Back when we learned that Apple’s VP of industrial design, Jony Ive, would be leading human interface development across the entire company, many hoped it would mean some big changes for iOS, after years of iterations that appeared minor compared with the major overhaul of Android 4.0 and beyond. With the Worldwide Developer Conference looming just months away, all eyes are on iOS 7, and according to Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, the push to meet its development targets is requiring the company to repurpose resources from the OS X team.
"What I’ve heard: iOS 7 is running behind, and engineers have been pulled from OS X 10.9 to work on it."
This wouldn’t be the first time Apple had to shift engineering resources around in order to meet a deadline. Gruber points to Apple’s 2007 announcement that Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard would be delayed because of the decision to reallocate engineers to the iPhone project. As a consequence, the iPhone made it to market on time in June, but Leopard was pushed back, from June to October.
It's not hard to imagine that the additional changes would take more time
Ive is reportedly pushing a more modern, "flat" design for the next installment of Apple’s mobile OS, and iMore's Rene Ritchie points out that significant changes to the iOS team like the departure of VP Scott Forstall are also affecting the development cycle. It’s not hard to imagine that the additional design changes would take more time to work through than a typical iOS update, even without the added pressure from personnel changes. But just because Apple is taking engineers off of the OS X team in order to focus on iOS 7, that's no indication that either the availability of the new mobile OS or Apple’s next iPhone, rumored to be arriving in summer, would be affected. The more likely case would be that lower-priority features planned for iOS 7 simply get postponed because of the time constraint. We just hope we aren’t stuck waiting forever for OS X 10.9.