Forstall’s leave of Apple is reported to be because of his refusal to sign the Apple Maps letter of apology, which marked the final straw in a long line of power-grabs and disruptions which troubled Apple’s executive team. The letter, which was ultimately signed by Tim Cook, was sent out because of iOS 6′s maps application falling below the bar set by competing products, as well as Apple’s own promises during last June’s WWDC conference.
Forstall, who will be leaving Apple completely early next year, is said to have been one of Jobs’ favorite executives. Forstall rose to fame by successfully shipping both Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, and by playing a large role in the development of iOS. On the other hand, Forstall was widely regarded to be a tyrannical manager, and someone who made power grabs at every turn. This doesn’t seem to have been the type of personality which works well at Apple, as the rest of the executive is reportedly on remarkably good terms with each other.
Forstall has shipped two products which have been met with limited success: the first, and more successful of the two, is Siri, Apple’s digital assistant technology found in the iPad 3, 4, and the iPhone 4S and 5. The second flawed product is the maps in iOS 6, which have been widely criticized as being incomplete and flawed in many places. Cook reportedly wanted Forstall to take on at least part of the blame for the failure of the app to gain traction, but Forstall refused. And that, according to various websites with a fantastic track record, was ultimately what drove the executive team’s decision to fire Scott Forstall.