Scott Forstall is set to leave Apple in 2013 after being sacked from his position as Senior Vice President overseeing iOS. Forstall was responsible for Siri and more recently the iOS 6 Maps fiasco, and seemingly the last straw came when he refused to sign the public letter Apple issued to apologise for the problems with Maps. There were also many rumours of internal strife at Apple between senior figures and Forstall, who is to remain an advisor to CEO Tim Cook until next year. His duties and responsibilities have been split resulting in a major reorganisation of the top rungs of Apple. Craig Federighi will head up iOS software in addition to running OS X. Jony Ive is now also head of Human Interface, meaning he will have control of how things look in software on screen as well as in hardware. Eddie Cue will take responsibility for Siri and Maps, and given the way he turned around MobileMe we can expect big improvements here.

Forstall’s departure is a major surprise. He was seen as very close to Steve Jobs and a possible candidate to run Apple as CEO in the future. He headed iOS development from the very beginning, so we can expect major changes now that he is no longer in charge. One of the main bones of contention between him and Ive was the use of skeuomorphic design in iOS, such as Corinthian leather textures in Find My Friends and paper shredders in PassBook. Ive is certain to remove such things and fundamentally alter the look of iOS software to match his hardware vision.

John Browett was also relieved of his duties as head of Apple Retail. This won’t come as so much of a surprise to us here in Ireland as his previous position was as head of Dixons group. Given the gulf in service and culture between those two companies, it’s no wonder that Browett made mistakes early on and only six months in is looking for a new job.