Apple CEO Tim Cook: ‘Haunted Empire’ book is nonsense

Via CNBC‘s Closing Bell, Apple CEO Tim Cook has just issued the following statement about ex-WSJ reporter Yukari Iwatani Kane’s new book (Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs):

This nonsense belongs with some of the other books I’ve read about Apple about Apple. It fails to capture Apple, Steve, or anyone else in the company. 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. We’ve always had many doubters in our history. They only make us stronger.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote just yesterday:

The title of the thing rather blatantly hints that it’s a contrived POS hit piece.

Related articles:
Another bad review for ‘Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs’ book – March 17, 2014
Charles Arthur reviews ‘Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs’ – Great title, bad book – March 11, 2014


  1. Who doesn’t want to be haunted by me? My spirit is an inspiration for “insanely great” things. I will haunt the halls of Apple for all eternity.

  2. My own beliefs.

    – There’s no smoke without fire.
    – Why issue a denial if there’s no grain of truth in it.
    – During Steve’s lifetime there must have been upwards of a hundred books written about him, Apple or Bill Gates. Did Steve ever issue a notice of denial? No, he didn’t.
    – Cook is attempting to deflect attention away from the kernel of truth which is Apple’s innovation flywheel came off the rails the moment they put Steve six feet under.
    – Replicating Steve’s unerring ability to peer into the future and realise his vision of the future will be next to impossible unless a visionary of similar calibre sits in the CEO’s chair.
    – Cook is a competent manager but not one to set the world in fire.
    – Cook is Ballmer redux 2, fearful of stepping away from well worn paths into unexplored areas and a person somewhat lacking in taste although not to the severe degree of Ballmer.
    – Cook’s lack of obsession over the finer details of software design, whether through not caring too much or fearful of causing dissension among his development team results in less elegant and uglier software.

    1. @Joe,
      your itemized list is, like Ms Kane’s attention-begging smear, a poorly disguised attempt to morph your negative unsubstantiated beliefs into facts worthy of serious consideration. If you would please return to your bullet list of inflammatory assertions, and offer some verifiable data, particularly comparing the company’s performance in revenue, profit, market share and profit share before and after Tim Cook’s appointment as CEO, I would be grateful to learn some new facts counter to popular opinion about Apple’s unambiguous successfulness. I know that takes more work than generally unhappy, uninformed, neurotically hypercritical attention seekers like you care to muster, but for your sake and improved self-esteem, please give it your all for a change. is a blog that celebrates all things Apple. You are welcome to lurk, but your rabid remarks single you out as blatantly divisive for divisiveness’ sake. Boo! Step off.

      1. As I prefaced my comment, these are my beliefs. You are free to debate them if you wish, in fact I would welcome it.

        But if you’re telling me to toe the line because this happens to be an Apple blog, in other words to not express my frank views, I have a nine inch nail that you can sit on.

        1. since I’m bored:

          and you said “you are free to debate them if you wish, in fact I would welcome it.”


          — – “There’s no smoke without fire.”

          who started the fire? Seems like the writer just started the fire herself, fan the smoke and said “see, see it’s apple on fire”.

          — “- Why issue a denial if there’s no grain of truth in it.”

          Really? If your neighbour said you raped his wife and the police have arrested you , you are going to say nothing because you ” don’t issue denials since you didn’t do it”. Woah.

          — “Did Steve ever issue a notice of denial? No, he didn’t”

          Jobs never really bothered to reply to bad PR about himself because he was full of confidence, had thick skin and had a VAST platform to put out his own version of events (he was on the cover of Time, Newsweek etc) , every whisper he made was reported endlessly, and reporters like Mossberg were personal friends who came to his house, and he could get every media mogul direct on the phone.

          When APPLE vs himself personally was wrongly attacked he responded : see “Antennagate”. When a ‘battery expert’ said the announced but yet to be sold iPad “could not possibly have a 10 hour battery as claimed, it was impossible” — Jobs put out a PR note : “the iPad has 10 hr battery life”. (Jobs just has to ‘whisper’ to get his point across because of his legacy while Cook today is still cementing his rule ).

