Scott Forstall could come out of hiding to testify at Samsung damages trial with Phil Schiller

Actual court drawing of Forstall

Actual court drawing of Forstall (not a joke)

We’re set to get a blast from the past on November 12th when ex-Apple SVP of iOS Scott Forstall is likely to come out of hiding to testify at the Samsung damages hearing alongside his once colleague Phil Schiller.

On Friday, the two sides filed a joint pretrial statement and lists of potential witnesses they may call. Apple’s list includes Phil Schiller, the company’s senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, and Scott Forstall, the former senior vice president of iOS software. Forstall’s departure was announced last October following the widely criticized launch of Apple Maps, which some observers said may have led to his firing. Both Schiller and Forstall also testified in the original trial.

Rounding out Apple’s lineup, Susan Kare, who designed the original Mac icons is also on the docket. Apple won an over $1B verdict in the initial trial but the amount was subsequently dropped to $400M by Judge Lucy Koh.

Forstall has been out of the public spotlight since his removal by CEO Tim Cook in October of last year. Read more

Apple confirms Cards app for iOS is discontinued, recommends iPhoto

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We’ve received multiple tips indicating that Apple’s Cards app and service for iOS has stopped functioning. Cards was launched alongside the iPhone 4s in fall 2011 and served as an easy way for users to create custom-made letterpress cards and have them shipped to another person.

Apple has confirmed that Cards has been discontinued as of today:

Cards ordered before 1 PM Pacific time on September 10, 2013, will be delivered, and push notifications will continue to work. You can view your previous purchases by tapping Saved Cards in the app.

As a replacement, Apple recommends creating letterpress cards on iPhoto for Mac. Thanks, Zac Coffman!

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Covering the Apple Exec Shakeup: Mansfield lured back by Forstall departure, Ive will clean UI, eliminate skeuomorphic design

Since Apple announced late last month that longtime iOS chief Scott Forstall and newly appointed head of retail John Browett would soon leave the company, there has been much talk about CEO Tim Cook’s direction at the executive level going forward.

The departure of Forstall saw bigger responsibilities and new roles given to executives Craig Federighi, Bob Mansfield, and Jony Ive, leading to rumors Forstall didn’t see eye to eye with the other executives. Bob Mansfield’s return after announcing retirement is also interesting, as it is something new sources said was directly influenced by Forstall leaving. Some even said Forstall’s refusal to sign the Maps apology lead to Cook’s decision. There are a few in-depth reports today, with many citing people close to the company, speculating on what these changes might actually mean for the company and for iOS in the months and years to come.

AllThingsD is out with a new report, claiming Mansfield’s return might have been directly influenced by Forstall’s departure:

All Things D:

Sources said that Mansfield was actually very serious about retiring, which makes his quick return to Apple all the more curious… As one source close to the company told AllThingsD, “The timing of Bob’s return is notcoincidental.” To begin, Mansfield was not a fan of Forstall’s confrontational management style, and sources said he generally tried to avoid the iOS exec.

“It wasn’t a him-or-me situation,” one source said of Mansfield’s return and Forstall’s ouster. “But, put it this way, I think Bob was much more willing to commit to two more years once he knew Scott was on his way out.”

Many of the reports speculated Jony Ive’s new role picking up Forstall’s Human Interface responsibilities would lead to major changes in iOS’ visual design:

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Observations on Forstall and Browett departures from Apple (Updated)

The announcement

We knew that Browett was fired last week, but Apple was waiting for a good time to announce the move. We’re not sure exactly what was the nail in Forstall’s coffin but Inside Apple/Fortune’s Adam Lashinky’s take is that Forstall’s refusalto sign the Maps apology is what sealed his fate. Forstall was at last week’s iPad mini event but uncharacteristically didn’t present anything.


iPad Mini launch last week

Interestingly, Cook also did the apologizing for Browett’s hair-brained schemes to cut head counts at Apple Stores ahead of the holiday shopping season to save a few bucks.

Lesson to learn: Be big enough to apologize publicly. Look at Bob Mansfield. Out of Retirement Mansfield publicly apologized for the Retina MacBook Pro EPEAT fiasco; fast forward months and all of a sudden he’s got his own division and a lucrative two year contract. Apple execs should be falling over themselves to apologize for their mistakes going forward.

The rationale

Browett’s situation was simple: everyone hated him, especially his retail employees. Apple watchers, especially those familiar with Dixons in the UK (Americans: think Best Buy), were shocked at the decision to allow him to follow Ron Johnson as Apple’s Retail head.  Cook initially defended Browett but the #Firebrowett movement was too strong. So far Tim Cook is 0 for 2 in big outside hires (Mark Papermaster was hired during one of Jobs’ absences) . That might be something to be concerned about.

Forstall’s departure is an entirely different situation. Although more information may come to light, in the hours after the announcement it seems a power struggle happened, and the Ive camp won out over Forstall’s.  The two execs and Steve Jobs subordinates have faced off for years and reportedly wouldn’t be in the same meetings unless called specifically by Tim Cook. It certainly didn’t help that Mansfield didn’t like Forstall either. I think we’ll hear more of the details in the weeks and months ahead.

The new situation Read more

Forstall on inertial scrolling: Steve told Samsung ‘here’s something we invented. Don’t copy it. Don’t steal it’


We have brought you updates on the Apple vs. Samsung trial all week with yesterday’s highlight being a testimony from Apple’s expert design witness, former President of the Industrial Designers Society of America Peter Bressler. Last week, we told you Apple Senior Vice President of iOS Software Scott Forstall testified in the case, but Network World discovered some interesting bits today from Forstall’s deposition from a few months ago. While noting the three key multi-touch patents involved in the case (381′ related to “rubber banding,” ‘915 related to determining one-finger scroll vs. multi-touch gestures, and ‘163 related to double tap to zoom), Network World posted excerpts from Forstall’s highly redacted deposition. The SVP appears to have claimed the now-late CEO Steve Jobs once told Samsung not to copy or steal the inertial scrolling, rubber band invention:

Returning to the Forstall’s deposition, Apple’s iOS guru is asked about discussions Steve Jobs seemingly had with Samsung over the rubber banding patent…Forstall responded:

I don’t remember specifics. I think it was just one of the things that Steve said, here’s something we invented. Don’t – don’t copy it. Don’t steal it….Rubber banding is one of the sort of key things for the fluidity of the iPhone and – and all of iOS, and so I know it was one of the ones that Steve really cared about… I actually think that Android had not done rubber banding at some point and it was actually added later. So they actually went form sort of, you know, not yet copying and infringing to – to choosing to copy, which is sad and distasteful…

Regarding whether the feature was discussed in subsequent meetings with Samsung:

But I can’t give you a specific recollection of – of Steve, you know, going over rubber banding with – with them in those meetings or not… I expect it came up, because it’s one of the key things we talked – you know, he and I talked about, but I don’t know if it came up there.

It is unclear which meetings Forstall is referring to due to the large amount of redactions in the documents, but Network World noted that court documents revealed previously that Apple offered to license Samsung patent ‘381 in November 2010. Forstall also described meetings Jobs had with Samsung when questioned about iOS icon designs:

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