'Slide to Unlock' Engineer Greg Christie to Depart Apple After Fallout with Jony Ive [Updated]

jony_iveApple's Vice President of Human Interface Greg Christie is set to depart from the company after clashing with Jony Ive, Apple's Senior Vice President of Industrial Design who oversees and guides the Human Interface teams, reports 9to5Mac. Ive first took on a role "providing leadership" for the Human Interface teams in late 2012, following Scott Forstall's departure from the company.

Christie has led much of Apple's software design and reports to Craig Federighi, who oversees development of iOS and OS X, but Christie interacts with Ive during design meetings. Christie's team was responsible for redesigning iOS 7, which reportedly led to disagreements with Ive.

Sources say that Christie's upcoming departure is significant and stems from a falling out with Ive. When Ive tasked Apple's Human Interface team with redesigning iOS 7 to include an entirely new look, Christie and Ive reportedly clashed over design direction, after which Ive is said to have circumvented Christie's leadership of the team during the new operating system's development.

Following Christie's departure, software design will fall under Ive's umbrella, with software designers working alongside Ive's industrial design team rather than Federighi's group.

Christie, who has worked for Apple since 1996, was one of the original software engineers who developed iOS for the first iPhone. He recently did an interview with The Wall Street Journal detailing the development of the original iPhone and he testified in the second Apple vs. Samsung patent trial, telling the court that the "Slide to Unlock" feature he's credited with inventing is an essential iPhone feature.

Along with "Slide to Unlock," Christie has been instrumental in developing many important iPhone features, with hundreds of Apple patents in his name. It is unclear what he plans to do after his departure or when he will officially depart from the company.

Following the departure of Scott Forstall, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke on the importance of collaboration and noted that the merging of software and hardware design was needed to take Apple's collaborative efforts to the next level. Last year, Ive and Federighi also spoke on collaboration and how they worked together to create iOS 7. With Ive taking full control over software design with Christie's departure, the integration between Apple's software and hardware may improve even further.

Updated 2:30 PDT:
Apple issued a statement to Financial Times reporter Tim Bradshaw saying that Greg Christie "has been planning to retire later this year" and that he "worked closely with Jony for many years".

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
86 months ago
“Look Greg, I want the backgrounds to be white, the icons to be white and the type to be white. Then you can tap anywhere, or nowhere. Monochrome ... it’s the ultimate simplified user experience!”

~ J.I.
Score: 81 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
86 months ago
Greg Christie has shown himself to have good software design (visually speaking), Ive's not so much with the iOS7 rollout.

I cannot see this being a positive thing for apple, imo.
Score: 61 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
86 months ago
And any hope of iOS 8 reclaiming iOS 6's superior usability or (my opinion) good looks are gone.

Jony Ive: Brilliant hardware designer. Amateur software designer.
Score: 61 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
86 months ago
The Jony Ive worship is too much anymore.
Score: 57 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
86 months ago

With Ive taking full control over software design with Christie's departure, the integration between Apple's software and hardware may improve even further.


Spin alert
Score: 54 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
86 months ago

I'd trust Ive over everyone else in this area. He should be the one overseeing all of the design from hardware looks to software looks.


Ive's background is in industrial design and he's a brilliant hardware designer but sadly his talents in that area don't translate well into UI design.
Score: 48 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

First Impressions From New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Owners

Thursday October 22, 2020 4:20 pm PDT by
It's already Friday, October 23, in Australia and New Zealand, which means some customers who purchased an iPhone 12 or 12 Pro already have their new devices in hand. We've seen dozens of reviews of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro from media sites, but now first impressions from regular Apple customers are available. Image via MacRumors reader Boardiesboi New iPhone 12 and 12 Pro owners are...

Early iPhone 12 Tests Show Ceramic Shield is Stronger and More Scratch Resistant Than iPhone 11 Glass

Friday October 23, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 models are protected by a Ceramic Shield cover glass that has nano-ceramic crystals infused right into the glass to improve durability. According to Apple, Ceramic Shield offers four times better drop protection than the glass used for the iPhone 11 models. YouTube channel MobileReviewsEh conducted some tests on the iPhone 12 using a force meter to compare its performance ...

Apple Distributing New Heated Display Removal Machine for iPhone 12 Repairs

Thursday October 22, 2020 6:20 pm PDT by
Apple is providing Genius Bars and Apple Authorized Service Providers with a new heated display removal fixture for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro repairs, according to information obtained by MacRumors from a reliable source. To open iPhone 12 models, technicians will be required to slide the device into a specialized tray, and then place the tray into the high-temperature fixture for two...

Apple VP Kaiann Drance Interview Addresses Battery Life, MagSafe, and Power Adapter Concerns

Friday October 23, 2020 3:37 am PDT by
Apple's Vice President of iPhone Marketing, Kaiann Drance, has provided a new interview to Rich DeMuro on the Rich on Tech Podcast, to discuss the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. Although much of the interview repeated points from Apple's "Hi, Speed" event, there were a number of interesting tidbits regarding the affect of 5G on battery life, MagSafe concerns, and the lack of a power adapter in...

Teardown Video Confirms iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Use Same 2,815mAh Battery

Thursday October 22, 2020 9:47 am PDT by
With the iPhone 12 launching on Friday and in just a few hours to Australia and New Zealand, hands-on videos, teardowns, reviews, and other iPhone-related content has been coming out. A new teardown video delves into both the iPhone 12 and the 12 Pro, confirming battery life for both models and giving us a closer look at their internals. The video from Io Technology is in Chinese, but ...

Images of Supposed AirPods Diagnosis Tool Shared Online

Thursday October 22, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
Apple is reportedly rolling out a new tool to Apple service providers for testing AirPods, according to leaker known as "Fudge," who shared images of the tool on Twitter. Apple appears to be seeking to reduce unnecessary AirPods services by more accurately diagnosing the cause of a fault. Instances of a dirt-blockage, which may be difficult to ascertain visually, can apparently be...

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

Apple's AirTags Revealed in Newly Published Patent Applications

Thursday October 22, 2020 9:13 am PDT by
Two patent applications filed by Apple appear to depict the company's widely expected AirTags item trackers (via Patently Apple). The filings, which include a large number of images, are titled "Mounting Base for a Wirelessly Locatable Tag" and "Fastener with a Constrained Retention Ring," and describe a wirelessly locatable tag that can be used to determine the absolute location of an...

iPhone 11 Pro Outlasts iPhone 12 and 12 Pro in Extensive Battery Life Test

Friday October 23, 2020 8:36 am PDT by
Arun Maini today shared a new side-by-side iPhone battery life video test on his YouTube channel Mrwhosetheboss, timing how long the new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models last on a single charge compared to older models, with equal brightness, settings, battery health, and usage. All of the devices are running iOS 14 without a SIM card inserted. In the test, the iPhone 11 Pro outlasted both ...

Apple Warns MagSafe Charger Can Leave Circular Imprints on Leather Cases

Friday October 23, 2020 3:23 pm PDT by
If you keep your iPhone in a leather case while charging with Apple's new MagSafe Charger, the case might show circular imprints from contact with the accessory, according to a new Apple support document published today. Apple's leather cases for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro are not available until November 6, but a MacRumors reader has already shared a photo of a circular imprint on...