Vogue: A rare look at design genius Jony Ive, the man behind the Apple Watch

“I first catch sight of Jony Ive across the Apple campus, in a plain Dodger-blue T-shirt and white painter’s pants, in conversation, nodding. The head Apple designer, who brought you the iMac and the iPad and now, the Apple Watch, has a nearly shaved head and a tightly trimmed beard,” Robert Sullivan writes for Vogue. “He’s not tall, not small, and looks as if he might be a formidable rugby opponent—though even from a distance he comes across as open and amenable, less likely to tackle you than to do what he is doing with a colleague at this very moment, which is listening.”

“White is the color of choice at Apple HQ as in the Apple product line. It is through this white, with its clarity, its dust-hiding lack of distraction, that you have already met Jonathan Ive,” Sullivan writes. “When you sit down with Ive, he is eager to chat—too eager, maybe, for the Apple time-minders who are always looking around for him—and will take a while to respond to a question, smiling as he says, ‘This is going to be a kind of oblique answer…’ We are talking in a white room, distracted only by a black non-Apple television — itself a signpost to the question, When will Apple make TVs or whatever will replace them? Noticeably, his phone neither rings nor vibrates; he has designed the moment for concentration.”

Tons more in the full article here.


    1. Arguable, for me the latest are the best looking ever as at long last stop the front looking like it is simply super glued on. Just need to reduce the over bulky ends now, the HTC 1 disguises it rather well though I guess JI doesn’t like the lack of purity in such matters, sees it as cheating perhaps.

  1. “Jony is humble and private, and he doesn’t wear his achievements on his sleeve.”

    I admire Jony more than any other of Apple’s executives. I have just one request – why the obsession with thinness? I would gladly accept the 5S or even the 4 for as thin as a phone ever needs to be. If a few more millimeters would equal longer batter life, I’d celebrate far more than an announcement that the newest is the “thinnest ever.”

    1. Ah now this is a new leaf for you, saying something nice about someone at Apple. No Tim Cook bashing. I’m impressed.

      You know last time you were here (or the last time I saw you post) you really took a bashing to the people of the MDN community and I took that kind of personally and left you a reply here.

      Apple CEO Tim Cook’s banana skins: U2, ‘Bendygate’ and iOS 8.0.1

      You know that there is a lot of excitement at Apple these days, Apple Pay, Watch, iPhone, Paris fashion week and Vogue of all things on top of things like Swift, the MacPro, Health Kit. Someone at Apple once said “Can’t innovate my ass.” about Apple, and now someone is telling you “Can’t lead my ass.” about Tim Cook. You may not like Tim Cook, but the evidence that he is a great leader for Apple just keeps piling up.

      That being said, I do hope to see you opening up a bit more. Now your question brings up the form vs. functionality debate that’s been going on for a while, but being in the fashion forum you should be aware of the fashion’s industry for thinnest and in Jony Ive’s case I’ll sum it it up in one word that you can netsearch later: “Twiggy”.

      When one move along the spectrum of a parameter (say thick to thin) certain features can change. The old cathode ray tubes (CRT) used for television sets were thick as they had to be. Light-emitting diode (LED) screens use a different technology and can be thinner a feature that is valuable for television sets and monitors. That technology coupled with computer miniaturization have allowed for all in one computers such as the iMac, and taken further allows for computers like the iPad, iPod and now the Watch. The movement towards thin has allows computers to move from sedentary to transportable, to portable to mobile to now wearable.

      When it comes to items that you wear, thin (usually accompanied by lightweight) has a certain value. Thick clothes are good for cold weather but are bulky and heavy. Thin clothes has great fashion appeal and can still provide the desired quality. The point is that things that are worn then to be thin. That’s an area that Apple is moving into, the wearable computer.

