In the wake of Apple's iPhone 5S announcement, one of the company's former designers let Quartz know how he feels about the state of the company currently, without Steve Jobs. Hartmut Esslinger was a designer at Sony before joining Apple in 1982 to work on design language for the Macintosh.
Of Steve Jobs, he says,
“Steve Jobs was a man who didn’t care for any rational argument why something should not be tried. He said a lot of ‘no,’ but he also said a lot of ‘yes’ to things and he stubbornly insisted on trying new things.”
Of the saturation in Apple's design, he says,
“As soon as you can copy something [like the iPhone,] it’s not smart enough anymore. I think Apple has reached in a certain way a saturation...I think flat screens have reached a level of saturation. Screens don't have to be all right angles—the cheapest way is not always the best way. What's happening in China right now is a paradigm shift where they realise they have to innovate and can't just make cheap products."
Esslinger seems as prophetic as Larry Ellison in his recent interview with CBS regarding the expected future of Apple. He also has a book coming out on October 9 called Keep it Simple: The Early Design Years of Apple, so he's definitely been giving his time there a lot of thought.