Executive shakeup at Apple

JamesM's picture

There's been a major change in Apple leadership, and conceivably it could affect Apple's use of fonts down the road.

Senior vice President Scott Forstall, who many thought might be the next CEO when Tim Cook eventually retires, has lost his job. The Apple press release puts it more delicately — "Scott Forstall will be leaving Apple next year and will serve as an advisor to CEO Tim Cook in the interim" — but his duties have been reassigned to other vice-presidents and it's likely that he's being kept on for a few months as "an advisor" just for contractual reasons.

Forstall was senior vice president of iOS Software, and his duties included overseeing software interfaces. Jonathan Ive (Apple's senior designer) will now be in charge of interface design. It's been previously known that Ive and Forstall had very different views on interface design.

Time will tell if Ive makes any typeface-related changes now that he's in charge.

hrant's picture

It's hard to imagine Apple's text rendering getting any worse, but: Ive was the guy who pushed through the iPhone 4's (predictably) ill-fated external antennas based on looks... That can't bode well for typography. But I hope I'm wrong.


Si_Daniels's picture

Despite his ID background I'm sure Mr Ive will be given a free hand to hire the brightest and the best UX designers and typographers to "reimagine" iOS and Mac OS. I bet he's lurking right here on typophile, scouting for such talent, as we speak. ;-)

aluminum's picture

Siri and Maps weren't the best feature launches, so that probably hurt his cred. And all the fake leather/fabric/metal/stitching/skeuomorphism-overload was getting a bit much.

Look forward to see what Ive comes up with.

russellm's picture

It's hard to imagine Apple's text rendering getting any worse,

I am not sure what you mean by that. I use a Mac for personal work but my employer is PC all the way. My work PC renders type very poorly compared to my Mac. I have done every thing I can think of to optimize type rendering on my work PC but it is still nowhere near my Mac for quality. Granted, I am but a small cog in a big machine and don't have full admin privileges, but really, it you have to be a rocket scientist (with full admin privileges) to get decent type rendering out of your computer your computer has room for improvement.

Just sayin'.

I'm betting Ive doesn't give enough of a darn to do anything drastically awful... Not that I have a clue, but who cares about type? Actually... External antennas up the hoo-ha all day long, but type? Not even half as sexy as external antennas.

JamesM's picture

Yep, he was in charge of Siri and Maps, both of which had problems. And he had a reputation as having a difficult personality. And I agree about the skeuomorphism (fake leather stitching, etc); reportedly Ive doesn't like it.

hrant's picture

who cares about type?

Apple used to. That was a while back now.


dberlow's picture

Nag nag nag.

Karl Stange's picture

Apple used to

I can't imagine that anyone who understands AAT and uses it day to day doesn't care about type but it is a shame that Apple are not more open with the development of AAT and how to work with it.

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

Scream, Apple, Scream!!

Time to put in your shorts, boys.

Typogruffer's picture

From other blog posts I heard he had a tumultuous relationship with Johnathan Ive. And apparently he refused to own up for the maps mishap and people at apple are silently celebrating his departure. Anyway I personally like the new Microsoft site a lot more than apples. Love the way they are using Segoe..

Nick Shinn's picture

Yes, that is soooo Microsoft.
A cloned typeface, which just happens to look remarkably similar to the clone Apple is already using (for ten years now).
Look to Monotype’s site for the real deal, Frutiger.

Apparently the Cleartype faces are too original to be used for Microsoft’s identity!
There’s something a bit Zen about that…

hrant's picture

MS had indeed been paying too much heed to Apple lately, but Windows 8 seems like a brave clean break.


JamesM's picture

The New York Times reports that the final straw that led to Forstall's firing was his refusal to sign Apple's public apology letter regarding Apple Maps (a project that he led), so Tim Cook signed it instead.

CNET has posted an appropriate & funny video clip:

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

Apple ordered to re-write 'inaccurate' Samsung statement

Apple has 48 hours to re-write a statement on its website relating to its design rights dispute with Samsung, UK judges have ruled.

Apple was forced on 18 October to publish a message making it clear that Samsung had not infringed the iPad's registered design.

However Samsung complained the statement Apple had posted did not comply with the court order.

Judges agreed and have told Apple it must be removed within 24 hours.

A new, compliant version must then be posted.

