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Book predicting a bleak future for Apple without Steve Jobs is 'nonsense,' says Apple CEO Tim Cook

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Eric Risberg/AP

(Read caption) Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks about the iPhone 5 in San Francisco.

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A recent book about the future of Apple after the death of Steve Jobs has prompted a statement from current CEO Tim Cook calling the book “nonsense” and saying that he feels “very confident about our future.”

Author Yukari Iwatani Kane released her book “Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs” on March 18. In its review Publishers Weekly called the book a story in which Apple has “[lost] its soul.”

“The company’s knack for conjuring breakthrough i-gadgets lapsed into a series of ho-hum upgrades, misfires like the befuddled artificial intelligence app Siri, and interminable patent lawsuits, while market share, profits, and stock price eroded,” PW writes in its review. “Kane makes the story a study in CEO leadership styles, contrasting Jobs’s visionary bluster with his successor Tim Cook’s icy bean-counting.”

Kirkus Reviews wrote that “it seems self-evident that without Jobs' peculiar blend of devotion to both technological superiority and sheer beauty, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's view is the correct one: Apple ‘will not be nearly so successful because he's gone,’” although the review also noted that, because of the time during which it was written, Kane’s book doesn’t include such recent Apple successes as iOS 7 and the iPad Air.

In a New York Times interview, Kane said that if one judges by numbers, Apple is still doing well.

“But Apple’s own definition of success is much more,” she said. “Its promise is to be exceptional – to make insanely great products that change the world. The latter is difficult to do without Steve Jobs’s reality distortion field. In its absence, Apple is simply less convincing… The business challenges that Apple is facing would have been considerable even if Steve Jobs were around. His loss makes it all the more difficult because there is no one with the moral authority to take the kind of risks that made Apple so iconic in the first place. A hired manager will never have the same authority as a man who not only founded the company, but rescued it as well.”

In Cook’s statement about the book, he said the “nonsense belongs with some of the other books I’ve read about Apple.”

“It fails to capture Apple, Steve, or anyone else in the company,” he said. “Apple has over 85,000 employees that come to work each day to do their best work, to create the world’s best products, to put their mark in the universe and leave it better than they found it. This has been the heart of Apple from day one and will remain at the heart for decades to come. I am very confident about our future.”


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