FORTUNE -- During her five and a half years at the Wall Street Journal Yukari Iwatani Kane published so many Apple (AAPL) scoops -- like the 2009 story about Steve Jobs secret liver transplant -- that NPR's On the Media suggested she might be a conduit for friendly leaks from inside the company.
Friendly is the last word Kane would use to describe her relationship with Apple. Her scoops, she insists, were the result of good shoe-leather reporting, working her way to the center of the company from sources on the periphery.
She left the Journal in September 2011 to write a book about Apple's prospects without Jobs at the helm. When she started, she thought that if any company had a chance to survive the death of its powerful co-founder, Apple did. She doesn't think that anymore, as her piece in the current New Yorker makes clear. A snippet:
When Jobs was ousted in 1985, the impact of his absence on Apple's business was not immediately obvious. After a slow start, Macintosh sales began rising. Two years after Jobs left, Apple's annual sales had almost doubled compared to three years earlier, and its gross profit margin was an astonishing fifty-one per cent. Outside appearances suggested that Apple hadn't missed a beat.
Inside Apple, employees knew differently. Something had changed. "I was let down when Steve left," Steve Scheier, a marketing manager at Apple from 1982 to 1991, recalled. "The middle managers, the directors, and the vice presidents kept the spirit alive for a long time without his infusion, but eventually you start hiring people you shouldn't hire. You start making mistakes you shouldn't have made." Scheier told me that he eventually grew tired and left. The company had "become more of a business and less of a crusade."...
So what about now? Apple's supporters point to the company's billions of dollars in quarterly profit and its tens of billions in revenue as proof that it continues to thrive. But Apple's employees again know differently, despite the executive team's best efforts to preserve Jobs's legacy. People who shouldn't be hired are being hired (like Apple's former retail chief, John Browett, who tried to incorporate big-box-retailer sensibilities into Apple's refined store experience). People who shouldn't leave are leaving, or, in the case of the mobile-software executive Scott Forstall, being fired.
Mistakes, in turn, are being made: Apple Maps was a fiasco, and ads, like the company's short-lived Genius ads and last summer's self-absorbed manifesto ad, have been mediocre. Apple's latest version of its mobile operating system, iOS 7, looks pretty but is full of bugs and flaws. As for innovation, the last time Apple created something that was truly great was the original iPad, when Jobs was still alive. Although the company's C.E.O., Tim Cook, insists otherwise, Apple seems more eager to talk about the past than about the future. Even when it refers to the future, it is more intent on showing consumers how it hasn't changed rather than how it is evolving. The thirtieth anniversary of the Macintosh—and the "1984" ad—is not just commemorative. It is a reminder of what Apple has stopped being.
A deep dive into how -- and why -- Apple keeps its secrets
The excerpt, posted Wednesday, starts like this:
Apple employees know something big is afoot when the carpenters appear in their office building. New walls are quickly erected. Doors are added and new security protocols put into place. Windows that once were transparent are now frosted. Other rooms have no windows at all. They are called lockdown rooms: No information MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jan 18, 2012 6:24 AM ET
"iSteve: The Book of Jobs" was the publisher's idea. The author had second thoughts.
The first biography of Apple's (AAPL) CEO to get Steve Jobs' blessing -- and cooperation -- hasn't yet been published. Or even finished. But it's already made it (briefly) into the top 50 on Amazon's bestseller list. And it's already undergone its first revision.
It's got a new title.
The old one, iSteve: The Book of Jobs, was chosen MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 5, 2011 6:15 PM ET
Jeff Bezos's strategy of giving customers the best e-reader and e-bookstore possible is paying off for Amazon -- not that it's saying by how much.
FORTUNE -- Sales of the Kindle and of e-books are so good, and growing so fast, that they are now becoming a driver of Amazon's overall growth, says Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney.
We can't know for sure how many Kindles Amazon (AMZN) is selling, because the company MOREDan Mitchell, contributor - Jun 8, 2011 11:49 AM ET
Who is Walter Isaacson, and why did Jobs choose him to tell the story of his life?
[NOTE: Simon & Schuster announced Sunday that the first authorized biography of Steve Jobs -- iSteve: The Book of Jobs by Walter Isaacson [Since renamed Steve Jobs] -- will be published in early 2012. A version of this article was posted in February 2010 before the S&S publicity machine was ready to kick into gear.]
Apple's MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 10, 2011 8:48 PM ET
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