Huge news from Apple: Scott Forstall, responsible for much of the success of Mac OS X and iOS, will be leaving in 2013. Legendary hardware designer Jonny Ive will now also be responsible for software interface design.
John Gruber has done a great job analyzing the shift.
I have mixed feelings about this move. On one hand, it's not unexpected. Forstall is more or less responsible for the Maps debacle, and he has long been a proponent of controversial skeuomophic design, such as the leather stitching in Calendar. Seeing what Ive will do with user interfaces will be exciting.
On the other hand, Forstall was an old friend of Steve Jobs, and a NeXT veteran. Apple would not be the success it is today without him. I hope Tim Cook has made the right call here.
What I don't have mixed feelings about is the firing of John Browett, who took over retail when Ron Johnson left. Of all of Apple's post-Steve decisions, Browett's hiring worried me the most. He's the former head of UK electronics chain Dixons, which is the British equivalent of Best Buy. Not a direction I want the Apple Store to go. In fact, one of the first things he tried to do was cut Apple Store staff to raise gross margin. He was just a bad fit for Apple.
I wish them both the best of luck. I don't know about Browett, but I predict big things from Forstall.