Apple’s industrial design team has just gotten smaller after losing three of its major players, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. The team, which consists of roughly two-dozen people, is led by one of Apple’s most popular names, CDO Jony Ive. Ive and his team are known for their contributions to the design of many of Apple’s products, including its iPhone and iPad.
Rico Zorkendorfer and Daniele De Iuliis, who have been with the company for a collective total of more than 35 years, have recently made the decision to step away from their respective roles, according to reports from sources familiar with the situation. Another member of the team, Julian Hönig, who has been with the company for over 10 years, reportedly has plans to leave in the coming months, sources have also revealed. According to the report, Zorkendorfer explained that he will be taking a break from work to focus on his family, De Iuliis didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment, and Hönig refused to comment.
“This group is all-powerful in Apple,” explained Neil Cybart, who runs Above Avalon, an Apple analysis website. “Industrial designers have the final say over the user experience found with Apple devices, and they really do work like a family in a way. No one would argue, though, that new blood is a bad thing.”
The shakeup to Apple’s core design team is reportedly linked to the company’s decision to pause its creation of new products to focus on its subscription services. Earlier this year, Apple unveiled its media bundle, which included all-in-one subscription services for music, TV, and news, as previously reported by The Inquisitr.
This is what inspires us — after so much hard work by so many, getting to share Apple’s latest innovations with you. Hope you love them as much as we do! pic.twitter.com/PLgg0pfmb9— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) September 12, 2018
Mr. Cybart also reiterated that the change in the team’s composition makes sense as Apple is shifting from designing Macs and iPhones to new projects, including augmented reality and autonomous vehicles. TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted Apple could have self-driving cars on the road by 2025, according to a report from Mashable.
The tech company recently snagged one of Google’s top artificial intelligence researchers, Ian Goodfellow, to step into the role of director for machine learning with the company’s Special Projects group. Apple also hired Sam Jadallah, an ex-Microsoft executive and former CEO of a smart lock company to improve its home initiatives, as previously reported by The Inquisitr.
Apple is expected to unveil its 2019 iPhone models later this year, during its annual September event. The company is also set to announce its new mobile operating system, iOS 13, in June.