According to Bloomberg, Apple’s vice president of product design, Tang Tan, is set to leave the company in February. It looks like this will shake up how Apple makes its gadgets. This is a big deal because it comes during a time when Apple is already making lots of changes in its design groups. It's a major moment for Apple since the former design chief, Jony Ive, left in 2019. Tan, who holds significant influence over the design of Apple's flagship products, including the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods, has played a crucial role in shaping the company's product strategy.
Tang Tan, who reports directly to Apple's senior hardware chief John Ternus, makes important decisions about products. His leaving will be a big loss for Apple, as he plays a big role in the company. After he goes, other important people on his team will take on more responsibilities. For example, Richard Dinh, who helps Tan with iPhone design, will now be in charge of developing iPhones and will report to Ternus. Also, Kate Bergeron, who oversees Mac hardware, will take the lead in designing the Apple Watch.
Not long after Tang Tan is leaving, there's also news that Steve Hotelling, an executive responsible for pioneering technologies in Apple's key products, is retiring from Apple. Hotelling has been in charge of the team that works on the camera and has been a key part of making Face ID, Touch ID, haptic feedback, ProMotion, and other important Apple technologies. This shows that there are big changes happening in Apple's hardware team.
These significant departures come at a time when Apple is facing industry changes, especially after a drop in iPhone sales last year. Interestingly, global smartphone sales went up in October compared to the year before, suggesting 2024 could bring a positive change, according to Counterpoint Research.
Aware of how important design is to make Apple products stand out, the company is dedicated to making its products not just top-notch technology, but also fashion statements. Since the iPhone brings in most of Apple's money and the Apple Watch is a top smartwatch globally, the changes in design and engineering teams are setting up an interesting new phase for Apple in the next year.