          — “is Apple’s innovation flywheel came off the rails”

          the Biggest Breakthrough’s in Phones last year was Apple’s 64 bit chip and Fingerprint Sensor and the biggest breakthrough in PCs was the revolutionary Mac Pro. So apple was No. 1 in the two main categories of consumer tech (Phones and PCs) it competes in. What’s innovation flywheel come off the rails again?

          —“Replicating Steve’s unerring ability to peer into the future and realise his vision of the future will be next to impossible ”

          Kublai the grandson created more progress and wealth than Genghis. George Washington was a giant but that didn’t mean American progress stopped at his passing. Or are you still milking your goat for breakfast and grinding your corn by hand?

          I can answer the rest of it but the post is too long already.

          1. You pose questions that I’ll address briefly here. There was a news program on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation a couple of months back when Apple released its FYQ1 figures with an analyst (and news reporter) who had deep and intimate ties to current and former Apple employees. In the news program which was on the business news channel, he talked about the changes within Apple since Cook’s inauguration as CEO.

            He said that there were internal policy shifts towards a focus on manufacturing efficiency and a defocus on innovating new products. By new products he meant completely new not yet seen products rather than an extension or modification of an existing product line.

            Basically he echoed what Kane says in her book without referring to her book as such as those were his own views gathered from interviews he had with Apple employees, both current and former. If the Kane book were untrue, and ‘nonsensical’ as Cook says, Apple would sue for slander/libel and not issue a notice of denial.

            1. “analyst (and news reporter) who had deep and intimate ties to current and former Apple employees” claims Apple “defocus on innovating new products”

              First name of analyst please , provide link

              AND why does his claim fly in the face of published figures in Apple’s financials etc that Apple’s R&D i.e spend on innovation has surged :

              AppleInsider Oct 2013:
              “Apple’s investments in research and development continue to grow, surging another 32 percent in fiscal 2013 to reach $4.5 billion — its highest-ever sum spent in a 12-month Apple’s R&D expenses, discovered by AppleInsider on Wednesday in the company’s annual Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, were up from $3.4 billion in fiscal 2012. That was also 39 percent increase from the $2.4 billion Apple spent on R&D in 2011.”

              I think I TRUST APPLE’S LEGAL SEC FILINGS more than analysts who probably only has deep and intimate knowledge crawling up a hedge fund or samsung’s ass…

              Unless you have Hard Data like i have provided …

      1. If you want to give me one star for my comment, I have no quibbles with it. I’m not here to look for stars, unlike you. That would be juvenile in the extreme. I’m here to question settled beliefs, and test the status quo; that interests me than however few stars you want to give me.

          1. That reply was meant for allthegeo. I could not see the reply box as I made it on my iPhone while travelling in transit. If you had any brains at all, instead of being a dick, you would have figured it out , moron.

    2. With respect to your opinion AJ:
      – The liberal media has a remarkable way of creating its own smoke, mostly out of its own ***.
      -Cook is not Jobs. please stop saying ‘Steve would never…’
      -You are correct, it is indeed impossible to replicate Steve Jobs, so what the **** are you doing expecting exactly that?
      -You are also correct, Cook is NOT a visionary, and may very well be the wrong man for the job. However, your comparison to Ballmer is silly.
      -Lastly, to annoy the feminazis (and the males here suckered into fighting their cause): Mrs Kane is a female liberal journalist with a double-barrel name. That’s at least 4 reasons why not to take her seriously. That doesn’t mean she’s wrong. It’s simply too early to tell. Don’t forget, Jobs made some big mistakes in his day.
      Do we need to worry about Apple’s future? Who knows. But Mr. Cook is right in not letting some left-wing hack decide.
      1-star this comment if you agree.

      1. The Ballmer analogy as I said was a mild one in that Cook somewhat lacked taste, like Ballmer, but not to the extremes of Ballmer’s lack of taste. I cite iOS 7 as an example.

        As for steering safe known paths, that’s a Ballmer trait of milking existing products for all their worth rather than venturing into new fields.

        That supposition is supported by Apple’s recent action of selling 8GB iPhone 5C and revisiting iPad 4, known paths for milking their customers which is an extension of Ballmer’s philosophy of not doing anything new but sticking to tried and tested methods, even to the extent of devaluing your customer experience.

    3. “Did Steve ever issue a notice of denial? No, he didn’t.”

