Apple designer Greg Christie, responsible for many features of the iPhone interface, will retire from the firm later this year, Re/code report.
In his two decades at the company, Christie worked closely with Senior Vice President Jony Ive and made "vital contributions to Apple products across the board," Apple spokesman Steve Dowling told Re/code.
Aside from some insiders, few people know Christie was behind the slide-to-unlock feature, Re/code said. That function is one of the patents at issue in the Apple-Samsung trial. Other groundbreaking technologies that Christie and his team developed include the display of text messages by conversation rather than by chronology and the ability to touch an address book contact to make a phone call, Re/code said.
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—By Dawn Chmielewski and Ina Fried, Re/code.net.
CNBC's parent NBC Universal is an investor in Re/code's parent Revere Digital, and the companies have a content-sharing arrangement.