Apple iOS design guru Greg Christie to retire

Apple has confirmed software engineer Greg Christie, who is credited for his role in the design of the original iPhone, is to retire.

In a statement, confirming the news, Apple said: "Greg has been planning to retire later this year after nearly 20 years at Apple.

"He has made vital contributions to Apple products across the board, and built a world-class Human Interface team which has worked closely with Jony [Ive] for many years," the statement concluded.

Christie has been responsible for leading Apple's software design efforts for some time, and was instrumental in the significant mobile OS user interface overhaul Apple debuted with iOS 7.

The iPhone's prominent "slide to unlock" feature is also attributed to Christie, along with a dozen or so other of the company's patents.

The creation of "slide to unlock" has been brought to the fore recently as a result of Apple's ongoing patent dispute with Samsung, and is one of the key ones the consumer electronics giant has accused the South Korean firm of copying.

A report on 9to5Mac suggests Christie's departure was the result of him falling out with Apple's senior vice president of design, Sir Johnathan Ive during the development of iOS 7.

At the time of writing, Christie's replacement had not been named, although some reports suggest his role could be taken over by Ive.

News of Christie's retirement follows on from the announcement by Apple last month that long-serving CFO Peter Oppenheimer is to bow out after nearly two decades at the firm.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.