Apple Celebrates Steve Jobs at Memorial


By Jessica E. Vascellaro and Ian Sherr

Apple Inc. executives and advisers rallied employees to maintain Steve Jobs’s legacy on Wednesday, as the celebrations of the Apple co-founder’s life continued two weeks after his death.

Tens of thousands of employees tuned into a private memorial for Mr. Jobs on Apple’s Cupertino, Calif., campus that was also streamed to offices and Apple retail store locations world-wide.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook, who took over as CEO as Mr. Jobs’s health worsened in August, got choked up as he discussed his friendship with Mr. Jobs and his desire for excellence, according to two employees who tuned in. Two Apple board members—former Vice President Al Gore and Bill Campbell, Mr. Jobs’s longtime friend who is chairman of Intuit Inc.— also spoke, according to the people who attended.

Mr. Campbell shared a story about “Siri,” the company’s “intelligent” personal assistant that Apple recently shipped with its new iPhone 4S. Mr. Campbell said when the company began development of Siri, Mr. Jobs demanded he try the product, while another executive said the voice-recognition wasn’t ready yet.

Mr. Jobs then asked Siri whether it was a man or a woman, according to Mr. Campbell, who said Siri responded that it hadn’t been assigned a gender yet.

In other remarks, Jonathan Ive, Apple’s senior vice president for industrial design, discussed some of Mr. Jobs’s quirks, including his high standards for hotels and penchant for making them switch to nicer ones on road trips, according to one attendee. Mr. Ive, who described Mr. Jobs as his best friend, said that his boss had a habit of calling some potential product designs “dopey,” according to one attendee. But when Mr. Jobs saw the iPhone, he was initially silent and then gave it the nod, Mr. Ive said.



To read the rest of the story, either contact me directly or read more online at the WSJ: here. (subscription required)


(Published Oct. 20, 2011 in The Wall Street Journal.)

Steve Jobs Memorial Held


By Ian Sherr

Apple plans to close some of its retail stores for at least an hour Wednesday, according to two people familiar with the matter, a gesture that coincides with the company‘s planned celebration of co-founder Steve Jobs‘s life at its headquarters.

Retail employees were informed that a private company event was scheduled and that the retail stores will temporarily close during that time, according to two people who work for Apple but aren‘t authorized to speak on its behalf. One of the employees said the event would last for up to three hours.

Apple hasn‘t told retail employees why it plans to temporarily close the stores during normal working hours, though these people note that such closings rarely happen for events other than special product launches. Some retail employees were told about the meeting over the phone rather than by a widely distributed internal message, one person said.

Apple is planning a celebration of co-founder Steve Jobs‘s life at its Cupertino, Calif. headquarters Wednesday. Chief Executive Tim Cook said in an email to staff that the event, which comes two weeks after Jobs died following a long struggle with pancreatic cancer, was meant “to take time to remember the incredible things Steve achieved in his life and the many ways he made our world a better place.“

A small, private funeral was held on Oct. 7, followed by a much larger event for coworkers, friends and other industry executives last Sunday.

Apple reiterated that the celebration on Wednesday is for employees only.


(Published Oct. 18, 2011 in The Wall Street Journal and on

Steve Jobs Funeral Is Friday


By Ian Sherr and Geoffrey A. Fowler

The funeral for Steve Jobs, Apple Inc.’s co-founder, is taking place Friday, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The funeral is characterized as a small private gathering, this person said. The person wouldn’t say where or when the event was taking place, citing respect for Mr. Jobs and his family’s privacy.

The event comes two days after Mr. Jobs passed away after battling an undisclosed illness. He previously underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer and had a liver transplant.

Apple has said there are no public services planned.

In a letter to Apple’s employees on Wednesday, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said that the company is “planning a celebration of Steve’s extraordinary life” for staff that will take place soon.

Apple memorialized Mr. Jobs on its website after announcing his death, and has encouraged well-wishers to share memories and notes of condolence with a special email address.


(Published Oct 8. 2011 in The Wall Street Journal and on

Apple Fights On Without Its Muse


By Don Clark and Ian Sherr

Apple Inc. has lost its visionary at a time when the company is headed into battle with its most serious challengers yet—and has shown some rare signs of vulnerability.

The day before Steve Jobs died, his successor, Tim Cook, took the stage to sell the world on Apple’s newest iPhone. Though executives spent 90 minutes touting a raft of new features, the gadget didn’t create the sort of immediate buzz Mr. Jobs’s recent creations have enjoyed.

That muted response was ill-timed for Apple: Just a week earlier, Inc. unveiled its Kindle Fire, which costs less than half as much as the iPad and is seen by analysts as the most credible threat to Apple yet in the tablet-computer market.

Rival Google Inc., meanwhile, has used its free Android software to edge past Apple in the market for the operating systems that power smartphones. It has also struck a $12.5 billion deal to buy Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc., pitting the Internet giant directly against Apple in the handset market.

Apple still sells more smartphones than any competitor, and also leads by a wide margin in the tablet market that has emerged since Mr. Jobs unveiled the iPad in 2010.

“IPhone is the number one smartphone in the world and continues to be number one in customer satisfaction,” an Apple spokeswoman said in response to questions about the competition. As for the Kindle Fire, she noted others have introduced tablets with seven-inch screens and a limited number of apps, and “none of them have gained significant traction against iPad’s incredible momentum.”


To read the rest of the story, either contact me directly or read more online at the WSJ: here. (subscription required)


(Published Oct. 7, 2011 on the front page of The Wall Street Journal.)