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Apple Goes on the PR Offensive Over Jony Ive’s Departure

July 6, 2019, 1:30 PM UTC

The impact of Jony Ive stepping down as Apple’s design chief is a big topic of debate.

Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal suggested that Ive, who announced his departure on June 27, thought Apple CEO Tim Cook had failed to grasp the importance of design. Ive, according to the article, also bristled at Apple’s board because most members lacked technology backgrounds.

The report, and the chattering it caused, prompted Apple CEO Tim Cook to respond by calling it “absurd.” Whether his comments succeeded in dousing the fire is anyone’s guess.

While Ive’s story dominated headlines this week, it wasn’t the only topic. We also read this week that Apple is working on a new 13-inch MacBook Pro. And in another bid to counter news articles, Apple senior vice president of services Eddy Cue disputed reports that Apple is trying to control the creative process behind its upcoming Apple TV+ original series.

Read on for more on that and other Apple headlines from the past week:

Jony Ive Is Unhappy at Apple?

The Wall Street Journal said that Ive was “dispirited” in recent years that Cook took far more interest in profits than product design. Citing several sources, the report said that Ive disliked that many of Apple’s board members had little experience in technology and that he would sometimes go off to pursue other interests instead of leading the design team. One person called him “distant.” Others said Ive wasn’t a fan of Apple Watch and that he had wanted instead to turn it into a “fashion accessory.” In contrast, Cook and other executives thought it should be an extension of the iPhone.

Tim Cook Responds

Cook didn’t like the Journal report this week. In an e-mail to NBC News, Cook called the Journal‘s report “absurd” and said it showed a “lack of understanding about how the design team works and how Apple works.” Cook added that the design team Ive leaves behind is “stronger than ever.”

Eddy Cue Talks Apple TV+

In two interviews this week, Apple senior vice president of services Eddy Cue said that Apple is focusing on content quality over quantity with its upcoming streaming-video service Apple TV+. In the first interview with The Times, Cue said that Apple’s service won’t look to add content for the sake of adding content. Instead, he said Apple is relying on its content team to find the best content to bring to the service. That means fewer shows, but better shows, Cue said. In an interview with GQ, Cue denied reports that Cook had sent notes to showrunners for original Apple series to not “be so mean.”

A New 13-Inch MacBook?

Mention of a previously unannounced 13-inch MacBook Pro appeared in a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) listing this week, according to Apple-tracking site 9to5Mac. The listing doesn’t say anything concrete about the device, but instead points to a new model number that isn’t yet available. Tech companies are required to obtain FCC certification before releasing products that use public airwaves. Usually, Apple keeps its products hidden though private FCC listings. Somehow, this one slipped out. There’s no telling when, or even if, this MacBook Pro will be introduced.

Apple Supports LGBTQ Legislation

Apple this week joined more than 200 other major companies, including Facebook and Google, in calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to allow current sex discrimination laws to cover LGBTQ workers. The companies want the U.S. Supreme Court to extend current regulations to LGBTQ workers without requiring new legislation, which could be held up for years by political wrangling. The Supreme Court will hear three cases on the topic later this year.

One More Thing

Mark your calendar: Apple said this week that it will announce its fiscal third-quarter earnings on July 30 after the market closes. It will hold its quarterly earnings call following the announcement at 5 p.m. ET.