First, we have the review by Rene Ritchie:
To be clear, my opinion is both objective and subjective. I freely admit I dislike some works that are genius and absolutely love some that are trashy as hell. That isn’t the case here. This isn’t a great book I simply didn’t like. This is a bad book.
I was sent an advanced review copy a week ago and it was arduous to get through it. I don’t have anything against the premise, gloomy as it may be. No one can deny how important Steve Jobs was to Apple and the hole his death left in the company and everyone who worked with him. There’s certainly a case to be made that Apple post-Steve Jobs is no longer the company that shook the world with Mac and iPod + iTunes and iPhone. There is a case to be made that Apple is doomed. Kane just fails to make it. Worse, she doesn’t even try.
Then, we had a review by Seth Weintraub:
The book concludes exactly how it has been prepared to conclude (sorry, no surprise ending). Apple is in a free fall (increasing sales numbers notwithstanding). Employees are leaving for Google and other Valley startups as soon as their stocks vest, if they can wait that long. Behind the scenes, morale is low and people are scrambling to find that lost sense of purpose. There is no room to believe that Apple could, in fact, have “its most innovative years in front of it”, to use Steve Jobs’s resignation words.
All of that said, I didn’t hate this book like a lot of other Apple reviewers did. I believe it is good for folks like us who often bathe ourselves in pro-Apple news and opinion to get an alternate reality that perhaps the mainstream sees more often in the 24-hour news/entertainment cycle. There were some interesting bits and, if nothing else, Kane’s view of Apple is somehow both cautionary and entertaining.
“For Tim Cook to have such strong feelings about the book, it must have touched a nerve,” Kane said. “Even I was surprised by my conclusions, so I understand the sentiment. I’m happy to speak with him or anyone at Apple in public or private. My hope in writing this book was to be thought-provoking and to start a conversation which I’m glad it has.”
Somehow I doubt she was surprised by her conclusions. As for why Cook saw fit to comment, sure, it could be because her book hit painfully close to home. Or, it could be that it truly is nonsense. Reviews thus far clearly suggest the latter.