iOS Designer Forstall Pushed Out At Apple - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Infrastructure // PC & Servers
06:57 PM

iOS Designer Forstall Pushed Out At Apple

Scott Forstall, responsible for Apple's iOS platform, has been shoved out the door following the iOS 6 Maps flap.

iPad Mini Tablet: Visual Tour
iPad Mini Tablet: Visual Tour
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Apple may have hoped Hurricane Sandy would drown out some bad news that the company announced Monday evening. Apple has reorganized some of its senior executives. Two men are out, and several others gain new responsibilities as Apple CEO Tim Cook shakes things up.

The biggest piece of news surrounds Scott Forstall, who's headed iOS since its inception. Forstall has been with Apple since it scooped up NeXTStep in the 90s. He's had a hand in both iOS and OS X ever since. In the press release issued by Apple, it says that Forstall will remain an advisor to CEO Tim Cook through early 2013.

iOS has been an unparalleled success since its 2007 debut. Apple has sold more than 400 million iOS devices in the last five years in iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches. But it hasn't always been a smooth ride.

Apple received a nasty black eye when iOS 6 debuted in September. Apple replaced the Google Maps app with a brand new Apple Maps app. The Apple-made mapping and navigation application is terrible when compared to Google Maps. Not only is the app feature-poor, but roads were labeled incorrectly, towns were missing and satellite imagery blurred and indecipherable. Cook recently addressed Maps' performance, saying that Apple is working night and day to improve the application. There have been other snafus, such as the not-so-amazing Siri personal assistant, but Apple Maps is by far the worst.

[ Apple has made its share of mistakes. See Apple's Top 20 Public Apologies. ]

Who's replacing Forstall? None other than Apple's hardware design guru, Jony Ive. Ive is the man behind some of Apple's most successful designs, such as its MacBooks, iPad and iPhone. According to Apple, Ive will "provide leadership and direction for human interface (HI) across the company in addition to his role as the leader of industrial design."

Bottom line, Apple is looking for a change in the look and feel of its iOS platform, and it didn't think Forstall was up to the task. Now, the appearance of the user interface will fall on Ive's shoulders. Whether or not his success with hardware can be duplicated with software remains to be seen.

Ive will have some help. Executive Eddie Cue has been made responsible for Apple Maps and Siri. Does anyone envy Cue's job? He has to fix the mistakes made under Forstall and whip Apple Maps and Siri back into shape.

They'll both be working with Craig Federighi, who has been given the lead role in iOS and OS X development moving forward.

Last, but certainly not least, Apple's retail head, John Browett, has been shown the door. He joined the company earlier this year and was expected to help take Apple Stores to the next level ... only he hasn't. Given his brief tenure with the company, it's apparent that CEO Cook was looking to fix a mistake.

These changes are significant, but their effects won't be felt for some time. Look to see Jony Ive's influence in iOS 7 come June 2013.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
User Rank: Apprentice
10/31/2012 | 6:42:19 PM
re: iOS Designer Forstall Pushed Out At Apple
Scratching my head a bit on the assignment of J. Ive to lead software design. When I read a recent interview with him, I was impressed by his work ethic and clarity of vision and purpose. But sculpted metal cases and Gorilla glass are not the same as OS architecture and important bundled applications. Hope that he has good leaders working under him.
Terabyte Net
Terabyte Net,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/30/2012 | 4:13:23 PM
re: iOS Designer Forstall Pushed Out At Apple
Overheard as the door opened and people were leaving, 'Hello Larry (e.g. Page of Google), heard any good secrets lately?' followed quickly by, 'Hello Oh-Hyun (e.g. Kwon of Samsung), heard any good things to use in an appeal lately?' How is Cook not clearly to blame here? He's the boss. Did he not even bother to test drive their latest iToys before they shipped? Seriously? Took me 10 seconds to find a flaw in iOS6's Maps. If Cook actually knew how to use it he'd have found it too. With Jobs, the buck stopped with him. He had no problem reaming out folks, but he would have never had to in this case because he'd have actually tested it before it left development.
User Rank: Apprentice
10/30/2012 | 2:59:00 PM
re: iOS Designer Forstall Pushed Out At Apple
Windows 8 released, Apple's CEO in panic :-)
CIOs Face Decisions on Remote Work for Post-Pandemic Future
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  2/19/2021
11 Ways DevOps Is Evolving
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  2/18/2021
CRM Trends 2021: How the Pandemic Altered Customer Behavior Forever
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  2/18/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
Flash Poll