'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

D.T. Avatar
111 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)
maflynn Avatar
111 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)
redscull Avatar
111 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)
Macboy Pro Avatar
111 months ago
The Jony Ive worship is too much anymore.
Score: 57 Votes (Like | Disagree)
FrankieTDouglas Avatar
111 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)
BillyMatt87 Avatar
111 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)

Popular Stories

AirPods Max 2022 Colors

Ten Things AirPods Pro 2 Tell Us About AirPods Max 2

Saturday September 24, 2022 1:00 am PDT by
Upon the release of the second-generation AirPods Pro, the AirPods Max became the oldest current-generation AirPods product still in Apple's lineup. Introducing several new features like Adaptive Transparency and the H2 chip, the second-generation AirPods Pro may provide some of the best indications yet of what to expect from the second-generation AirPods Max. Almost two years later, rumors...
apple watch series 7 aluminum colors yellowbg

Don't Want the Apple Watch Ultra or Series 8? Amazon Has Record Low Prices on Series 7 Models This Week

Friday September 23, 2022 6:56 am PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch Ultra are now available to purchase, but if you aren't interested in these updates you can save a lot of money on Series 7 models right now on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. The best deals are on cellular...
iOS 16

Apple Releases iOS 16.0.2 With Bug Fixes for iPhone 14 Pro Camera Vibration, Copy/Paste Issue and More

Thursday September 22, 2022 1:04 pm PDT by
Apple today released iOS 16.0.2, addressing a number of bugs that iPhone 14 owners have been experiencing since the new devices launched. iOS 16.0.2 comes two weeks after the launch of iOS 16, and it follows iOS 16.0.1, an update made available to iPhone 14 owners on launch day. The update is available for all iPhones that are capable of running iOS 16. The iOS 16.0.2 update can be...
14 vs 16 inch mbp m2 pro and max feature 1

New 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pros Reportedly Launching Later This Year

Friday September 23, 2022 7:08 am PDT by
Apple plans to release new MacBook Pro models in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report does not mention specific models, but it very likely refers to the next-generation 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros given that the 13-inch model was already updated earlier this year. There has been uncertainty surrounding the timing of new 14-inch and...
Tim Cook Apple Event

Gurman: New iPads and Macs May Be Announced Through Press Releases, No October Event

Sunday September 25, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Apple may decide to release its remaining products for 2022, which include updated iPad Pro, Mac mini, and 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, through press releases on its website rather than a digital event, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman said that Apple is currently "likely to release its remaining 2022 products via press releases,...
Dynamic Island For Android Users Feature

Android App Copying iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island Released on Play Store

Thursday September 22, 2022 7:57 am PDT by
A copycat version of the iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island has arrived on Android's Google Play Store in the form of an app called "dynamicSpot." The app, still in beta, offers customers several different experiences at the top of their smartphones. In its current form, dynamicSpot offers playback control for songs, timers, battery status, and more features coming soon, according to the app's...
AirPods Pro Second Generation 2 Pairing Feature 1

AirPods Pro 2 Engravings Appear in iOS During Pairing and Connecting

Friday September 23, 2022 9:40 am PDT by
Customers who personalize their second-generation AirPods Pro charging case with an engraving will now have that engraving reflected directly on iOS as they pair and connect their AirPods Pro. Apple allows customers to personalize their AirPods Pro charging case with a special engraving that can include select emojis and Memojis. Unlike before, starting with the second-generation AirPods...
Apple Watch 6 New Features Feature 2

Six New Apple Watch Features Coming Later This Year

Friday September 23, 2022 8:12 am PDT by
With new Apple Watch Ultra and Series 8 models now in the hands of customers, Apple has brought a host of smart new features to many people's wrists. But there's more to come. Apple has a handful of additional features in store for Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch Ultra owners before the year's end, and some of them are watchOS 9 functions, which means they will even work on older Apple ...
new airpods pro ear tips

Apple Explains Why Second-Generation AirPods Pro Ear Tips Are Incompatible With Original AirPods Pro

Thursday September 22, 2022 3:12 pm PDT by
Apple today explained why the new silicone ear tips for the second-generation AirPods Pro are not officially compatible with the original AirPods Pro. In an updated support document, Apple said the original AirPods Pro ear tips have "noticeably denser mesh" than the second-generation ear tips. Apple did not provide any additional details, but the mesh density could result in acoustical...