Tripp Mickle's “After Steve: How Apple Became a Trillion-Dollar Company and Lost Its Soul," was excerpted in Sunday's New York Times. It was not well received.
The top 5 "reader picks" among the 544 comments posted -- and moderated for civility -- as of Monday morning:
Poifan, Chicago: Ive was essential to the turnaround at Apple, but his obsession with style unchecked by the practical side started to become a problem. This article misses the MacBook fiasco of the 2010s that left the loved product with heavily defective keyboards, lack of ports and thermal issues all in the name of design thinness. The company has only recently fixed this. (512 recommend)
Marty, NY: @Rob I think the two best days for Apple were the day Jony Ive joined the company, and the day he left. He was ignoring Steve Jobs' dictum "design is not how it looks, but how it works" with his obsession with making devices thin - too thin often to be used comfortably. It's not a surprise that my iPhone 13 is a copy of my iPhone 5, and doesn't need a case to be held comfortably like my iPhone 6 did. He passed his 'sell by' date at Apple. To call apple stagnant is to ignore the push into health that Tim Cook has championed. Cook's push to make the watch more than just the fashion accessory that Ive envisioned has allowed it to be more than a passing trend. It ignores the huge success of the AirPods. And it completely ignores the implications of Apple silicon. Overnight, Apple threw Intel back on its heels with the M1 processor. And yes, while the services aren't as sexy as a new iPhone, they've allowed Apple to grow. That's the point of a corporation; to make money and grow. Jony Ive did incredible work at Apple. He is one of the great designers of the 20th - 21st century. But it was time for him to move on. (442)
Reader, Ithaca: Apple products are elegant and we own the entire ecosystem from watch to laptop. For me the most exciting change at Apple is an increasing fluidity and refinement in the software and connectivity. All of our devices work beautifully together, they recognize us, they play well with others. Design can be about the beauty of a device, the way an edge is beveled or rounded, the temperature to the touch of a metal or glass or leather surface, but increasingly it’s about the way it melds to the mind as well. These are subtle but fabulous transformations in how products are created, and perhaps new and younger designers are best suited to making them. I look forward to a new generation of star designers at Apple. (300)
Aaron K., St. Paul: The post-Ive Apple seems to be largely shedding "design anorexia", an obsession of form over function and an obsession with thinness. The company suffered a whole lost generation of junky MacBook designs with defective keyboards with butterfly switches, as well as anemic battery life in many of its products. Many creative professionals started to abandon Apple for years of neglecting their requirements for high performance hardware. Happily, the company seems to have its mojo back. (266)
David, Danbury, NC: Many of us cheered when Ive left Apple. We want functional computers, not ever-thinner computers held together with glue or phones that are so sleek that they squirt right out of your hands. We like "clutter," because it's clutter that allows us to monitor and control and get work out of our computers. It's Apple's advanced engineering that matters. (233)
My take: Tough crowd. The book is currently the No. 1 bestselling title among "Business Professional's Biographies" on Amazon. The Audible version drops tomorrow.