Who Is Ana Arriola From ‘The Dropout’? Did She Really Design the iPhone?

With the dramatisation of Elizabeth Holmes’ high-tech healthcare scam on Hulu, The Dropout, the real-life Theranos narrative keeps captivating us. But wait a minute: That Apple employee Holmes stole from, the one who allegedly suggested Holmes wear a black turtleneck to resemble the late Steve Jobs and who also allegedly created the iPhone… Yeah. Arriola, Ana. Is she really here?

The quick response? Yes. But not exactly how you remember her from The Dropout. Nicky Endres, an Asian-American non-binary transfeminine queer performer who previously appeared in the One Day at a Time remake, portrays Arriola on the show. According to Arriola’s LinkedIn profile, which she/they has been maintaining very actively, she/they is a queer Latinx woman with experience being transgender and non-binary in real life. In the days preceding Thursday’s Hulu release, Arriola recently praised Endres on Twitter.

When Arriola accepted the position as Elizabeth’s Vice President and Chief Design Architect, she admitted: “I was an eager employee blinded by celebrity and opportunity and the cult of working for Elizabeth. She was ascending quickly, persuading everyone that her science fiction project was true and had the power to alter the course of history. I quit my job at Apple to work for Theranos under her direction.

We can see from the Hulu series that Arriola had to push Holmes for even the most fundamental specifications in order to help her design the equipment for Theranos.

I saw her deception within months and quit Theranos.

As chief design architect and vice president of Theranos for four months, she now refers to that time as “Altruism via Corrupt Unethical Science-Fiction.”

Arriola is currently in charge of the design and research for Microsoft’s Physical Operations Cloud.

What about Apple and the iPhone’s style, though?

While Jonathan “Jony” Ive was Apple’s principal industrial designer for many years, Jobs is infamous for taking credit for a majority of the company’s product designs. Arriola’s résumé reads “led the creation of Apple’s hardware acceleration of iPhone and Apple TV’s UX and iOS SDK through the novel combination of W3C/Open Web and Core Animation,” rather than “led the creation of iPhone designer.”

You are intelligent enough to create an iPhone on your own if you can decipher what that means.

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