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Interface design chief who was behind the first iPhone’s UI is set to leave Apple

Greg Christie, one of the key designers behind the very first iPhone's interface, is set to leave Apple before long.

Christie, whose official title is Human Interface Vice President, is reportedly heading for the exit due to differing opinions with senior VP Jony Ive concerning the direction iOS took with its seventh incarnation, and that famous new "flat" design aesthetic which was brought in with the revamped OS.

Ive was made responsible for human interface design direction a couple of years back in 2012, and attended meetings and provided guidance on the matter – but software design was still led by Christie. However, Ive will now take the reins completely regarding software design, and all software design personnel will work directly under him, instead of within Craig Federighi's engineering group (Christie had previously reported to Federighi in his role).

All this is according to 9 to 5 Mac's sources, but the shake-up has been partly confirmed, Engadget notes – though the official line from Cupertino doesn't mention any friction between the execs, and claims that Christie had been planning his retirement for some time anyway. They would say that, of course...

This could signal some more major design changes in the pipeline for iOS 8 – though typically after one major overhaul, as was the case with iOS 7's aesthetics, there won't be too much done to the interface next time out. We'll be happy if Apple concentrates more on function, not form, though – never mind icons, what worried us more about iOS 7 was that it seemed rushed out of the door, with more flaws, and more time taken to patch things up than with iOS 6.