Scott Forstall Reportedly Forced Out of Apple

forstallEarlier this evening, Apple announced a major change up in their executive management. Most notably, Apple Senior Vice President of iOS Software Scott Forstall will be leaving. Forstall moved over to an advisory role effective immediately, and will ultimately depart Apple in 2013.

As Senior Vice President of iOS Software, Scott Forstall has been a prominent public figure at Apple. He was originally recruited to NeXT, Inc. after college and came to Apple with Steve Jobs after Apple's acquisition of NeXT in 1996. He has been on stage numerous times during Apple keynotes to demo the latest iOS features. Forstall was even profiled as Apple's CEO-in-Waiting back in January. That article, however, was a not always flattering look at the executive who reportedly had many clashes with others at Apple.

More recently, there was described to be an internal political divide in Apple about the use of skeuomorphism, the inclusion of certain ornamental elements in a product that are carried over from previous tools addressing the same task for which the elements were required for functionality.

According to the report, Apple's iOS chief Scott Forstall has long been a proponent of incorporating skeuomorphic features in the company's software, with Steve Jobs having supported and even originated that design direction for Apple's products. But others such as hardware guru Jonathan Ive find the inclusion of such features distasteful, and Apple's designers have reportedly been divided into camps over which direction to take Apple's products.

In light of the shakeup, Jonathan Ive is now taking over Apple's Human Interface teams.

DaringFireball's John Gruber believes that Forstall was forced out of Apple:

Forstall is not walking away; he was pushed. Potential factors that worked against Forstall: his design taste, engineering management, abrasive style, and the whole iOS 6 Maps thing. I also wonder how much Forstall was effectively protected by his close relationship with Steve Jobs — protection which, obviously, no longer exists.

Inside Apple author Adam Lashinsky agrees with that sentiment and also cites the Apple Maps issue as a reason for his demise:

I also heard that Forstall refused to sign the letter apologizing for the mapping fiasco, sealing his fate at Apple.

Lashinsky is referring to a public apology posted by Apple CEO Tim Cook about iOS 6's Maps. The Map app in iOS 6 replaced Google Maps with Apple's own proprietary solution. After a significant amount of criticism after iOS 6's launch, Cook wrote an open letter apologizing to customers about not meeting expectations.

Update: The Wall Street Journal confirms a similar story with their sources.

In deciding how to manage the crisis, Mr. Forstall argued that the company could address the outcry without apologizing, as Apple had done when it shipped iPhones with faulty antennas a few years ago, one of these people said. Mr. Cook and others disagreed, these people said. Mr. Cook signed his name to the apology instead.

The article also reiterates that Forstall clashed with others at Apple. One source even said he was difficult to work with and "never fit into the culture of Apple".

Update 2: NYTimes also has a similar story:

A senior Apple employee who asked not to be named said Mr. Forstall had also incurred the ire of other executives after inserting himself into product development that went beyond his role at the company. One person in touch with Apple executives said the mood of people at the company was largely positive about Mr. Forstall’s departure.

Top Rated Comments

hanksmith Avatar
111 months ago
We won't miss ya! :D

Sir Ive, we are all excited for what you'll have for us in iOS 7
Score: 87 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jyen Avatar
111 months ago
Let's not forget that Steve Jobs was forced out of Apple before too.

Perhaps we'll see the second coming of Scott Forstall?
Score: 80 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sbrhwkp3 Avatar
111 months ago
I don't think Steve would have apologized about Maps, either.

I think he would have fiercely defended it and stated why it's way far beyond anything google maps was at its inception and that it's only going to get better.

My guess is Forstall felt the same way.

Either way, I'm looking forward to Ive UIs.
Score: 79 Votes (Like | Disagree)
reputationZed Avatar
111 months ago
Hopefully skeuomorphism gets kicked to the curb.
Score: 62 Votes (Like | Disagree)
appleguy123 Avatar
111 months ago
I actually liked him. He was weird in the keynotes, but you could really tell that he loved the products.
Score: 52 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ouimetnick Avatar
111 months ago
Steve Jobs would have fired him sooner ;)

Steve sided with Scott. Steve supported skeuomorphism. If anything, Scott would still have his Job is Steve was here.
Score: 52 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

tracking disabled ios 14 5

Analytics Suggest 96% of Users Leave App Tracking Disabled in iOS 14.5

Friday May 7, 2021 1:51 am PDT by
An early look at an ongoing analysis of Apple's App Tracking Transparency suggests that the vast majority of iPhone users are leaving app tracking disabled since the feature went live on April 26 with the release of iOS 14.5. According to the latest data from analytics firm Flurry, just 4% of iPhone users in the U.S. have actively chosen to opt into app tracking after updating their device...
macbook colors 3d black bezels

