An interesting tidbit in Scott Forstall's ouster at Apple has surfaced saying that the former Apple senior vice president refused to sign a letter of apology over Apple Maps in September. The New York Times, Fortune, and The Verge (which specifically pointed it out), all claim sources saying as much, suggesting that this could have played a role in his departure from Apple.
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At issue was the rollout of Apple Maps as a replacement for Google Maps on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Apple Maps is a beautiful service that brings all manner of performance enhancements to Apple's iOS devices, but it was rolled out with significant flaws, none of which were mentioned by Scott Forstall when he introduced the service at Apple media events.
Pushback and criticism of the service by customers, critics, fans, and Apple-haters alike led to Apple pulling back on its claim that Apple Maps was the, "most beautiful, powerful mapping service." Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote an open letter apologizing for the rollout and promising that Apple Maps would improve over time.
On Monday, Apple announced that Mr. Forstall would depart Apple and that his various fields of responsibility would be split up among Apple's other top executives. In coverage of that shakeup, The New York Times and Fortune both included minor notes that Scott Forstall had refused to put his name on the letter published by Tim Cook.
The Times specified that Mr. Forstall dismissed the criticism that was being heaped on Apple as exaggerated. Fortune said that it "sealed his fate" at Apple, a sentiment echoed at The Verge, which said the reports were backed up by its own sources.
When you add that refusal to recurring reports that Mr. Forstall's management style had angered Apple's other executives and was causing friction with those ranks, it would seem that his departure had become inevitable.
Indeed, it could well be that Hurricane Sandy and the New York Stock Exchange being closed for two days provided the perfect timing for that move to happen now.
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