Not only is this a profound increase in responsibility for all three of these top executives, it’s a profound change in Apple’s organization going as far back as I can remember. There’s a long-standing pattern of separating watershed products important to the company’s future. The Mac and Apple teams. Mac OS X and Classic. The iPod division. iOS and Mac OS X. Suddenly, Tim Cook has pulled the reins in. Federighi owns software. Ive owns design. Cue owns services. Period.
While it looks like this is something that asn’t exactly planned in advance, it seems like some people at Apple have been hoping for it for a while now. According to Om Malik:
Forstall’s firing was met with a sense of quiet jubilation, especially among people who worked in the engineering groups.
For my part, I’m mainly interested in seeing what happens to the UI now that Jony Ive is in charge of it, hopefully the misguided move towards skeuomorphic interfaces will be taken out back and shot.