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Remember how we announced earlier this week that Apple chief designer Jony Ive aims to strip iOS 7 of the operating system's skeuomorphic elements? Apparently that's a much bigger task than originally anticipated, as AllThingsD reported this morning that Ives is bringing engineers from the Mac OS X 10.9 team to help finish iOS 7 in time for the preview at WWDC on June 10-14.
Yet unnamed sources say there's no cause for alarm. One compared it to the time in 2007 when Apple borrowed OS X 10.5 engineers to work on the iPhone, but added that this is "Not as much of a fire drill, though. It will ship on time."
Investors aren't so sure. As Bloomberg reported earlier today, Ive's sudden decision to make such an extensive design shift puts iOS 7's release date in danger, not to mention OS X 10.9. Greg Sterling, an analyst for Opus Research in San Francisco, also expressed concerns that the project may be too ambitious for Ive considering the time constraints.
"Apple is really under tremendous pressure to come out with something different and something new," Sterling said. He added that he believes that Ive has "a tremendous sense of design, and he's been the guru behind a lot of these enormously successful products, but he's always had someone like a Jobs to push back on him and give him some guidance, and it's not clear that Tim Cook is capable of playing that role. Maybe without a collaborator, he’s not as strong."
Still, Ive appears to be doing his best to overcome that limitation. The Bloomberg report also reveals that Ive stepped out of character to lead a two-hour presentation at a town hall meeting on the changes planned for iOS 7 in March. He's also fostering better cooperation with the software and hardware teams at Apple, and listening respectfully at meetings rather than trying to force his ideas. However it turns out, Ive's take on iOS 7 looks poised the deliver the most fascinating news we've heard from Apple in a while.
Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.