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Review: ‘After Steve: How Apple Became a Trillion-Dollar Company and Lost Its Soul,’ by Tripp Mickle

Mickle builds a dense, granular mosaic of the agency’s trials and triumphs, displaying us how Apple, constructed on Ive’s successes within the 2000s, grew to become Cook’s firm within the 2010s. Ive, lengthy since knighted, turns into more and more captivated by alternatives outdoors Apple — a museum exhibition, a charity public sale, an immersive Christmas tree set up — and goes half time in 2015. Realizing that is worse than having Ive both totally current or absent, Cook persuades him to return again, however his coronary heart clearly isn’t in it. Finally, in 2019, Ive leaves for good.

In the epilogue, Mickle drops his reporter’s detachment to apportion accountability for the agency’s failure to launch one other transformative product. Cook is blamed for being aloof and unknowable, a nasty associate for Ive, “an artist who wanted to bring empathy to every product.” Ive can be dinged for taking over “responsibility for software design and the management burdens that he soon came to disdain.” By the tip, the sense that the 2 missed an opportunity to create a worthy successor to the iPhone is palpable.

It’s additionally hooey, and one of the best proof for that’s the earlier 400 pages. It’s true that after Jobs died, Apple didn’t produce one other gadget as necessary because the iPhone, however Apple didn’t produce one other gadget that necessary earlier than he died both. It’s additionally true that Cook didn’t play the position of C.E.O. as Jobs had, however nobody ever thought he may, together with Jobs, who on his deathbed suggested Cook by no means to ask what Steve would do: “Just do what’s right.”

Ive and Cook needed one other iPhone, however, as Mickle’s exhaustive reporting makes clear, there was not one other such gadget to be made. Self-driving vehicles have been too onerous, well being units too regulated, tv protected in methods music had not been, and even the earbuds and watch, units they really shipped, have been peripheral, technically and conceptually, to Apple’s biggest product.

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