The most recommended books about Apple Inc.

Who picked these books? Meet our 8 experts.

8 authors created a book list connected to Apple Inc., and here are their favorite Apple Inc. books.
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Book cover of Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs

Marty Cagan Author Of Empowered: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products

From my list on building a strong technology organization.

Why am I passionate about this?

Marty Cagan has been working on and with technology-powered empowered product teams for his entire career. Before founding the Silicon Valley Product Group to pursue his interests in helping others create successful products through his writing, speaking, advising, and coaching, Marty Cagan served as an executive responsible for defining and building products for some of the most successful companies in the world, including Hewlett-Packard, Netscape Communications, and eBay. As part of his work with SVPG, Marty is an invited speaker at major conferences and top companies across the globe. Marty is the author of INSPIRED: How To Create Tech Products Customers Love, and EMPOWERED: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products.

Marty's book list on building a strong technology organization

Marty Cagan Why did Marty love this book?

Apple is the most secretive commercial company I know.  Most books that have been written about them are about their colorful co-founder Steve Jobs, and much less about the inner workings.  My favorite book on how the actual work of product is done at Apple is Creative Selection by former engineering lead Ken Kocienda. Ken worked on some of the company’s most important products and technologies, during what I’d consider the peak innovation period for the company (so far).  Because Ken is an engineer, this book provides the engineering perspective, but the book is loaded with useful observations, learnings and insights.

By Ken Kocienda,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Creative Selection as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hundreds of millions of people use Apple products every day; a few thousand work on Apple's campus in California; but only a handful sit at the drawing board. Creative Selection recounts the life of one of the few behind the scenes, a highly-respected software engineer who worked in the final years the Steve Jobs era.

Ken Kocienda offers an inside look at Apple's creative process. For fifteen years, he was on the ground floor of the company as a specialist, responsible for experimenting with novel user interface concepts and writing software for products including the iPhone, the iPad, and the…


Book cover of Dying for an iPhone: Apple, Foxconn, and the Lives of China's Workers

Margaret Hillenbrand Author Of On the Edge: Feeling Precarious in China

From my list on the cultural lives of China’s migrant workers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a professor of Chinese studies, and I’m especially interested in what the close study of culture can reveal about aspects of contemporary Chinese life that are usually dominated by the perspectives of historians, sociologists, anthropologists, and political scientists. I’m fascinated not so much by how cultural practices reflect social change but by how they sometimes make it happen, particularly in societies where overt political action is blocked. As my book picks show, I’m intrigued by the inventiveness and drive of people who create culture, often new forms of culture, under conditions of oppression, exploitation, and duress.

Margaret's book list on the cultural lives of China’s migrant workers

Margaret Hillenbrand Why did Margaret love this book?

In 2010, I became aware of appalling news stories about multiple suicides at the giant factory complexes in South China which churn out high-spec Apple devices. Shortly afterwards, a team of researchers went into the field to find out exactly what was happening at Foxconn, the vast multinational at the heart of this transpacific electronics supply chain.

On the one hand, the story they uncovered is about a predatory labor regime which relies on sweatshop brutality to get results. On the other, the authors document the vibrant cultural life that Foxconn factory workers have developed in order to survive and protest: poems, songs, open letters, photos, and videos.

As it exposes the murky origins of shiny gadgets, the book also spoke to me as a testament to the power and potential of committed activist scholarship.

By Jenny Chan, Mark Selden, Pun Ngai

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dying for an iPhone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Suicides, excessive overtime, hostility and violence on the factory floor in China. Drawing on vivid testimonies from rural migrant workers, student interns, managers and trade union staff, Dying for an iPhone is a devastating expose of two of the world's most powerful companies: Foxconn and Apple.

As the leading manufacturer of iPhones, iPads and Kindles, and employing one million workers in China alone, Taiwanese-invested Foxconn's drive to dominate global electronics manufacturing has aligned perfectly with China's goal of becoming the world leader in technology. This book reveals the human cost of that ambition and what our demands for the newest…


Book cover of Steve Jobs

Dave Hersh Author Of Reignition: Transforming Stuck Startups Into Breakout Winners

From my list on leaders feeling lonely at the top.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a founder, CEO, venture capitalist, buyout specialist, Chairman, author, consultant, and coach. I’ve seen the startup world from every angle and also seen how destructive it can be if we don’t take care of our inner lives. My work now is to help people understand how we can transform ourselves to transform our businesses. These books were helpful to me when I needed them most and shaped not only my leadership approach but also my life. 

Dave's book list on leaders feeling lonely at the top

Dave Hersh Why did Dave love this book?

This book came out when I was a struggling founder CEO and hit me in the right way. Steve is clearly a polarizing leader, and for good reason. He’s complex and deeply flawed, but he also created magic products that changed the world. As a founder, you must constantly step back and question your motivations, as they will subconsciously drive your decisions in ways you don’t always consider. 

For me, this was a call to action to understand what it takes to inspire teams to greatness, but it was also a warning to approach it from the right source of inspiration. 

By Walter Isaacson,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Steve Jobs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From bestselling author Walter Isaacson comes the landmark biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. In Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography, Isaacson provides an extraordinary account of Jobs' professional and personal life.

Drawn from three years of exclusive and unprecedented interviews Isaacson has conducted with Jobs as well as extensive interviews with Jobs' family members, key colleagues from Apple and its competitors, Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography is the definitive portrait of the greatest innovator of his generation.


Book cover of iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It

David Kopec Author Of Classic Computer Science Problems in Java

From my list on Steve Jobs and the history of Apple Inc..

