Let me begin by reiterating that I am not anti-Apple. I have deep respect and regard for the company, their products, and the vision that got us over the technological hump of half-a-decade ago. That having been said, I don’t agree with many of their policies and especially their “Walled Garden” approach to app approval and distribution.
A recent trend has surfaced that is both enlightening and concerning. Apple is stealing employees from their competition, arguably to stay competitive in an increasingly fast-paced industry. Maybe “stealing” is too harsh, but the fact remains, Apple is “acquiring” employees from companies that are besting them in one area or another. Two areas where Apple faces challenges: Maps and SoCs.
It should come as no surprise to any of our regular readers that Apple has had some “challenges” with their latest Maps offering. Some of the apps results are laughable, others are just sad. When Apple publicly apologizes for something (instead of simply telling you that “You’re holding it wrong”) you know it must be pretty bad.
Apple enlisted all their Apple Store employees to be the boots-on-the-ground with Maps to help report and correct errors. They also began to recruit new employees to work on Maps. Where are those new employees coming from? You guessed it: Google. Apparently the move wasn’t entirely reactive to Maps’ lackluster reception. In at least one case Apple recruited a Google Maps employee before iOS 6 was launched.
One of the best System on Chip (SoC) makers around is Samsung. Apple is suing Samsung. Samsung is suing Apple. Apple has used Samsung chips in their phones and tablets. That’s awkward.
Apparently Apple thinks so too, so they’re designing their own SoC, and bringing in some heavy-hitters to help them with their chips. Who? You guessed it, a Samsung employee names Jim Mergard. This move, however, may not be as mobile-centric as the Maps personnel acquisitions mentioned above, rather, it may have more to do with making laptop processors more mobile-ish, but I doubt Apple would keep Mr. Mergard away from their mobile products.
I’m sure Apple isn’t the only company who steals employees from their competition. It’s just a little coincidental to see such high-profile “issues” being “solved” by stealing talent from their competition.