I for one am rather pleased that Tim Cook pulled the pin on the firing grenade and tossed Scott Forstall & John Browett and has done some re-organization at Apple Inc. Browett has been horrible and Forstall has been a thorn in many sides. Forstall staying on for a year as advisor to Cook which really means he’s being paid to hang at Apple for a year without being hired by Amazon, Google, Microsoft, etc. Thumb-twiddling for cash.
Now Jony Ive leads design (hardware and software), Craig Federighi takes over iOS as well as OS X, and Bob Mansfield runs Technologies (for two years). This means we should expect software design will get a large boost from Ive’s influence. Streamlined, modern, simple, and fantastic. Things are not anchored tightly to product anymore. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad – it was that way at Apple for many years and seemed to be working until late.
Tim might have waited too long it could be argued. But he has taken decisive action. I applaud him for that.
Gone also will be the design to schedule that has hand-cuffed Apple but delighted the media for so many years. If something isn’t quite finished, it won’t ship. See Maps in iOS 6 and Siri for iPhone 4S. Et al. I think this is a much more responsible approach than to kill your engineers with a headstone end-date looming over their heads. Apple answers to it’s stockholders, it’s people, and it’s users. Not to a media schedule, not to conference expectations (beyond knowledge transfer), not to a competitor’s releases.
Let’s see what happens. I imagine some of Ive’s influence might be the first to find it’s way to the iPhone in way of a Calendar.app update to remove the leather and stitching.