“Apple is today releasing the much-anticipated iOS 7, and with it, the biggest overhaul of its mobile operating system since it debuted in 2007 with the original iPhone,” Richard Nieva reports for CNET. “For the first time ever, Apple is releasing a software product that was led by the same person who leads industrial design: Jonathan Ive. And it’s an integration that underscores how, increasingly, Apple is becoming Ive’s company.”

“Ive joined Apple in 1992 and became head of the company’s industrial design department in 1996, the year before Jobs returned to the company after being forced out,” Nieva reports. “The duo’s first breakthrough project together was the iMac, those colorful desktop computers that first made people take notice of Apple as a design company. Ive would go on to lead the design teams that created Apple’s most seminal work, from the MacBook to the iPhone to the iPad. He was knighted in Buckingham Palace in May 2012″

Nieva reports, “Jobs told his biographer Walter Isaacson that Ive has “more operational power” than anyone at Apple besides Jobs himself. Sure, it’s unclear if that’s still true since Cook took the reins as CEO after Jobs stepped down. But what does seem clear is that it probably doesn’t matter. As CEO, Cook is the face, the logistical leader, and — unfortunately for him — the occasional scapegoat for the company, but Ive is in charge of the heart and soul of Apple.”

“Ive’s new responsibility overseeing user interface is the biggest sign yet that Apple is truly Ive’s company now. This is not to impugn Cook. He is a talented conductor and chief executive,” Nieva reports. “But Ive was always the closest one to the Jobs aura, not Cook. So next time we ask the tedious question, ‘Can Apple still innovate?’ — and believe me, we will — we might instead look to Ive for the answer.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we’ve written many times before:

Tim Cook should seriously consider trying to convincing Jony Ive do Apple’s keynote presentations or, at the very least, participate in a significant fashion (live, not via video).

We know Jony can perform live and he’s mesmerizing when he does.

Have Jony onstage during Apple events and all of these silly “Should Tim Cook remain as Apple CEO?” and “Where are Apple’s innovations?” questions will evaporate immediately. Cook would be Apple CEO for as long as he wished. Where Apple is currently missing Steve Jobs the most is in the charisma department on-stage.

Related articles:
The greatest business story of this generation is a design tale: Apple’s Jony Ive – September 3, 2013
Jony Ive is the new Steve Jobs: Positively mind-blowing iOS 7 stirs Apple-envy yet again – June 11, 2013
Can Apple’s design guru Jony Ive fill Steve Jobs’ shoes? – May 19, 2013
Jony Ive hasn’t been given too much power at Apple – because he’s always had it – February 5, 2013
Steve Jobs left design chief Jonathan Ive ‘more operational power’ than anyone else at Apple – October 21, 2011