      Now you said this regarding the new iPhone:”If a few more millimeters would equal longer batter life, I’d celebrate far more than an announcement that the newest is the “thinnest ever.” That’s a good point, there certainly is a trade off between thickness and battery life. On the other hand you called the new watch “clunky” so it leads me to believe that you would not celebrate it. Here you are going on about an Apple device being thin, affecting the battery life and on the other hand the comment you made about the watch was that is was clunky. This can certainly lead me and others to believe that no matter what Apple does you will whine about them. There are alternative to this Jay, and that’s entirely up to you.

      You post however does show potential, and I thank you for now going on about Tim Cook and saying something nice about someone for a change. I’d like to see more of that.

      Enjoy your day.

      1. You are alright Rod Warrior, I only skimmed the first 5 lines. The insertion of the link to support your rumblings was the clue for me to scroll to the bottom. Apologies caught my eye, so I read what it is you were apologizing for. So I, having good manners, thought to let you know that you are alright as far as I am concerned.

        1. Thanks, I try to use a word processor when possible and I don’t mind the odd word omission and misspelling but there were a lot of those along with improper verb tense so I thought I’d pass that tidbit along although I think the general idea of the post is still pretty clear.

      2. Road – your responses to my posts, especially where you say I have worn everyone out with my repetition of how inadequate I believe Tim Cook to be in leading this company, has resulted in me being satisfied that I have made my point. While I would have preferred you do so without the vitriol you unloaded on me, you at least engaged rather than the simplistic declaration of me being a troll and unworthy of speaking on this site. I begin by saying that irrational celebration of everything the company does is the prime characteristic of lemmings. Such behavior provides zero incentive for the leader of the pack to change direction – even a little.

        My opinion of the watch after seeing it on the wrists of Cook and Ive, and in Apple’s promotional videos is that it looks clunky. Many others across the spectrum of discussion beyond MDN have said the same thing and there have been a number of cartoons illustrating via humor that the watch is a big piece of hardware to wear on the wrist. I also don’t know why I would want the watch since I have to have the phone with me to use most of the watch’s features. It seems to me that the phone alone is just fine for all that. Maybe I will change my mind when I experience it on my own wrist, but right now – contrary to previous actions I have taken to get my hands on something new from Apple – I don’t care how long it takes for it to show up in my Apple Retail Store.

        I am about 1,000 percent sure that the next version of the watch will indeed be thinner and that suggests it will look less clunky. Thin would be a good thing to happen to the watch. The phone was thin enough back at the 4 and 5 versions. There is a difference in the two gadgets, how one would use them, and what would work best in their experience. For me, the watch is clunky, and my 5S is just the right thinness.

        BTW, I’ve always said nice things about Jony Ive – even seconded the motion that he should be moved forward as the face of Apple and put on the stage. He is far, far more compelling, interesting, and charismatic than Tim Cook is or ever will be. Once again, take a look at the Charlie Rose interview. I see a guy who struggles to be the guy that the world’s best company needs to be as its image of dynamic leadership.

        Finally, if AAPL holders are happy with the price of their stock being some fraction of what it ought to be, then we’ll get to keep Tim Cook and I’ll just have to live with that reality. Can’t help but be frustrated, though. And I am that.

        1. Hey Jay,

          Thanks for the well written response.

          Yes, you have worn out your repetitive whining of Tim Cook’s leadership and by extension Apple’s whining. The point that you’ve made however may not be the one that you intended to make. Here are some of the points you’ve made very clear to me and possibly to others:

          – You’ve been a one issue poster, and it’s been essentially to bash Tim Cook (and by extension Apple). I haven’t seen you engage in other issues and when it comes to Apple you’ve been unbalanced, i.e. even when you’ve pointed out something positive about Jony Ive you’ve taken a swipe at Apple.

          – You’ve postured yourself to receive vitriol. When I and others have tried to engaged with you in sane rational discussion we’ve been ignored. It was only when I called you a derogatory name that you replied and used it in a very feeble attempt to insinuate that the vitriol came from me. You did this twice, a clear example of your mode of operandi. That being said I complimented on the initial post on this thread and replied in a civil manner. You’ve responded in kind. That’s a lot different than before, it’s a good change I hope you can see that and appreciate that.

