I thought the TheNextWeb article was going somewhere before I read the aforementioned quotes. Now both of them are odd if not shocking. Apple is traditionally against 'sales guys designing computers or even running the company' (yes Microsoft). So marketing and communication department designing icons? What does the communication team, leave alone the marketing team have anything to do with design. If this is true, it is a drastic change under Johny Ive's leadership and am not sure if its good or bad for Apple's future.
Also I am not sure about this design being 'mid stride' as Apple has painstakingly put up multiple pages on their website promoting iOS 7 and I don't think Apple will drift away from this design too much after this much promotion. While I agree that, what was shown in WWDC' 13 is not the final version, I expect the final release to only be a finished and polished version of what was shown already.
So in summary I don't believe this report!
But I do have to agree with Gizmodo and others, the icon design above evokes some strong reactions in me, I love some and I hate some, I have no reaction in between! Is that weird or what?