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Old Mar 17, 2014, 03:30 AM   #1
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'Haunted Empire' Profiles Apple After Steve Jobs as a Company on the Decline




Former Wall Street Journal reporter Yukari Iwatani Kane's highly anticipated book, Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs, debuts tomorrow with the goal of examining Apple's transition following the death of Steve Jobs.

While the book includes some interesting tidbits such as Jobs' comments on TV at a 2010 company retreat, Haunted Empire will likely not sit well with many Apple fans given Kane's thesis that the company is entering a period of decline without Jobs' guidance. That may indeed be the case, but the impression Kane gives readers is that she reached her conclusion before even embarking on the project, proceeding to selectively choose anecdotes to support her predetermined view.

Haunted Empire has relatively little praise for Apple, offering a rather disjointed series of chapters jumping from one topic to the next in an effort to show how dysfunctional Apple has become without Jobs. The book begins with a prologue setting the stage for Apple's transition with a description of the company's celebration of Steve Jobs following his death in October 2011. The first few chapters then focus on Jobs' earlier decline in health, including inside details on his 2008 conversation with New York Times reporter Joe Nocera regarding his health issues.

As Jobs began to move to the sidelines with several medical leaves of absence, Tim Cook's star began to rise with his handling of Apple's day-to-day operations, and his so-called "Cook Doctrine" shared on an earnings conference call in January 2009 offered the first good look at the executive's philosophy. Apple was flying high at that point on strong iPhone growth, but Kane alleges that Jobs resented Apple's success under Cook's stewardship:
Quote:
Jobs returned to Apple at the end of June [2009] just as had said he would. On his first day, he threw a series of tantrums, ripping people apart and tearing up marketing plans. When Jobs heard about the press's sterling evaluation of Cook's performance, he hit the roof. Cook had done an excellent job, but the leadership and skill he showed in doing so was unsettling. He was also still sore about the "Cook Doctrine." Jobs chewed him out in a meeting with other executives.

"I'm the CEO!" Jobs yelled.
In support of her argument that Apple has been on the decline for some time now, Kane proceeds to cite a series of events dating back to Jobs' final years, including the lost iPhone 4, "Antennagate", and a Daily Show segment in which Jon Stewart took Apple to task for its handling of the lost iPhone 4 situation. Even Apple's dispute with Adobe over Flash is painted as a losing situation for Apple:
Quote:
[T]he victory cost Apple. The fight with Adobe enforced the perception that Apple was turning into an eight-hundred-pound gorilla. Despite Jobs's justifiable reasons to exclude Flash from the iPad, Apple came across as an oppressor. The controversy tarnished the empire's sterling brand image.
Once Jobs stepped down as CEO for good in August 2011 just six weeks before his death, Cook was better able to assert himself and Kane notes that Cook got off to a good start by promoting popular services chief Eddy Cue to a senior vice president position and instituting a matching program for employees' charitable gifts.

But Cook soon faced a number of new problems, including a lukewarm reception to the new Siri personal assistant introduced on the iPhone 4S, issues with working conditions at manufacturing partner Foxconn and other suppliers as highlighted in a Pulitzer Prize-winning series of "iEconomy" articles from The New York Times, and the wide-ranging patent wars with Samsung, HTC, Nokia, and others.

Kane spends several chapters addressing the patent battles and the Samsung dispute in particular, arguing that while Apple has seen some victories in court, the effort has ultimately proven fruitless given judges' unwillingness to issue injunctions that would prevent Samsung from selling any of its most popular models of smartphones and tablets over infringement issues.

Beyond the growing patent battles, other issues continued to mount for Cook, including the Maps iOS app debacle that led to the ouster of iOS chief Scott Forstall, the e-book pricing investigation, criticism from Chinese state-run media, and tax issues.

Kane gives Cook relatively high marks for his U.S. Senate committee testimony on the tax issue, but otherwise argues that Cook has been unable to make his mark on Apple, with his low-key demeanor and a lack of significant product releases generating little excitement around the company. Even Apple's effort to bring Mac manufacturing back to the United States is played off as a minor development, with Apple's $100 million investment a "pittance compared to its $137 billion cash hoard" and the company having to partner with Flextronics on Mac Pro assembly because the project was "too insignificant for Foxconn to care."