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a programming book author, software developer, podcaster, and computer science professor at a teaching college. But I’ve also always been a devoted fan of Apple Inc. and deeply interested in its history. I’ve read more than two dozen books about Apple so you can just read the best ones. If five books are not enough for you, and you want to dig deeper into books about Apple and Steve Jobs, you can check out my blog post on my website.

David's book list on Steve Jobs and the history of Apple Inc.

David Kopec Why did David love this book?

I feel like it would be crazy to not read a book by a cofounder when you want to learn about the history of a company. Steve Wozniak’s autobiography chiefly focuses on his early life and his years at Apple. The writing style is very basic—with a quite simple sentence structure throughout. Perhaps that’s because this book was positioned to be attractive to both children and adults. But this is the only book written by one of Apple’s cofounders and iWoz has a very positive, inspirational message.

By Steve Wozniak, Gina Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked iWoz as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Before slim laptops that fit into briefcases, computers looked like strange vending machines, with cryptic switches and pages of encoded output. But in 1977 Steve Wozniak revolutionized the computer industry with his invention of the first personal computer. As the sole inventor of the Apple I and II computers, Wozniak has enjoyed wealth, fame, and the most coveted awards an engineer can receive, and he tells his story here for the first time.


Book cover of Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World's Most Colorful Company

David Kopec Author Of Classic Computer Science Problems in Java

From my list on Steve Jobs and the history of Apple Inc..

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a programming book author, software developer, podcaster, and computer science professor at a teaching college. But I’ve also always been a devoted fan of Apple Inc. and deeply interested in its history. I’ve read more than two dozen books about Apple so you can just read the best ones. If five books are not enough for you, and you want to dig deeper into books about Apple and Steve Jobs, you can check out my blog post on my website.

David's book list on Steve Jobs and the history of Apple Inc.

David Kopec Why did David love this book?

This was one of the first Apple history books that I read when I was a teenager. It primarily covers vignettes from the early years and the non-Jobs era of Apple (1985–1997). I read the first edition, which came out in 1999. It’s valuable because most Apple books tend to concentrate on the Jobs era. I have not read the newer, 2004 edition.

By Owen W. Linzmayer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Apple Confidential 2.0 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Apple Confidential examines the tumultuous history of America's best-known Silicon Valley start-up from its legendary founding almost 30 years ago, through a series of disastrous executive decisions, to its return to profitability, and including Apple's recent move into the music business. Linzmayer digs into forgotten archives and interviews the key players to give readers the real story of Apple Computer, Inc. This updated and expanded edition includes tons of new photos, timelines, and charts, as well as coverage of new lawsuit battles, updates on former Apple executives, and new chapters on Steve Wozniak and Pixar.


Book cover of Return to the Little Kingdom: Steve Jobs and the Creation of Apple

David Kopec Author Of Classic Computer Science Problems in Java

From my list on Steve Jobs and the history of Apple Inc..

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a programming book author, software developer, podcaster, and computer science professor at a teaching college. But I’ve also always been a devoted fan of Apple Inc. and deeply interested in its history. I’ve read more than two dozen books about Apple so you can just read the best ones. If five books are not enough for you, and you want to dig deeper into books about Apple and Steve Jobs, you can check out my blog post on my website.

David's book list on Steve Jobs and the history of Apple Inc.

David Kopec Why did David love this book?

I read this book after I had read many others about Apple, but if I could do it over again, I would start here. This is the single best book about Apple’s early history from its founding in 1976 until the release of the Macintosh in 1984. When I’m learning something, I always find it valuable to start from the beginning. You’ll need more than just this book though because the material in it covering post-1984 Apple is cursory at best.

By Michael Moritz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Return to the Little Kingdom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1984, The Little Kingdom: The Private Story of Apple Computer told the story of Apple's first decade alongside the histories of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Now, completely revised and expanded, Return to the Little Kingdom is the definitive biography of Apple and its founders from the very beginning. Moritz brings readers inside the childhood homes of Jobs and Wozniak and records how they dropped out of college and founded Apple in 1976. He follows the fortunes of the company through the mid-1980s, and in new material, tracks the development of Apple to the present and offers an insider?s…


Book cover of Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart Into a Visionary Leader

Loretta Graziano Breuning Author Of Why You’re Unhappy: Biology vs Politics

From Loretta's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Explainer of happy brain chemicals Realistic reporter on mammalian behavior Inner mammal peace maker Advocate of self-acceptance Travel addict

Loretta's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Loretta Graziano Breuning Why did Loretta love this book?

I write about how our brain wires itself from experience, so it was fascinating to examine Steve Jobs's well-known story in that way. The book shows how each of his steps was built on the experiences that came before.

I loved the way the book manages to invoke the drama and suspense of the huge risks he took. Even though we know how the story turns out, the book really helped me understand how stressful things were while they were happening. Steve already had cancer when he developed the iPhone, but he kept pushing.

I appreciated the book’s even-handedness. It neither deifies him nor attacks him. It is rooted in interviews with many people who knew him, so you get a variety of perspectives. 

By Brent Schlender, Rick Tetzeli,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Becoming Steve Jobs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE SUNDAY TIMES AND #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER - with a new foreword by Silicon Valley legend Marc Andreessen.

'For my money, a better book about Jobs than Walter Isaacson's biography' New Yorker

'A fascinating reinterpretation of the Steve Jobs story' Sunday Times

We all think we know who Steve Jobs was, what made him tick, and what made him succeed.

Yet the single most important question about him has never been answered.

The young, impulsive, egotistical genius was ousted in the mid-80s from the company he founded, exiled from his own kingdom and cast into the wilderness. Yet he returned…