Scott Forstall presenting at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference 2012.
|Born||1968/1969 (age 43–44)|
|Alma mater||Stanford University (B.S. and M.S.)|
|Occupation||Advisor at Apple Inc|
Early life and education
According to a Bloomberg BusinessWeek article, Forstall grew up in a middle-class family in Kitsap County, Washington, the second-born of three boys to a registered-nurse mother and an engineer father. His older brother Bruce is also a senior software design engineer, at Microsoft.
A gifted student for whom skills such as programming "came easily where they were difficult for others", Forstall qualified for advanced-placement science and math class in junior high school, and gained experience programming on Apple IIes.
He was skipped forward a year, entering high school early, where classmates recall his immersion in competitive chess, history, and general knowledge, on occasion competing at the state level. He achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA and earned the position of valedictorian, a position he shared with the girl who would later become his wife. He had established the goal of being a "designer of high-tech electronics equipment", as he proclaimed in an interview with a local newspaper.
Enrolling at Stanford University, he graduated in 1991 with a degree in symbolic systems. The next year he received his master's degree in computer science, also from Stanford. During his time at Stanford, Forstall was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.
Forstall joined Steve Jobs's NeXT in 1992 and stayed when it was purchased by Apple in 1997. Forstall was then placed in charge of designing user interfaces for a reinvigorated Macintosh line. In 2000, Forstall became a leading designer of the Mac's new Aqua user interface, known for its water-themed visual cues such as translucent icons and reflections, making him a rising star in the company. He was promoted to Senior Vice President in January 2003.
In 2005, when Jobs began planning the iPhone, he had a choice to either "shrink the Mac, which would be an epic feat of engineering, or enlarge the iPod". Jobs favored the former approach but pitted the Macintosh and iPod teams, led by Forstall and Tony Fadell, respectively, against each other in an internal competition. Forstall won that fierce competition to create iOS, and that strengthened his position in the company since all hardware executives required the support of Forstall's software engineers in order to add features. Forstall was also responsible for creating a software developer's kit for programmers to build iPhone apps, as well as an App Store within iTunes.
In 2006, Forstall became responsible for Mac OS X releases after Avadis Tevanian stepped down as the company's Chief Software Technology Officer and before being named Senior Vice President of iPhone Software.  Forstall received credit as he "ran the iOS mobile software team like clockwork and was widely respected for his ability to perform under pressure".
He has spoken publicly at Apple Worldwide Developers Conferences, including talks about Mac OS X Leopard in 2006 and iPhone software development in 2008, later after the release of the iPhone 2.0 and 3G versions, and on January 27, 2010, at Apple's 2010 iPad keynote. At WWDC 2011, Forstall introduced iOS 5. Forstall also appears in the iOS 5 video, narrating about three-quarters of the clip, and in almost every major Apple iOS special event. At the "Let's talk iPhone" event launching the iPhone 4S, he took the stage to demonstrate the phone's Siri voice recognition technology, which was originally developed at SRI International.
Departure from Apple
|This section may need to be rewritten entirely to comply with Wikipedia's quality standards, as it may have several un-cited quotes and subjective statements that require more detail or substantiation. (May 2013)|
On October 29, 2012, Apple announced in a press release that Forstall had resigned as senior vice president of iOS and would serve as an advisor to CEO Tim Cook until his departure from the company in 2013. That day, John Browett, who was SVP of retail, was dismissed immediately after only six months on the job (having originally received 100,000 shares, worth $60 million, when he joined). Forstall's duties were divided among four other Apple executives: design SVP Jonathan Ive assumed leadership of Apple's Human Interface team, Craig Federighi became the new head of iOS software engineering, services chief Eddy Cue took over responsibilities for Maps and Siri, and Bob Mansfield (previously SVP of hardware engineering) "unretired" to oversee a new technology group.This came after third-quarter results in which revenues and profits grew less than predicted, the second quarter in a row that Apple failed to meet expectations.[improper synthesis?]
Forstall was rigorously criticized after the new Maps app, introduced in iOS 6, received criticism for a handful of inaccuracies that were not up to Apple standards. According to Adam Lashinsky of Fortune, when Apple issued a formal apology for the errors in Maps, Forstall refused to sign it. Under long-standing practice at Apple, Forstall was the "directly responsible individual" for Maps, and his refusal to sign the apology convinced Cook that Forstall had to go. Forstall has been heavily criticized for his skeuomorphic design style, something that has caused a division among the Apple design team.
It was generally regarded that Forstall was forced to step down as software chief, as Cook had "decided to lance the boil as internal politics and dissent reached a key pitch." Cook's direction since becoming CEO was to build a culture of harmony, which meant "weeding out people with disagreeable personalities—people Jobs tolerated and even held close, like Forstall," although others noted that "Apple's ability to innovate came from tension and disagreement." Steve Jobs was referred to as the "decider" who had the final say on products and features while he was CEO, reportedly keeping the "strong personalities at Apple in check by always casting the winning vote or by having the last word", so after Jobs' death many of these executive conflicts became public. Forstall had such a poor relationship with Ive and Mansfield that he could not be in a meeting with them unless Cook mediated; reportedly, Forstall and Ive did not cooperate at any level. Forstall was very close to and referred to as a mini-Steve Jobs, so Jobs' death left Forstall without a protector. Forstall was also referred to by Fortune as the CEO-in-waiting, a profile that made him unpopular at Apple.
Forstall was said to be responsible for the departure of Tony Fadell (SVP of hardware engineering) and Jean-Marie Hullot (CTO of applications) in 2005. Then-iPod chief Jon Rubinstein also had a strained relationship with Forstall. After Jobs' death in 2011, it had been reported that Forstall was trying to gather power to challenge Cook.
Tony Fadell, considered father of the iPod, said in an interview with the BBC that Forstall "got what he deserved."
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- Adios Avie, SF Gate Tech Chronicles, 2006-03-27.
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- Lashinsky, Adam (October 29, 2012). "Inside Apple's major shakeup". Fortune (magazine)Fortune. Retrieved December 10, 2012.
- Kim, Arnold. "Scott Forstall Reportedly Forced Out of Apple". MacRumours.
- Erika Morphy (2012-04-18). "This is Tim Cook's Apple: A Company Where 'Mini-Steve' Gets the Axe". Forbes. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
- Jay Yarow (2012-11-12). "Ex-Employee: Why Firing Scott Forstall Was A Mistake". Business Insider. Retrieved 2012-12-06. Text " Nov. 12, 2012, 9:38 AM " ignored (help); Text " 7,963 " ignored (help); Text " 14 " ignored (help)
- Jay Yarow (2012-10-29). "Why Scott Forstall Is Out". Business Insider. Retrieved 2012-12-06. Text " Oct. 29, 2012, 7:18 PM " ignored (help); Text " 34,308 " ignored (help); Text " 28 " ignored (help)
- Kelion, Leo (2012-11-29). "BBC News - Tony Fadell: From iPod father to thermostat start-up". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-12-06.