The last several chapters bring readers close to the present time, including a critical look at Cook's May 2013 appearance at the D11: All Things Digital conference in which Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher peppered Cook with a series of hard questions about Apple's product plans, competition from Android, and the weight of the patent wars.
Quote:
The performance was a disaster. Cook came across as delusional and painfully out of touch. If he was truly unfazed by the host of problems facing Apple, if he actually believed that everything was going well, then the company was really in trouble.
Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference 2013 and the introduction of iOS 7 are also addressed, with Kane taking exception to executives' repeated efforts to dismiss much of the previous design work led by Scott Forstall.
Quote:
Fathoming the motives behind the ridicule required the skills of a Kremlinologist. Why was Apple's leadership wasting its time tearing down someone they'd already shoved out into the cold? Why so much animus over fake green felt? Did they really believe that the world recoiled under the tyranny of skeuomorphism? The putdowns may have been a kind of chest thumping, intended to trumpet the alpha ascendancy of Cook and Ive, who led the overhaul of the mobile software. Maybe they wanted to underscore that they had won that Forstall had lost. Even more intriguing was the possibility that the real target might not have been Forstall, but their visionary founder. [...] Was this Apple's odd way of declaring independence from his legacy?
In an epilogue written in November, Kane leaves no doubt of her belief that Apple is on a downward slide, led by "a man laboring at an impossible task" with "no spark" and "no fire" in the way he presents his company to the world.
Quote:
The truth is, Apple used to be exceptional. Not necessarily in its behavior, which was often predatory. But certainly in its ability to inspire. Those days are waning. Outside the echo chamber of Apple's headquarters, the notion of the company's exceptionalism has been shattered.
Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs debuts on Tuesday, March 18 and is available from a variety of outlets including Amazon and Apple's iBooks Store.

Article Link: 'Haunted Empire' Profiles Apple After Steve Jobs as a Company on the Decline
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Old Mar 17, 2014, 03:32 AM   #2
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Alright guys, let's give apple a bit of a break here and let them reformat the company.
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Old Mar 17, 2014, 03:32 AM   #3
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May as well be titled: "Apple Is Doomed!!!!111!!1"
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Old Mar 17, 2014, 03:39 AM   #4
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Apple is fine and is going to continue to be fine. Obviously, Steve Jobs was great; however, he was not the only one behind the curtain.
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Old Mar 17, 2014, 03:45 AM   #5
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I agree and disagree with lots of things, the main ones being that i agree with the whole iOS 7 thing, you need a little more than words to have a decent user interface, i can understand not wanting to go over board and have green felt everywhere but you went overboard in the opposite direction. As for the whole no new product thing its been 2 years, they have released nice updates but to expect a whole new product is a joke.
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Old Mar 17, 2014, 03:48 AM   #6
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I will miss Steve, but I really don't see how Apple "on a decline". Not as strong as before, sure, but still very strong.
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Old Mar 17, 2014, 03:51 AM   #7
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Who is this women? Never heard of her……… never mind, YOU(she) doesn't matter. Guys, take it from her, she KNOWS the future of Apple, even better than Tim.

………Lady, grab a chair and sit yo tired ass down!
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Old Mar 17, 2014, 03:54 AM   #8
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Since Jobs died Apple has lost it's spark. I use to get so excited when they released a new product, but these days the feelings aren't there. Apple just feels like another company now.
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Old Mar 17, 2014, 03:55 AM   #9
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Long live Steve Jobs, Apple's God.
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Steve Jobs would have never let this happen, Tim Cook would have let this happen.
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Old Mar 17, 2014, 03:58 AM   #10
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Before Touch ID came out, the idea that touch sensors could be miniaturized to fit the little home button was laughable. Apple delivered.

Where are the car integration platforms from Google and Microsoft? Apple delivered.

The first devices in history to have "ac" Wi-Fi? Apple delivered.

An incredible (and risky) concept for the new Mac Pro. The entire thing is a wind tunnel. It's pure premium art. And it's cheaper than the competition. Apple delivered.

Fantastic new re-imagining of iOS. It's not perfect (yet), but it's a bold step in the right direction. Apple delivered.

Ditto for OS X. Apple delivered.

Bold new pricing strategy for iWork and OS X. Apple delivered.

All of this happened under Cook.

------------------------------------------

The e-books pricing case wasn't Cook's fault.

When they made fun of green felt, it was Apple making fun of itself, not necessarily of Scott Forstall. It was only Craig Fed. doing it. Maybe it wasn't a pre-planned group pile-on. Maybe it was just Craig being Craig.

------------------------------------------

The following are fair criticisms of Cook:

Siri and Maps haven't been completely fixed yet.

Scott Forstall shouldn't have been fired. Instead, they should have given him an independent project where he didn't have to run into Ive and others he didn't get along with.

Josh Browett. The ex-retail chief. That was completely on Cook.


