One of the most senior executives at Apple is preparing to leave the company as part of a surprise executive shake-up at the iPhone company.
Scott Forstall, who joined Apple in 1997 when it acquired his employer NeXT, is regarded as a principal architect of the Mac OS X operating system. He will leave the company next year having shaped the iOS platform, but most recently claiming responsibility for the flawed Maps service that Apple publicly apologised for.
Before departing, he will serve as adviser to CEO Tim Cook, Apple has said.
Sir Jonathan Ive, the man who sculpts Apple's iPhone hardware, has new responsibilities that now include user interface.
Apple faced an onslaught of criticisms and jokes regarding its new mapping software, which was found to have numerous major inaccuracies, misplaced and misspelt towns and cities, as well as areas which were not mapped at all.
Of Apple's executives, Forstall is considered to be the one that best embodies the design principals of the company's iconic co-founder Steve Jobs. He was once tipped as the man to replace Jobs following his death last year.
It had been suspected that Forstall was a divisive figure within the senior Apple management. Various reports suggest he refused to endorse Apple's apology for its Maps debacle.
Apple posted extraordinary fourth quarter profits of about £5 billion last week, yet the company still missed analyst expectations, largely due to the underperforming iPad range, which is selling slower than analysts predicted.