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on 20 May 2017
Makes you realise how Apple and similar companies fool us with every 'new' iPhone. Nothing really innovative happening. Worth reading.
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on 22 December 2014
ok, but split between "expose journalist exposing factory conditions and patent wars" versus what, for me, was more interesting debate of technology, legacy, management.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 10 March 2014
This books follows Apple before, during and after Steve Jobs's demise.
It ponders the question can Apple continue its trail blazing innovation now Steve is gone?

In October 2003 Steve Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, his cancer was treatable with surgery but he did not like the idea of people cutting in to his body, so he chose alternative medicine instead. He did not tell the public of his health problems, only his innermost circle knew. The alternative medicine did not work and the following year he underwent surgery to remove part of his pancreas, Jobs sent a email to employees telling them about the surgery but he did not tell them he had left it too late and the doctors had found three liver metastases. He was telling the world he had been cured but he was not.

Speculation about Jobs's continued weight loss caused Apple's share price to fall, but Apple said is was just a common bug not a recurrence of cancer. Worries about deceiving shareholders (this is illegal) lead to Jobs taking medical leave and sending a letter stating his illness was more complex than he originally thought. Tim Cook was left in charge of Apple.

The tumors in Jobs's liver had spread and he needed a new liver, he used his private jet to sign up for transplant in Tennessee which had shorter waiting lists than where he lived. The transplant was successful and Jobs returned to work.

While Jobs had been away Apple had done well, under Cook's leadership teams had been given more freedom over strategy and product development, also Cook did not scream and yell like Jobs but everybody still wanted Jobs back anyway.

When Jobs returned he threw a series on tantrums, ripping people apart and tearing up marketing plans and when he was told the press's sterling evaluation of Cook's performance, he hit the roof. "I'm the CEO" Jobs yelled.

Jobs went to work on the iPad, some Apple executives did not like it, why would you buy one if you had a laptop and phone ? Of course the iPad went on to be a massive success.

Suicides at the Foxconn factories in China making Apple products caused bad publicity for Apple, the workers worked long hours and under intense pressure, many of them teenagers away from home for the first time.

The new liver for Jobs had not worked, employees noticed Jobs getting sicker and he went on medical leave again.
Jobs's cancer got worse, he phoned Cook and asked him to come over to his house. Jobs told Cook he would be the new CEO and "I saw what happened when Walt Disney passed away. People looked around and they kept asking what Walt would have done. The business was paralyzed and people just sat around in meetings and talked about what Walt would have done." Jobs then told Cook, "I never want you to ask what I would have done. Just do what's right."

When Jobs died flags were flow half-staff at Microsoft, Walt Disney World as well as Apple, Twitter and Facebook lit up with news as soon as it was announced and Apple's shares fell 7 percent.

Tim cook the new Apple CEO was the polar opposite of Jobs, if Jobs was idealistic, Cook was practical. If Jobs was the star, Cook was the stage manager.

More suicides, alleged child labour and massive pollution at factories making products for Apple caused yet more bad press.

Apple had created a new voice control called Siri, you could talk to your phone and it would reply and do things, it was hailed as revolutionary. TV ads showed Siri doing witty banter. Unfortunately it turned out to not work as well as Apple had claimed, often it would talk nonsense and had problems with accents, lots of people could not get Siri to work because Apple's servers were overwhelmed with requests and people made blooper reels on YouTube of Siri's biggest mess ups.

Apple was angry at Samsung for allegedly copying the iPhone and iPad, but Samsung did not listen.

Nokia sued Apple over patent infringements in the IPhone, Apple sued them back.

Apple were also angry at Google claiming that Goole's Android copied from iOS.
Jobs had said he would destroy Android because it was a stolen product.

Apple settled with Nokia.

Things were hotting up with Samsung by April 2012 the two companies had filed more than fifty lawsuits against each other in sixteen courts in ten countries. The case did not go well for Samsung, their claim of prior art ( a scene in the movie "2001" showing a iPad like device way before the iPad came out) was not allowed in court and emails of Samsung talking about how cool the iPhone was were very incriminating. Apple won and was awarded $1 billion but the publicity of the trial had done Apple no good and in fact Samsung seemed to be benefiting from it.

Apple's share of the smartphone market was falling and Samsung's share was rising, Apple could not afford another disaster like Siri.