Overall, I give Cook a B+. After 2014, he'll have earned his A+.
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Old Mar 17, 2014, 03:59 AM   #11
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Typical book full of FUD to try and sell. Apple is going to be fine.
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Old Mar 17, 2014, 04:02 AM   #12
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nice try android fans, nice try!
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Old Mar 17, 2014, 04:04 AM   #13
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Cheap sensationalism to sell a book. Funny, the one thing she commended Cook on was the one thing I disliked, which is the matching employee contributions.

Sensationalist books about Apple post-Jobs = the new Flappy Birds.
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Old Mar 17, 2014, 04:08 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRainKing View Post
Since Jobs died Apple has lost it's spark. I use to get so excited when they released a new product, but these days the feelings aren't there. Apple just feels like another company now.
Jobs was certainly the face of Apple, and they were always destined to change after he dies - they do feel like "just another company," because without him that's pretty much what they are. Jobs was Apple, and vice versa.

I think it's too early to write them off or claim they are declining. Whoever this woman is, I think I'll stump up for Job's biography rather then her tea-leaf-reading and baseless opinions.
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Old Mar 17, 2014, 04:09 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ethanlee View Post
May as well be titled: "Apple Is Doomed!!!!111!!1"
Perhaps you should learn how you have to push the shift button and then typing bunch of exclamation marks first.
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Old Mar 17, 2014, 04:13 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booyahbooyah View Post
Before Touch ID came out, the idea that touch sensors could be miniaturized to fit the little home button was laughable. Apple delivered.

Where are the car integration platforms from Google and Microsoft? Apple delivered.

The first devices in history to have "ac" Wi-Fi? Apple delivered.

An incredible (and risky) concept for the new Mac Pro. The entire thing is a wind tunnel. It's pure premium art. And it's cheaper than the competition. Apple delivered.

Fantastic new re-imagining of iOS. It's not perfect (yet), but it's a bold step in the right direction. Apple delivered.

Ditto for OS X. Apple delivered.

Bold new pricing strategy for iWork and OS X. Apple delivered.

All of this happened under Cook.

------------------------------------------

The e-books pricing case wasn't Cook's fault.

When they made fun of green felt, it was Apple making fun of itself, not necessarily of Scott Forstall. It was only Craig Fed. doing it. Maybe it wasn't a pre-planned group pile-on. Maybe it was just Craig being Craig.

------------------------------------------

The following are fair criticisms of Cook:

Siri and Maps haven't been completely fixed yet.

Scott Forstall shouldn't have been fired. Instead, they should have given him an independent project where he didn't have to run into Ive and others he didn't get along with.

Josh Browett. The ex-retail chief. That was completely on Cook.


Overall, I give Cook a B+. After 2014, he'll have earned his A+.
"car integration platforms from Google and Microsoft?" Atleast Microsoft has delivered but its crap just like Apple maps http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue&Me
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Old Mar 17, 2014, 04:21 AM   #17
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Apple is unique amongst most computer and device manufacturers in that they hold cards so close to their chests that even loyal, paying customers never really know what is to be released, what it will contain, and when.

I think that Tim Cook is probably attempting to change this, and that's a good thing. If Apple want to become mainstream ( assuming that they do) then a corporate entity needs to know what his or her upgrade cycle is....If I were still running a large company, then cost notwithstanding, I'd need to know when my new server based MP was available...guessing is fun, up to a point.

As far as decline is concerned, I think that depends way more on the competition than it does on Apple....their products are unique, their eco-system is also stand alone. I've been using Apple products for more years than I can now remember and a return to a Windows based environment makes me shudder with dread..but I'm a one man band...I can wait. If you have a corporate that needs 100 new MP's or iMacs now, what do you do?

Guess?
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Old Mar 17, 2014, 04:21 AM   #18
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Jobs was THE man. He is irreplaceable. Tim and Apple is doing Fine. Relax.
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Old Mar 17, 2014, 04:22 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamer2go View Post
I will miss Steve, but I really don't see how Apple is in a "decline". Not as strong as before, sure, but still very strong.
Apple is in a decline.

iOS 7 has been the buggiest iOS that has ever been released in iOS history.

The new iWork is a downgrade compared to iWork '09

Touch ID, for some, only works half the time.

iPhone 4 with iOS 7 is so slow, animations lag. (With enough attention to detail, iOS 7 could be further engineered to be way smoother on iPhone 4).

And that's only some of the problems Apple is having.