Prosser: Next MacBook Air Could Come in Colors Similar to iMac

Friday May 7, 2021 6:55 am PDT by
According to Apple leaker Jon Prosser, Apple's upcoming release of the MacBook Air will feature various colors, similar to the colors in the newly released 24-inch iMac. In the latest video of his YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser says the same source who accurately provided him information on the first Apple silicon iMac coming in colors has told him that he recently saw a prototype...
snapchat dark mode

Snapchat Rolls Out Dark Mode on iOS

Wednesday May 5, 2021 1:17 am PDT by
Nearly two years following the release of iOS and iPadOS 13, which included native, built-in, and systemwide dark mode, Snapchat, one of the world's most prominent social media networks, has finally rolled out a dark mode theme for iOS users. Snapchat began testing a dark mode theme of its app design late last year with a small group of iOS users. Now, Snapchat says that as of this week, it...
tile amazon sidewalk integration

Tile to Leverage Amazon Echo and Ring Devices to Better Compete With AirTags

Friday May 7, 2021 2:07 pm PDT by
Amazon today announced that it is teaming up with Tile to add Amazon Sidewalk integration to Tile's Bluetooth trackers. Amazon Sidewalk, for those unfamiliar, is a network of Amazon Bluetooth devices that's designed to improve the connectivity of devices like the Ring and Amazon Echo. Tile will now be joining Amazon Sidewalk, and through this integration, Amazon Echo and Ring devices will be ...
tile sticker e1570533758981

Tile CEO: 'We Welcome Competition From Apple, But We Think It Needs to Be Fair'

Tuesday May 4, 2021 9:51 am PDT by
Just after Apple announced its AirTags, Tile CEO CJ Prober relayed his concerns about competing with Apple in the tracking space, and said that Tile would ask Congress to investigate Apple's business practices specific to Find My and item trackers. Prober this week did an interview with Bloomberg, where he further expanded on Tile's complaints about Apple and why he feels that Tile is...
airtag 1

AirTag Anti-Stalking Measures 'Just Aren't Sufficient' Says Washington Post Report

Wednesday May 5, 2021 6:03 pm PDT by
The safeguards that Apple built into AirTags to prevent them from being used to track someone "just aren't sufficient," The Washington Post's Geoffrey Fowler said today in a report investigating how AirTags can be used for covert stalking. Fowler planted an AirTag on himself and teamed up with a colleague to be pretend stalked, and he came to the conclusion that the AirTags are a "new means...
signal instagram ads3

Signal Shares the Instagram Ads Facebook Doesn't Want You to See

Wednesday May 5, 2021 1:29 am PDT by
Encrypted messaging app Signal has had a series of Instagram ads blocked from the social media platform, after it attempted to show users how much data the Facebook-owned company collects about them and how it's used to push targeted ads. In a blog post, Signal described how it generated the ads to show users why they were seeing them, simply by declaring upfront the information that the...
fortnite apple logo 2

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney Admits App Store's 30% Cut Is Similar to Consoles, Would Have Accepted Special Deal With Apple

Tuesday May 4, 2021 1:54 pm PDT by
Apple's legal battle with Epic Games is continuing on, and during the second day of the trial, Epic Games' CEO Tim Sweeney continued his testimony against Apple. Sweeney was grilled by Apple's lawyers, and made several points seemingly favorable to Apple. In addition to mentioning how he prefers Apple's iPhone and values Apple's privacy policies that he's aiming to dismantle, Sweeney...
iphone 12 preorder purple

Apple Begins Transition to Randomized Serial Numbers With Purple iPhone 12

Wednesday May 5, 2021 9:17 am PDT by
MacRumors previously reported about Apple's plan to switch to randomized serial numbers for future products starting in early 2021, and this transition has now started with the new purple iPhone 12 model in multiple countries. With assistance from Aaron Zollo, host of the YouTube channel ZolloTech, we can confirm that the purple iPhone 12 released last month has a new 10-character serial...
precision finding developer mode

AirTag Precision Finding Interface Includes Hidden 'Developer Mode'

Thursday May 6, 2021 1:32 am PDT by
A frustrated AirTag owner has inadvertently discovered the existence of a hidden "developer mode" in the on-screen interface that Find My displays when the Precision Finding feature is activated to help locate one of Apple's item trackers. Precision Finding is a feature that provides users with specific on-screen directions for finding a nearby AirTag. iPhones with a U1 chip, which includes ...