Apple decided to make their own maps to replace Google Maps unfortunately it turned out to be a disaster, it would make ridiculous mistakes and sent people to the wrong place, more embarrassment for Apple.

A riot broke out at a factory making Apple products, yet more bad publicity for Apple.

Samsung lawyers filed a request for a new trail claiming juror misconduct but it was denied. Apple requested to have the offending Samsung products banned, this was also denied. The damages awarded to Apple was lowered to $450.5 million.

Apple had made a entry in to the eBook market but now was in trouble with the law over accusations of price fixing.

More trouble was brewing in China, Apple only offered 1 years warranty instead of the 2 required. Apple was accused of treating Chinese people like second class citizens, a Chinese government newspaper jumped on board the Apple bashing.

Apple had more problems, there was still no sign of a new world changing product, Siri and Apple Maps had failed. They now released a new smaller (7.9 inch) iPad called the iPad mini, something Jobs said he would never do. It was hardly anything new, tablets of that size had been out already for many years. The iPad mini was popular but not the runaway success like other Apple products.

Yet more bad news as the New York Times ran a exposé on Apple's tax avoidance schemes, Apple's claims to be making the world a better place did not match their tax avoidance shenanigans.

Apple were found guilty of price fixing eBooks.

Apart from the news events involving Apple there is also an entire chapter describing the tough life of a employee in one of the Chinese factories making Apple products, the riot and suicides make a lot more sense in this context. There is also some speculating on why companies that create new markets often seem to get overtaken by cheaper lower end rivals and speculation on how corporate structure effects the management that rise up through it.

Apple have been without Steve before (when he was forced out and started NeXT), while he was gone Apple went into a nosedive only saved by his return.

Apple has taken a beating, the problems at the factories in China, tax avoidance, Siri, Apple Maps, the eBook price fixing and declining share of phone and tablets markets. No doubt they will continue to be successful and make lots of money but the lack of any new revolutionary products makes it seem Apple has lost some vital spark now Steve Jobs is gone.
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on 21 March 2014
This book copies and pastes every other book released about apple in the last 2 years. Quotes lifted from websites and not original interviews.
For a book that is intended to critique Cooks performance it falls flat. No new insight is offered.
All tech buffs are curious about apples future after jobs but this book does not answer this one bit.
The author goes back on apple historical issues like foxconn to pad out a book with nothing new to add.
I was very disappointed.
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on 10 July 2015
This book was very dull. The first quarter is a rehash of other material about the history of Apple under Jobs. The rest of the book is about Apple after Jobs. Steve Jobs and Tim Cook are very different people. Surprise surprise, they run the company in very different ways. Reading the book you would get the impression that Apple had totally failed after the untimely death of Jobs. The companies stock value and financial results say something very different. Overall, a fast read but really a waste of time.
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on 14 March 2014
This book isn't so much about Apple after Steve Jobs as is it about meticulously rehashing every event in modern Apple history. The first 10% of the book is entirely about Jobs and rest is unbelievably boring recitals of legal disputes and CSR issues.

The official Jobs biography and Inside Apple are both superb books and worth the effort. This is a lazy collection of news stories pretending to be a book.
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on 22 March 2014
Nothing new to see here. Very disjointed and lots of rehashed stories. Pretty poor overall. Avoid if you value your time.
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on 11 May 2016
Fascinating and well researched book and an enjoyable read. However, as to be expected, the information is a bit behind the times.
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on 26 March 2014
Haunted Empire is about much more than Apple. While it paints a complex and fascinating picture of the technology company, what struck me most was its ambitious, global reach. We learn what it's like to be an engineer nervously presenting the latest idea to Steve Jobs. But we also venture into Chinese factories, where village girls dream of studying sociology and depressed, harassed workers take their own lives. From the massive social upheaval in China to the creative hotbed of Silicon Valley, Yukari Iwatani Kane shows us the power of technology in a globalised world. Her portrait of Jobs himself is unflinching but fair, with some surprisingly tender and moving anecdotes that show a softer side to the temperamental innovator.
I highly recommend this thoroughly researched (200 sources!) investigation into one of the most influential and well-loved modern business empires.
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on 16 April 2014
Well written - the empire is haunted because expectations are too high out of apple. I think apple is still kewl and will innovate sooner.
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