Quote:
Originally Posted by booyahbooyah View Post
Before Touch ID came out, the idea that touch sensors could be miniaturized to fit the little home button was laughable. Apple delivered.
There's been fingerprint sensors on phones before the 5S

Quote:
Originally Posted by booyahbooyah View Post
An incredible (and risky) concept for the new Mac Pro. The entire thing is a wind tunnel. It's pure premium art. And it's cheaper than the competition. Apple delivered.
This is form over function. Nobody cares if your tower is smaller or thinner, it sits there and you never move it anyway.

Furthermore, you can build your own computer for a much, much cheaper price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by booyahbooyah View Post
Fantastic new re-imagining of iOS. It's not perfect (yet), but it's a bold step in the right direction. Apple delivered.

Ditto for OS X. Apple delivered.

Scott Forstall shouldn't have been fired. Instead, they should have given him an independent project where he didn't have to run into Ive and others he didn't get along with.
Scott Forstall was the guy who knew how iOS is made, and yet Apple fired him. iOS 7 is the result.

Quote:
Originally Posted by booyahbooyah View Post
Bold new pricing strategy for iWork and OS X. Apple delivered.
I'd rather pay for quality software than pay nothing for a downgrade.


Sure, Apple is still strong and probably still the best, but in comparison to what Apple would've been if Steve were alive, I'd prefer the latter.

Last edited by Fondaparinux; Mar 17, 2014 at 04:41 AM.
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Old Mar 17, 2014, 04:22 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by TheRainKing View Post
Since Jobs died Apple has lost it's spark. I use to get so excited when they released a new product, but these days the feelings aren't there. Apple just feels like another company now.

you might suffer a little "cult of personality".

Actually Retina MBP happened since jobs died, and imo is the best laptop apple has ever made. And I'm still just as excited when apples released a new product.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoneo View Post
Perhaps you should learn how you have to push the shift button and then typing bunch of exclamation marks first.
(im not ethanlee)
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=!!!!111

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Old Mar 17, 2014, 04:25 AM   #21
ethanlee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xoneo View Post
Perhaps you should learn how you have to push the shift button and then typing bunch of exclamation marks first.

It's something called satire. Ever heard of "T3h PeNgU1N oF d00m"?
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Last edited by ethanlee; Mar 19, 2014 at 07:51 PM. Reason: timeless link deserves everyone's attention
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Old Mar 17, 2014, 04:26 AM   #22
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Tim is not a interesting person. The magic Steve had with users and the public is sorely missing.

If Apple could somehow work Jony Ive into events as the lead presenter, it would change perception quickly.

Honestly, I don't know what their waiting for. All of us would prefer to hear Jony over Tim.

Like Steve said... Jony can do whatever he wants. If Steve had that much faith in him, let's hear from the man Steve loved so much.

Just a though Apple...
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Old Mar 17, 2014, 04:29 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamer2go View Post
I will miss Steve, but I really don't see how Apple is in a "decline". Not as strong as before, sure, but still very strong.
if they're not as strong as before, doesn't that mean they've declined?
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Old Mar 17, 2014, 04:33 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booyahbooyah View Post
Before Touch ID came out, the idea that touch sensors could be miniaturized to fit the little home button was laughable. Apple delivered.

Where are the car integration platforms from Google and Microsoft? Apple delivered.

The first devices in history to have "ac" Wi-Fi? Apple delivered.

An incredible (and risky) concept for the new Mac Pro. The entire thing is a wind tunnel. It's pure premium art. And it's cheaper than the competition. Apple delivered.

Fantastic new re-imagining of iOS. It's not perfect (yet), but it's a bold step in the right direction. Apple delivered.

Ditto for OS X. Apple delivered.

Bold new pricing strategy for iWork and OS X. Apple delivered.

All of this happened under Cook.

------------------------------------------

The e-books pricing case wasn't Cook's fault.

When they made fun of green felt, it was Apple making fun of itself, not necessarily of Scott Forstall. It was only Craig Fed. doing it. Maybe it wasn't a pre-planned group pile-on. Maybe it was just Craig being Craig.

------------------------------------------

The following are fair criticisms of Cook:

Siri and Maps haven't been completely fixed yet.

Scott Forstall shouldn't have been fired. Instead, they should have given him an independent project where he didn't have to run into Ive and others he didn't get along with.

Josh Browett. The ex-retail chief. That was completely on Cook.


Overall, I give Cook a B+. After 2014, he'll have earned his A+.
This.
And also, in less I missed something- is it not slightly ironic that the cover of this profile damning Apple tries to mimic OS7, but does a bad job of it?
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Old Mar 17, 2014, 04:39 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by snappyfool View Post
if they're not as strong as before, doesn't that mean they've declined?
It means they have declined, not that they are on a decline. We all knew Apple wouldn't be the same without Steve, it doesn't mean all will go south now.
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