Apple's Reorganization Goes Deeper Than Just Who's In Charge

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Former Apple employee Matt Drance has an interesting take on yesterday's executive shakeup at Apple. He notes that the new division of responsibilities across three top executives is a sea change from how Apple has traditionally operated.
Not only is this a profound increase in responsibility for all three of these top executives, it's a profound change in Apple's organization going as far back as I can remember. There's a long-standing pattern of separating watershed products important to the company's future. The Mac and Apple teams. Mac OS X and Classic. The iPod division. iOS and Mac OS X. Suddenly, Tim Cook has pulled the reins in. Federighi owns software. Ive owns design. Cue owns services. Period.
Instead of separating products into different teams, Tim Cook has now divided responsibility for completing products across three separate divisions, each headed by a long-time Apple executive. All three divisions will be required to work together in order to finish and ship anything, necessitating increased collaboration and perhaps consistency across the company.

Om Malik has another take on why Apple's products -- in particular those in Scott Forstall's charge -- have faltered a bit in the past few years: releasing a product based on a schedule, rather than releasing it when it's finished.
The time-based schedule is one of the reasons why Siri and Maps arrived as half-baked products and were met with derision. Many engineers inside Apple could foresee problems with Maps. Why? Because Maps were driven by a time schedule.

Maps and Siri are complex products whose dependencies (for the lack of a better word) go deep into different parts of the phone and even the network. The schedule-driven release culture makes folks less daring -- why take arrows in your back for failing to deliver a radical new feature on a pre-dictated time? If this cultural warp continues, Apple might have a bigger headache on its hands. Ive's appointment as the Human Interface honcho means that more risk-taking needs to come into the products.
Article Link: Apple's Reorganization Goes Deeper Than Just Who's In Charge
 

maccompatible

macrumors 6502
Mar 26, 2012
265
3
This is really no surprise about the poor quality based on a time schedule.

I am excited to see the future "consistent" products, though!
 

nick_elt

macrumors 68000
Oct 28, 2011
1,578
0
Hope there is noticeable change to ios. Then I might go back. Love apple, ios not so much anymore. It was the the greatest only 2 years ago.
 

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,752
5,250
I am very pleased about these new developments and I look forward to see what the new 'power core' will come up with.
 

Macinva

macrumors 6502
May 15, 2007
333
79
Should be interesting to see what shakes out with the new alignment. I personally don't have any problems with any of my Apple stuff or iOS, but I always welcome change for the good.
 

macfacts

macrumors 68040
Oct 7, 2012
3,746
4,464
Cybertron
Apple could have had more time to work on iOS6 maps but Apple was too proud of itself. Apple still had access to the google maps data till next year and could have kept the old maps app and introduced ios6 maps as beta.
 

Risco

macrumors 68000
Jul 22, 2010
1,766
153
United Kingdom
I get the feeling that Steve Jobs had some kind of deal in place that meant Tim Cook was not able to make any major changes in staff and organisation until a year after his death.
 

slrandall

macrumors 6502
Jun 15, 2011
412
0
I'm actually pretty excited by all of this.

Eddy seems to be a very competent guy, and I'd expect some stable, consistent upgrades to Maps, Siri, and iCloud in the next 12 months that'll make them real, usable services.

Craig is the one that makes me the most nervous. We've had all this "Back to the Mac" stuff for a while now, taking iOS features that people love and bringing them to OS X. I'd like to see some stuff from OS X make its way into iOS. Even as a stolen product, Android is starting to look really full-featured compared to iOS. As someone who would like to get a tablet, but can't go without UI features like multiple desktops and OS X applications like Mathematica and Xcode, I'm apprehensive but hopeful about the future of both iOS and OS X.

Does anything need to be said about Jony? The buck stops with him on all design now. That's fantastic news.
 

NOV

macrumors 6502
Mar 27, 2004
405
158
The Netherlands
A product should only be released when it's more or less finished (I agree that's debatable, but time-driven release is absurd). I always wondered why a Beta version of Siri saw the day of light. If I remember well Jobs was still around when that happened.
 

nxent

macrumors 6502
Nov 7, 2004
330
7
seattle
The most radical changes since job's departure. It'll be interesting to see the types of products apple releases and their quality here on out. I agree that ios is in need of a facelift.
 

Wang Foolio

macrumors regular
Jan 11, 2010
164
0
Maps and Siri are complex products whose dependencies (for the lack of a better word) go deep into different parts of the phone and even the network. The schedule-driven release culture makes folks less daring -- why take arrows in your back for failing to deliver a radical new feature on a pre-dictated time? If this cultural warp continues, Apple might have a bigger headache on its hands. Ive's appointment as the Human Interface honcho means that more risk-taking needs to come into the products.
Thank God he said arrow to the back; I don't think I could handle any more Skyrim memes ;)
 

taxiapple

macrumors regular
Jun 9, 2009
190
23
No question Ives is a genuis, but it does seen to me that some of the products lately have followed form over function.

Examples; thin & light phone but with poor battery life, imac...super thin if looking from the side, but no optical drive, non expandable ram, ect.
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
At first glance, I'm torn about this.

It reminds me a bit of what's happened to Microsoft:

  • Releasing products after years of wandering development, instead of sticking to a schedule.

  • Using one design chief across all products, resulting in throwing out great ideas like the Courier tablet in favor of Metro.
 

Lotso

macrumors 6502
Jul 21, 2010
341
0
OC, California
A product should only be released when it's more or less finished (I agree that's debatable, but time-driven release is absurd). I always wondered why a Beta version of Siri saw the day of light. If I remember well Jobs was still around when that happened.
At that point he didn't have any responsibility at the company, he was just and adviser. I remember in the Biography that it said Tim Cook demonstrated Siri to Steve while he was still in bed. I doubt Steve had any input into when it was released.
 

chairguru22

macrumors 6502a
May 31, 2006
624
38
PA
that time-based release schedule theory makes a lot of sense. any company in general should be making a releasing products when they are ready.

fwiw though, I don't think Siri and Maps are bad at all.
 

Joe-Diver

macrumors 6502
Aug 2, 2009
265
0
Maps was a serious black eye.....it starts at the top; wonder how far downhill it will eventually roll?
 

doelcm82

macrumors 68040
Feb 11, 2012
3,566
2,522
Florida, USA
A product should only be released when it's more or less finished (I agree that's debatable, but time-driven release is absurd). I always wondered why a Beta version of Siri saw the day of light. If I remember well Jobs was still around when that happened.
And of course we will complain bitterly that Apple doesn't care about us, the users, when we don't get the updated products on the schedule we've come to expect:

New iPads ALWAYS come in the Spring! It's been that way for as long as I can remember (back to 2010, that is). How dare they refresh it after only seven months! We iPad 3 buyers deserve a full year of having the latest and the greatest. And the Mac Pro needs to be refreshed NOW, whether it's ready or not.
 
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