Apple's Industrial Design Team Loses Three Employees

Apple's famous and close-knit industrial design team that works under Apple design chief Jony Ive is undergoing major changes, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal.

Three longtime industrial design team employees are leaving the team. Rico Zorkendorfer and Daniele De Iuliis both left Apple recently, and another team member, Julian Hönig, is leaving in the next few months. Together, Zorkendorfer and De Iuliis have worked at Apple for a combined 35 years, while Hönig has been on the team for a decade.

apple park drone june 2018 2
Zorkendorfer told The Wall Street Journal that he decided to leave Apple to spend time with his family, while the other two declined to comment.

Apple's industrial design team is made up of approximately two dozen employees and is overseen by Jony Ive directly. These employees are responsible for the look and feel of Apple products, including the iPhone.

According to Above Avalon analyst Neil Cybart, who spoke to The ‌Wall Street Journal‌, it "makes sense" for the team's composition to shift as Apple adopts new products in areas like augmented reality and autonomous vehicles. The industrial design team is described as "all-powerful" at Apple.

This group is all-powerful in Apple," said Neil Cybart, who runs Above Avalon, a site dedicated to Apple analysis. "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 three industrial design team members are departing the company at a time when ‌iPhone‌ sales have slowed and services are becoming more important than ever to Apple. Apple has announced a multitude of new services, including Apple News+, Apple Arcade, Apple Card, and Apple TV+.

Only a few members of the industrial design team have left during the last decade, but it has seen more frequent departures in recent years. Danny Coster left in 2016 to join GoPro, and Christopher Stringer left in 2017 and launched an audio startup currently in stealth mode.

According to one of the designers who left the team, Zorkendorfer, there are "incredible new designers" at Apple. "What we've been able to do the last few decades will continue," he told The ‌Wall Street Journal‌.

Top Rated Comments

The Samurai Avatar
63 months ago
No tears are wasted if these 3 happened to work on the butterfly keyboards.
Score: 62 Votes (Like | Disagree)
B4U Avatar
63 months ago
Was about to celebrate when I misread that they lost Ive.
Score: 60 Votes (Like | Disagree)
0947347 Avatar
63 months ago
So they have a design team after all.
Started to doubt it after seeing the recent iPhone’s protruding design rumours

The triple lens protruding camera design looks like a tiny little ceramic top stove for cooking very very tiny little eggs on.

Now if this is not cute, I don’t know what is
Score: 57 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TETENAL Avatar
63 months ago
A good opportunity to employ someone from the "Steve Jobs school of design":

"Design is how it works."

With emphasis on "it works". Also known as "form follows function".

Make the things work properly first, then beauty will follow by itself.
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
blacktape242 Avatar
63 months ago
wouldnt really say have been designing much lately. more like slight modifications.
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gim Avatar
63 months ago
Must've been an awesome time for them at Apple. Riding the iPhone 6 design for 4 years, good job!
Score: 36 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

General Apps Messages

Apple Announces 'Groundbreaking' New Security Protocol for iMessage

Wednesday February 21, 2024 6:00 am PST by
Apple today announced a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol for iMessage called PQ3. Apple says this "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks." Apple believes the PQ3 protocol's protections "surpass those in all other widely deployed messaging apps," according to its blog post:Today we are announcing...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
samsung galaxy ring

'Apple Ring' Allegedly in Development to Rival Samsung Galaxy Ring

Tuesday February 20, 2024 2:27 am PST by
Apple is speeding up development of a smart ring that can be worn on the finger to track users' health biometrics, claims a new report coming out of Korea. Teaser image of Samsung Galaxy Ring shown at Galaxy Unpacked in January Apple has toyed with the idea of a ring wearable for several years, as indicated by several patents, but with Samsung preparing to bring its own product to market, the ...
volvo s60 drivers apple maps

iOS 17.4 Beta Adds CarPlay Option to Show Upcoming Maneuvers in Instrument Cluster

Tuesday February 20, 2024 10:47 am PST by
The fourth beta of iOS 17.4 that Apple released today adds a new CarPlay feature, according to the notes that Apple provided to developers. In supported CarPlay vehicles, there's now an Apple Maps option to show information about upcoming maneuvers in the instrument cluster. CarPlay users will be able to swap the display type between the main and instrument cluster by tapping on the map...
m3 macbook pro 14 16

Apple Now Selling Refurbished M3 Pro and M3 Max MacBook Pro Models

Monday February 19, 2024 5:04 pm PST by
Apple today began offering refurbished versions of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M3 Pro and M3 Max chip options, offering the machines at a discount for the first time since their October 2023 release. The release of M3 Pro and M3 Max models on Apple's refurbished store comes almost two weeks after the entry-level 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro first appeared on the store....
iPad Pro OLED Feature 2

Apple's Upcoming OLED iPad Pro Models Rumored to Be Much Thinner

Tuesday February 20, 2024 1:39 pm PST by
Apple is planning to update the iPad Air and iPad Pro lineups as soon as March, and the new iPad Pro models will be significantly thinner according to dimensions shared by 9to5Mac. Citing sources with knowledge of Apple's plans, the site claims that the larger version will be more than 1mm thinner. The current 12.9-inch iPad Pro measures in at 6.4mm thick, but the new model is said to be 5mm ...
apple wallet drivers license feature

Apple Said iPhone Driver's Licenses Will Expand to These 8 U.S. States

Monday February 12, 2024 7:51 am PST by
In 2021, Apple introduced a feature that lets residents of participating U.S. states add their driver's license or ID to the Wallet app on the iPhone and Apple Watch, providing a convenient and contactless way to display proof of identity or age. Unfortunately, states have been slow to adopt the feature since it was first announced in September 2021, with IDs in the Wallet app only available ...