Will Jony Ive Hold Back Apple?

With Steve Jobs now out of the picture, design guru Jony Ive is now more or less Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) main product guy. That's a role that Tim Cook was never destined to fill, but the good news is that Ive shared many design ideals with Jobs. With the upcoming version of iOS set to see its most dramatic aesthetic overhaul in the platform's history under Ive's direction, is Ive about to hold back Apple?

Bloomberg reports that Apple may be at risk of delaying iOS 7's release due to the sheer extent of changes that Ive is pursuing. The British-born designer is axing all signs of skeuomorphism in the operating system, burning down wooden bookshelves and ripping up the faux leather in every area where the cheesy approach has infiltrated the OS.

Ive reportedly wants to dramatically change the email and calendar apps, a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly as two of the most commonly used first-party apps among users. All in all, the changes are putting a strain on Apple's talent resources, and the company has redeployed some of its Mac software engineers to work on iOS.

Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference is just around the corner where iOS 7 will be unveiled and early builds will likely be distributed to developers shortly thereafter for testing. A full public release would likely come in September, in line with how the timing played out last year.

Other recent reports have indicated that Ive is going for a much flatter design philosophy, so much so that iOS may resemble Microsoft Windows Phone aesthetically. Other Apple insiders have also similarly hinted that iOS 7 is running behind schedule due to the dramatic overhaul.

This year's iOS should focus on refinement, although Apple may also have some new services up its sleeve. The two major services unveiled over the past two years, Siri and Maps, still need some work, but that might not stop the iPhone maker from launching an iRadio streaming service or mobile payments solution.

Even if Ive's overhaul results in some minor delays, it'll be worth the wait.

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