Michael Beloff QC, representing Apple, told judges that the company had thought that it had complied with the court order.

"It's not designed to punish," he said.

"It's not designed to make us grovel. The only purpose must be to dispel commercial uncertainty."

He asked that the company be given 14 days to post the replacement - but the request was firmly denied.

Lord Justice Longmore told Mr Beloff: "We are just amazed that you cannot put the right notice up at the same time as you take the other one down."

Sir Robin Jacob added: "I would like to see the head of Apple [Tim Cook] make an affidavit about why that is such a technical difficulty for the Apple company."

Apple told the BBC it did not want to comment further.
'Horse's mouth'

Samsung complained that the notice posted by Apple was "inaccurate and misleading" because it added comments about other rulings in Germany and the US that had gone in the iPad-maker's favour.

"This has received enormous publicity and has perpetuated confusion as to Samsung's entitlement to market the Galaxy tablet computers in issue," a Samsung lawyer said in a written statement to judges.

"It has created the impression that the UK court is out of step with other courts."

The UK's ruling applies to the whole of the EU.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10 A UK judge said Samsung's product was not as "cool" as the iPad, and would not be mistaken for it

The court order is the latest twist in an ongoing legal saga involving the two companies.

Apple brought the case to the UK courts, alleging that Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10 had infringed the design of its iPad.

But in July, Judge Colin Birss disagreed on the grounds that Samsung's product was not as "cool".

His ruling meant that Apple was denied the opportunity to impose a sales ban on Samsung's products.

Apple was unsuccessful in appealing the ruling, and was ordered to place a notice on its website, newspapers and magazines explaining that Samsung had not infringed its designs.

The intention, judges said, was not to make Apple "grovel", but to remove "commercial uncertainty" surrounding Samsung's products.

"A consumer might well think: 'I had better not buy a Samsung - maybe it's illegal and if I buy one it may not be supported'," Sir Robin said.

"Apple itself must (having created the confusion) make the position clear: that it acknowledges that the court has decided that that these Samsung products do not infringe its registered design.

"The acknowledgement must come from the horse's mouth."

from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20165664

aluminum's picture

Ryan, while an interesting issue, it's likely not at all related to Forstall's leaving.

Si_Daniels's picture

>Ryan, while an interesting issue

There is a typography angle though. The judge required the use of "Arial size 14" for the original notice - Apple used 14px ;-). The revised version needs to be 11pt, apparently.

Cheers, Si

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

Apple is falling apart. They were crap without Jobs, and now that he's passed they will be crap again. In ten years I bet the stock is down to $10, and the company opens their designs up to other manufacturers as they did in the PowerPC era.

Typogruffer's picture

I am not very sure about the shares but apple's influence is not as much as it was a year ago and it is declining. I am sure it will lose it's most valuable company tag in a couple of years

rs_donsata's picture

I think they are getting rid of him because they need a new UI paradigm for their whole line of products: computers, mobiles, tablets, etc. Their actual paradigm is more than a decade old.

JamesM's picture

Keep in mind that Steve died only about a year ago and he had prepared a road map for the next 3 years of products, so his influence continues in Apple's products and will continue for several years.

aluminum's picture

"Apple is falling apart"

Ah, yes. The age old 'Apple will be out of business in 6 months!'

JamesM's picture

About 2 weeks ago Apple booted Scott Forstall, the senior VP of iOS Software who some thought might be Apple CEO someday.

Today Microsoft apparently did the same thing to Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows division who some thought might be Microsoft CEO someday. He was in charge of development of Windows 8 and the new Surface tablets.

dberlow's picture

I feel bad for him, he didn't have enough pixels.

Microsoft is falling apart. ;)

Si_Daniels's picture

>he didn't have enough pixels.

Favorite line from Wreck it Ralph - "I'm not a glitch, I just got pixlexia."

I know the feeling. :-)

hrant's picture

I liked "He just glazed me." too.


dezcom's picture

"Paul is dead"

Nick Shinn's picture

“Beam Scotty up!”

JamesM's picture

> "Paul is dead"

I'm getting way off topic here, but the "Paul [McCartney] is dead" rumor was based in part on the Abby Road cover, in which Paul was barefoot and out of step with the others, and some viewed it as a symbolic funeral procession. I recently saw a link to some outtakes from that photo session which I thought were interesting.


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