Apple’s Jonathan Ive and Craig Federighi: The complete Businessweek interview

“Perhaps you’ve already read our cover story on Apple and its three wise men: Chief Executive Tim Cook, chief designer Jonathan Ive, and software head Craig Federighi,” Sam Grobart reports for Businessweek. “Perhaps you read the outtakes from those interviews and even the full transcript of the Tim Cook interview.”

“Well, this is the last installment of our saga, the complete transcript of the Jonathan Ive/Craig Federighi interview (which has been partially edited for clarity),” Grobart reports. “To set the stage, this interview took place a day after the iPhone 5S and 5C launch event. I met Ive and Federighi in a ground-floor conference room in one of the buildings on Apple’s campus in Cupertino, Calif. Federighi was first to arrive, followed by Ive. In case you’re wondering, they’re both nice—not standoffish, not chilly, just nice.”

Grobart reports, “Federighi asked me if I had used Apple products and for how long, which began a conversations about carwash wages and an Apple IIC. Ive complimented my messenger bag, which, I must admit, I was sort of psyched about.”

Two snippets:

• Jony Ive: One of the ironies is that, from a design point of view, we feel that we’ve done our job when you finally get to that point and you think, “Well, there couldn’t be a rational alternative.” It appears inevitable. It almost appears like it wasn’t designed. Then we feel like we got it right, which is sort of semi-ironic, as a design team, to not make you feel like it was designed. But that’s what we try to do.

• Craig Federighi: I think it’s a unique statement about Apple’s values in product development that it is taken as a given among everyone on the team that we will go to the most absurd lengths seemingly to get something just right, to solve, to do the level of architecture work that normally would constitute the most critical element of a product, but we’ll focus that amount of energy and more to say, “That blur has to be just right. That detail has to be just right.”

Much, much more in the full interview here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Tim Cook: The complete Businessweek interview – September 22, 2013
Jony Ive submits to rare interview about Apple’s once and future mission – September 19, 2013
Apple CEO Tim Cook: ‘We’re not in the junk business’ – September 19, 2013


  1. They have enough equipment, they can hand manufacture any iPhone design they care to think up. I don’t know how far down they can go, but as far as case design, if it’s metal or plastic, they can do it. Circuit boards? They can do it. Silicon? Not so sure.

    I would love to spend a week there. You could put a dunce cap on my head and set in in a corner, and I would learn more in that week, than 4 years in college. (tc)

    1. Gollum, as far as I’m aware, Apple do all the circuit designs for their silicon themselves, entirely by hand, whereas many rely on design ‘ware to create the circuitry, which is far less efficient, hence the high performance of Apple’s A-class chips. They licence ARM architecture, but create unique silicon that’s very power-efficient.
      As I understand it, anyway.

      1. So it’s possible they could produce custom silicon in house, and create some marvelous iPhone, for a king – one of a kind, if they ever so desire.

        And that’s why I would love to be in that room, for a week, soaking it all in.

  2. For those fire Tim Cook idiots. Here is what his engineers say about him
    “I think Tim absolutely resonates with those values. I think of Tim first and foremost as almost a beacon for Apple’s values. I think Tim understands intuitively how what we do here is the product of so many disciplines working so closely together. And he does everything he can to foster that happening to create great products.”
    9 million iPhones sold in three days, no one else can do that.

  3. With my CADD skills, I could be at Apple helping out with their magical products. Or maybe even producing games like the real TRUE and HONEST Sonic 4, not the game that Sega tried to pass off as “Sonic 4”.

  4. Let me guess, do you also believe that 90’s computers were “sleek and austere”? That “OS9 is better than anything that passes off as a computer”. And that “NeXTStep is Mac OSX’s older, more sophisticated, brother”? It’s 2013. Things change. You just have to deal with it.

    1. You mean you cant even show 5% disapproval without being slagged off, now that is Microscoftian in applied rules of uniformity. So you wont be surprised I agree with him, I am generally happy with the upgrade, some aspects I am sure i will get used to in time, but wont ever feel that the icons generally are a step forward as they simply remind me of early Illustrator fades so I will never see them as ‘modern’. With the attention to detail why is the attractive lock screen treatment so different to the outline icons you see when you go beyond it, thats weird. But I live in hope that things will all become better and more consistent as I suspect this was graphically a bit of a rush job and Ive was coming to terms with his new job.

    1. Go to any Apple site forum except the koolaid ones and see how much people hate ios7. They are going apeshit when they find out they can’t go back to iOS 6.

      What a fucked up pathetic piece of shit of a Clusterfuck.

      After having used Apple products exclusively since the Apple II, my next phone will be not and iPhone.

      Jonny and Tim, you need to go into a closet at Apple and wear pink underwear and fuck each other, but leave us alone with your pathetic Sissy diarrhea.

        1. What is vile is iOS 7… you brain dead Apple zombies will swallow anything that comes from Apple these days no matter how shitty it is.

          I was working for Apple when you were shitting in your diapers.

          Up your’s asshole.

        2. Actually, homosexual, fag infested, Liberal, Mendella loving Apple does need people like us because 98% of their customer are “NOT” liberal, emasculated, feminized, Democrat faggots. I won’t be buying Apple products anymore after 27 years of support. The clusterfuck that is iO7, OSX Mavericks, no SD slot in iPad, no HDMI on iPad, insanely communistic control over their eco system, the absolute destruction of their pro-aps market, the shit can called Mac Pro, etc, etc. The rabbit hole is bottomless. It is astonishing at how quickly that closet homosexual Cook drove the company to the ground.

      1. Both you and BLN are asshats. If you don’t like iOS7, fine, but quit pushing your homophobia and idiocy on to it like it’s some kind of proof text for all things Macho and Masculine.

        I really like the changes and overall experience. Yes, there are a few things I’m still getting used to. There’s an element or 2 I wish was different or they had brought forward from previous versions. But I don’t have the gall to presume that what I think and the limited interactions I have speak for everyone.

        And to counter your inane random anecdotal evidence as universality truth, I work for a company where over 200 iPhones are used constantly by employees. They were all upgraded to iOS7 last week. In a company wide meeting yesterday I only heard 2 people complain or voice a desire to return to 6. What I heard overwhelmingly was how much people really like the new setup and schema. So there – according to your “proof” it’s a runaway hit.

      2. Thanks Mcman. Your writing makes me think of such luminaries of the English language as Dickens and Johnson.

        You had pretty much already won the argument with “fucked up”, “pathetic piece of shit” and clusterfuck. But what was really both incisive and unarguably persuasive was your brilliant use of “fuck each other” and “diarrhea”.

        Obviously no-one could possibly think iOS 7 is any good at all after such a fine, amazing and virtually poetic piece of the English language. I’m sure it will go down in the annals of debate and will be studied in university courses far into the future.

  5. I like the User Interface, no complaints there, many things were made easier. The only thing I don’t like is the graphic design of the icons. They lack the richness, that high-end look that I am used to as representing Apple. Simple is fine with me, but they need to challenge themselves with how do we get some richness into the simple look.
    No skewmorphism is good in some cases, but in others it’s still useful. Final opinion for me is usability trumps icons that need visual tweaking, so on the whole I like the 95% of the upgrade.

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