For Your Entertainment (FYE)
““If the hardware is the brain and the sinew of our products, the software is their soul.””
“The executive who summoned the most energy at the news conference was a boyish-looking senior vice-president named Scott Forstall, who reviewed the features of the new iPhone operating system. Toward the end of the event he returned to the stage to introduce the device’s surreal digital assistant, Siri. “Who are you?” he asked his iPhone. “I am a humble personal assistant,” the device replied, bringing the biggest laugh of the otherwise low-key morning. Forstall then showed off his Jobsian knack for ungrammatical hyperbole. “That is absolutely blow-away,” he said.
With the death of Jobs at age 56, Forstall has now become an even more important and visible member of Apple’s leadership team. As the person in charge of Apple’s mobile software division, he oversees the iOS operating system, which runs the iPhone and iPad, devices that account for 70 percent of Apple’s revenues. At 42 he’s the youngest senior executive at Apple. He may also be the best remaining proxy for the voice of Steve Jobs, the person most likely to channel the departed co-founder’s exacting vision for how technology should work. “He was as close to Steve as anybody at the company,” says Andy Miller, who headed Apple’s fledgling iAd group before leaving the company this summer. “When he says stuff, people listen.””