          – Along with ignoring those who have been civil to you, you’ve gone on insulting the community at MDN with the wide lemmings paintbrush. Such behavior evokes the mob response and vitriol, you should expect vitriol from that Jay, you’ve clearly asked for it.

          – You complain about the lack of interest and charisma from Tim Cook. Lead by example Jay, especially when it comes to charisma. Calling a group a bunch of lemmings is not charismatic nor will it get you any respect much less any leadership qualities. You go on about Tim Cook, while extolling the virtues of someone that should replace him. Negative criticism in my books is when someone criticizes without providing an alternative. Your posts are like that, it’s basically Tim Cook sucks, and no So and so would make a great CEO at Apple because.

          Now that being said I do hope you consider broadening your horizons a bit and engaging on some aspects and issues about Apple that you find positive. Barring that I do hope you begin to treat the members and posters of the MDN community with some respect. They may not agree with you on many issues but there are some really fine people here that go out of their way to post their opinions and engage in discussions. That’s what makes it a great site for me, that and the fact that MDN lets us pretty well engage in free speech, something they don’t have to do.

          Regarding some valid issues you’ve brought up, I’d like to know if you could specify the spectrum of discussion beyond MDN, and especially the number of cartoons that illustrate that the watch is a big piece of hardware to wear on the wrist. I’ve seen cartoons about other watches being a big piece of hardware but nothing about the watch, and certainly nothing from Vogue.

          But that’s the point I made earlier about the evolution of computers.
          – Sedentary: Mainframes used to be housed in buildings.
          – Transportable: The desktop, you could move it around but not on a daily basis.
          – Portable: Laptop computers, you could take these on a trip.
          – Mobile: Easily take these everywhere, some fit into your pocket.
          – Wearable: A computer that you can were. Fantastic.

          The wearable computer however is in it’s infancy. Yes Apple is not the first one but if you look at that spectrum laid out, clunky is often a characteristic of first generations and we are at the first generation of wearable computers. Apple is there and for sure the future is bright.

          Now your points that I find very valid. Tim Cook’s presentation/charismatic abilities on stage do not come close to Steve Jobs, who was known as a rock star. That’s fine and dandy but that’s one quality. Is it essential for a great leader? No but it sure can help. There are ways to circumvent that. The point is that there are other qualities to being a great leader and Tim Cook has them and it’s becoming evident to many that Tim is a great CEO. I was on the borderline for a while, undecided but optimistic but now I am on board. I however agree with you, and while I would line up to see a Steve Jobs presentation, I can take a pass watching Tim Cook. It’s not a big deal for me and it’s not worth calling for his resignation as he has superb leadership qualities and is maintaining that innovative panache that Apple is renown for.

          Insofar as your comments about the Wall Street analsyst. Steve Jobs did not like them, Tim Cook does not like them, I don’t like them. That’s not a Tim Cook, or Steve Jobs issue, the lack of comprehension and respect comes from Wall Street. If you are looking for a stock to make money from a growth company look elsewhere. I’m happy with Apple, the dividends are nice and I’ve more than made up on my originals investment. I don’t expect the price to go up to $500.00, it will probably hover around $100 for a long time, and I’m fine with that.

          So there you go, some food for thought.

          Have a good one.

          P.S. My apologies to George for us not finding a hotel room (I don’t think Jay could afford me).

  2. you need to cook your pancakes before the batter “collapses” to get the maximum thickness and lightness of the pancake to get the most of your batter.. oh wait, that was a typo….. oops

    sorry, carry on…

  3. When Vogue (Vogue!) has a more interesting, deep article about Apple and Jony Ive than any tech mag or site I’ve seen in months (tech sites currently haemorrhaging with stupidities like bend gate ) it tells you something about the level of tech reporting….

  4. every time I read objective articles about Ive and watching him in interviews I’m impressed with him.

    I’ll rather buy stuff made by a guy like him who honestly loves his work and obsesses over the product than from a company like Samsung which from everything I read and feel seems only to be out for the money.

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