      How about the unauthorized biography that Steve pulled off the shelves of every Apple Store years ago? Perhaps you forgot that one? You also forget that Steve was a very outspoken person and did not suffer fools. He was very comfortable setting the record straight. Or telling morons they were just that.

      In the same spirit, I would like to add that you, Sir, are a fool.

      1. I stand by my assertion that Steve never issued a notice of denial that was made public on national news television. He may have taken action to ban a particular book from sale in the Apple Store because the autobiography was unauthorised and he was planning on writing an authorised biography with Isaacson but no denial as to the truth or untruth couched in words such as ‘it’s nonsense’ ever came from Apple in his official capacity as CEO.

        1. I quoted your original statement. Now you argue that you did not say what you meant to say. This is a dubious defense. You do not know what you are talking about.

          Incidentally, it _was_ national news when the unauthorized Steve biography was pulled off Apple Store shelves. And sometimes actions speak louder than words, don’t you think?

          Steve called people on a lot of things. Like challenging critics on what _they_ have ever done to change the world lately, rather than just belittling the efforts of others. Stop whining. And do something positive for the world. Put a ripple in the universe…

  3. Good at last Cook is fighting back a little.

    I’ve complained that Apple doesn’t do enough P.R to control the damage done by ‘Apple haters’. It let Mike Daisey run around free giving interviews at CNBC, NPR etc , even Woz was so impressed he was on stage opening Daisy performances (Macworld: “Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak will be appearing alongside Daisey in a special performance of “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.”) , Apple didn’t say a word when the NYT b.s it’s way to a Pulitzer, Apple didn’t even send a letter to the editor to correct obvious errors. Didn’t answer as analysts played Apple like a yo yo to help their hedge fund buddies (“Apple has labour issues” “Supply chain problems” “Poll shows low sales ” etc ) etc. All this multiplied a million times by other ‘well make money bashing Apple’ media.

    Why is P.R and Image important? Just look at the stock price. The low P.E shows that the PERCEPTION, the image of apple is bad i.e many investors have no faith anymore in apple. If Apple had Goog’s P.E the stock will be over 1000 now. (Google is genius at working the press).

    In spite of having the biggest break throughs in phones last year (64 bit chip, fingerprint sensor) and biggest in PCs (Mac Pro) Apple left 2013 with the common image in the general press as “Lost innovation, no new products, Struggling ” etc.
    It’s time for Apple to take back the P.R war.

    (contrary to what some think Steve Jobs was VERY interested in marketing and image. Besides all the classic ads, what is spending over a million bucks on each glass staircase in Apple shops — they need to built of special glass and tested to be earthquake proof etc — but building Image? )

    Glad Cooks fighting back. Apple’s image as a ‘fading’ ‘confused’ ‘lost of innovation to Samsung’ etc has to stop now.

    Only wish (as an ex Ad and PR guy) maybe Cook would have worded it differently. Usually adding some ‘facts’ helps in PR. For example (if it were true) he could have added “The reporter didn’t interview me or speak to any of my senior executives like Schiller or Ive who knew Steve Jobs well and knew him the best. ”

    anyhow, good Tim, time to take the gloves off and smack ’em.

    1. sorry correction , confused wording:

      “Only wish (as an ex Ad and PR guy) maybe Cook”

      what i meant was
      “Only wish (as an ex Ad and PR guy MYSELF) maybe Cook”…

      (PR guy refers to me the writer and not Cook).

  4. Yukari Iwatani Kane cites problems such as, tax avoidance, being dragged in front of congress, labour issues at Foxconn, ebooks trial etc. as evidence that Tim Cook is struggling and Apple’s best days are behind it.

    The fact is every single one of these problems were created with Steve Jobs at the helm and Tim Cook is having to deal with the aftermath.

    If Steve was alive, he would be going through the same thing. Would he have dealt with it any better? I don’t know.
    He was held in great esteem and had a lot power to get what he wanted.

    1. Us? You speak for everyone here? You’re part of the gang? What gang? Everyone thinks like you? Are you the leader? You’re fighting for Apple and truth and justice and the American way? Everyone who uses Apple products is part of the gang? They all think alike? One for all and all for one? Those who don’t think like you and the gang shouldn’t be allowed to purchase Apple products or use Apple products? Kind of like storm troopers? Hmmmmmmmm

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.