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
49 months ago
No tears are wasted if these 3 happened to work on the butterfly keyboards.
Score: 62 Votes (Like | Disagree)
B4U Avatar
49 months ago
Was about to celebrate when I misread that they lost Ive.
Score: 60 Votes (Like | Disagree)
0947347 Avatar
49 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
49 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
49 months ago
wouldnt really say have been designing much lately. more like slight modifications.
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gim Avatar
49 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

iPhone trade in

Apple Adjusts Trade-In Values for iPhones, Macs, and More

Wednesday January 25, 2023 9:40 am PST by
After announcing new Mac and HomePod models last week, Apple adjusted its trade-in values for select devices in the United States. iPhone trade-in values decreased by up to $80, and most Android smartphones also went down. Mac trade-in values remained unchanged or increased by up to $40 depending on the model, while some Apple Watch models increased in value and others decreased. Trade-in...
iphone 15 pro wifi 6e

Internal Apple Document From Leaker 'Unknownz21' Confirms Wi-Fi 6E Will Be Limited to iPhone 15 Pro Models

Friday January 27, 2023 10:01 am PST by
Multiple rumors have suggested that the next-generation iPhone 15 models will adopt the Wi-Fi 6E standard that Apple has already introduced in the iPad Pro and MacBook Pro, and now a leaked document appears to confirm Apple's plans. Sourced from researcher and Apple leaker Unknownz21 (@URedditor), the document features diagrams of the iPhone 15's antenna architecture. D8x refers to the...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Expected to Feature Wi-Fi 6E Like Latest Macs and iPad Pro

Wednesday January 25, 2023 5:39 pm PST by
The iPhone 15 will support Wi-Fi 6E, according to a research note shared this week by Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Tom O'Malley. The analysts did not specify whether the feature will be available on all models or limited to the Pro models. Apple has added Wi-Fi 6E support to a handful of devices so far, including the latest 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With the New M2 Max MacBook Pro

Thursday January 26, 2023 12:14 pm PST by
New 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with the latest M2 Pro and M2 Max chips are available in Apple retail stores and are already in the hands of customers, and we picked up one of the new M2 Max machines to answer all of the questions MacRumors readers considering a purchase might have. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Yesterday, we asked MacRumors fans on...
Mac Pro 2019 Apple

Mac Pro Enthusiasts Raise Concerns Over Upgrade Limitations of Apple Silicon

Thursday January 26, 2023 6:30 am PST by
The new Mac Pro coming later this year is expected to feature the same spacious modular design as the 2019 model, but with fresh concerns over its lack of upgradeability surfacing, some users are beginning to wonder what the transition away from Intel architecture actually means for Apple's most powerful Mac. The current Intel Mac Pro that Apple sells is popular with creative professionals...
iOS 16

iOS 16.3 for iPhone Launching Next Week With These 4 New Features

Friday January 20, 2023 11:43 am PST by
In a recent press release, Apple confirmed that iOS 16.3 will be released to the public next week. The software update will be available for the iPhone 8 and newer and includes a handful of new features, changes, and bug fixes. Below, we've recapped bigger features in iOS 16.3, including support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for Apple ID accounts, worldwide ...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Pro Rumored to Have These 8 Features

Friday January 27, 2023 2:11 pm PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are expected to be announced in September as usual. Already, rumors suggest the devices will have at least eight exclusive features not available on the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. An overview of the eight features rumored to be exclusive to iPhone 15 Pro models:A17 chip: iPhone 15 Pro models will be equipped with an A17...