 2012 and the launch of iOS 6.

iOS 6 introduced a new mapping application, using Apple data and cartography, replacing Google Maps as a mobile mapping application. The release is a general disaster. Apple Maps data sources may be inaccurate or incomplete. The navigation is unreliable and the beautiful 3D City Flyover feature presents modeling issues for many countries. Apple Maps is making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Some joked that Apple only tested it in California (this turned out to be half true). Just a week after iOS 6 came out, Apple published an open letter admitting that the quality of Maps was not up to par. The letter directed consumers to download third-party mapping applications such as MapQuest and Waze.

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This open letter is signed by Tim Cook. It has been featured in major magazines such as New York Times Cook wanted Forstall to sign the letter, but Forstall refused to acknowledge the allegations against Maps. Cook saw the denial of responsibility as the last straw and decided that this was the last time Forstall would go.

The key implementation team was announced in an announcement titled “Apple Announces Changes to Increase Collaboration Across Hardware, Software & Services.”

Craig Federighi is responsible for all of Apple’s operating systems, including iOS and OS X (also known as macOS). Eddy Cue is powered by Siri and Maps. Jony Ive will take control of the social media group, including the technology department.

John Browett left at the same time

While the departure of Scott Forstall was the headline news, Apple Retail SVP John Browett was also fired at the same time. His reign over the stores was disastrous, from being leased to liquidated within a single calendar year. He introduced a new warehouse hiring process that saw part-time employee hours cut to a minimum (and some layoffs) across the board, apparently in an effort to cut costs. The impact on employee satisfaction and customer experience in stores has been immediate. In August, Apple reversed the policy and the PR team released a statement publicly describing the changes as wrong. After all, his appointment was announced in January 2012, he started working in April, and he was fired in October – just seven months into the job.

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The fall

Jony Ive’s leadership role led directly to the introduction of flat design aesthetics to Apple software. Almost as soon as Ive took over, he started working on the iOS 7 operating system.

Skeuomorphic elements and detailed elements in Apple devices have been replaced with white backgrounds, linear graphics, and buttons that are simplified so that they can only be seen by color, without any limitations. the last one. The engineering teams will provide the most visible change to iOS in a very fast development time.

The first (buggy) beta of iOS 7 was sent in June 2013, at WWDC. iOS 7’s reception has been controversial; Some liked it, some hated it. iOS 7 has targeted a wide range of businesses, but the mark has been exceeded. The recent iOS update saw the return of things like borders around buttons, mirrors, and animated icons with default line weights and fonts.

To its credit, Apple has spent a lot of time documenting the previous bug. They have hired and hired around the world to advance their mapping technology, including one of its first major technology centers in India. Early versions of Maps collected data from partners such as TomTom. In 2018, Apple opened the reconstruction of maps from the world, and is creating a new database for it, a major task that includes running its fleet the world itself. This rollout was well received, and Apple Maps has rivaled Google Maps in many ways these days. Essentially, Maps has remained under Cue since the 2012 shuffle, but Siri navigation has ping-ponged around the various teams — and seen little progress.

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Apple has taken a while to find a replacement for SVP of sales. He hired Angela Ahrendts in 2014, who helped integrate Apple’s online and brick-and-mortar experiences and worked with Ive to introduce major design changes to retail stores. . One of Ahrendts’ ideas – to turn Apple stores into open spaces in the city – was not successful, although the principle continues with today’s variations in Apple companies. Ahrendts left in 2019, replaced by Apple veteran Deirdre O’Brien.

Forstall kept himself a low profile in the years to come. He has personally invested in several technology startups, and was named a consultant for Snapchat circa 2015. He has also focused on philanthropic efforts and helped produce a handful of Broadway plays. He made it up for the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, in a televised interview with the Computer History Museum.

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