Jony Ive’s guiding of Apple Inc. is making some people uneasy

“Apple pessimism is on the rise. New Apple products are being questioned like never before. Even some of Apple’s most loyal customers are beginning to wonder about Apple’s direction,” Neil Cybart writes for Above Avalon. “While many are directing criticism towards Tim Cook, nearly all of the criticism pointed towards Apple can in one way or another be traced back to a different person: Jony Ive.”

“The two most powerful people at Apple are Tim Cook and Jony Ive. While Cook is tasked with making sure the Apple machine is being run by the best team possible, Jony’s role is much more abstract. Cook aims to foster collaboration at the top of Apple’s functional organizational structure. If something goes wrong, much of the criticism is quickly pointed at either Cook or one of his top lieutenants,” Cybart writes. “However, the one area Cook does not have complete control over is product strategy. That distinction belongs to Jony. It may seem hyperbolic to consider Jony the most powerful person at Apple. He no longer spends much time managing anyone on a day-to-day basis. He doesn’t speak on Apple’s earnings conference calls. Wall Street knows very little about him, and neither does Silicon Valley. In fact, following his recent promotion to Chief Design Officer, Jony doesn’t even spend as much time at Apple HQ these days. Yet Jony has such a significant influence over Apple’s product strategy, it is safe to say we are firmly within the Jony Ive era at Apple.”

“Some think Apple’s design-led culture doesn’t fit within today’s changing tech landscape. Others think Apple is running out of ideas. Instead, the opposite is true,” Cybart writes. “By doubling down on design, Apple is placing a rather large bet. Apple executives think design will continue to allow Apple to remain focused on the customer experience. It is this customer experience focus that will then keep Apple relevant and able to ride the technology waves like no one has done before. It all comes back to Jony and the ID philosophy that is guiding Apple. If you have doubts about Apple, you probably are uncomfortable with Jony’s vision for the company.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We’re not at all uneasy. Since Steve Jobs passed, Jony Ive has always held the most power at Apple.

Jony Ive is the most important person at Apple.MacDailyNews, May 27, 2015

What Jony wants, Jony gets.

The fact is that Apple without Jony Ive is worse off than Apple without Tim Cook. Tim Cook is easier to replace than Jony Ive.

Steve Jobs called Jonathan Ive his ‘spiritual partner’ at Apple. He told his biographer Walter Isaacson that Ive had ‘more operation power’ at Apple than anyone besides Jobs himself — that there’s no one at the company who can tell Ive what to do. That, Jobs said, is “the way I set it up.” — MacDailyNews, May 25, 2015

It is obvious, however, that Jony has checked out on some products. For example, the horrendous Apple TV Siri Remote. There are so many usability issues with it from its size to button placement to upside-downness in the dark, that it’s clear Jony never saw the thing prior to shipment or, if he did, his mind was elsewhere at the time (Project Titan).

Despite some issues, we firmly believe that Big Things™ are in the Apple pipeline. Patience, Padawans.

SEE ALSO:
Where is Jony Ive? – March 28, 2016
Obviously, Jony Ive is preparing to retire from Apple – May 27, 2015
Jony Ive is Apple’s next Steve Jobs – May 27, 2015
What Jony Ive’s ‘promotion’ really means – May 26, 2015
Now Jony Ive will have an even bigger influence over Apple’s image – May 26, 2015
Stephen Fry meets Jony Ive, Apple’s newly-promoted chief design officer – May 26, 2015
Jony Ive gives up day-to-day managerial duties to focus on big picture – May 26, 2015
Jony Ive promoted to ‘Chief Design Officer’ – May 25, 2015
Jony Ive is the most powerful person at Apple – December 12, 2014
Jony Ive hasn’t been given too much power at Apple – because he’s always had it – February 5, 2013
Steve Jobs left design chief Jonathan Ive ‘more operational power’ than anyone else at Apple – October 21, 2011

40 Comments

  1. the new version of watch os – fantastic, the new version of apple music – fantastic, the new version of iOS – fantastic. so the question really is – has apple become a 2nd version to fix mistakes company – or have they figured it out and are now cranking out quality again?

    1. Not unusual seeing that at Apple or elsewhere. Nature of technology – how can anything be perfect out of the gate and all problems and potential solved from day one? It’s an ongoing process of improvements and reacting to your market. Takes Microsoft many many tries, and it’s still bad.

      1. Nobody expect it to be perfect. There’s no such thing.

        But people don’t expect the IOS update to brick their iPad pros either.

        Apple has fallen really, really low in quality without Jobs. Cook doesn’t seem to mind. Meanwhile, the Apple ATV4 remote is an ergonomic disaster and the hardware itself is way behind the competition. I suppose they have to wait to see what the competition comes up with so they can copy them.

        1. You seem to forget the mistakes made under Jobs watch too. You could probably go to any era of Apple and say the same things about what was happening then.

          “I suppose they have to wait to see what the competition comes up with so they can copy them.”

          I detest when I see anyone write that it’s so disingenuous and wrong. Apple doesn’t “copy” anyone, quite the opposite.

          A look at Steve Jobs’ biggest failures as Apple CEO:
          http://bgr.com/2016/06/28/steve-jobs-failures-app-store-ipod-hi-fi/

          1. True, Jobs made mistakes too … but when one looks at the hardware disaster examples on bgr.com’s list, we also find they all were also fixed – – and also within but two years (and a shout out to the “Can’t Innovate My Ass” Mac Pro trash can team: the Cube was killed before it became one year old).

            Considering that we’ve had the trash can for three years (& counting) and the single port MacBook still lacks some adaptors that should have shipped on Day 1 … and there’s been chronic discussions on the inadequacies of the thermal envelope on the iMac ever since it went “thin” … and customer-unfriendly moves such as soldered RAM, less/non-serviceable sealed boxes and literally going backwards on hardware specs on the mini (Quad I& dropped) … which, BTW, still hasn’t been fixed @ 22 months and counting.

            But don’t worry – a magical tube shaped electric car is going to make us forget all of the core business units’ shortcomings. Unfortunately, the only color that it will be offered in will be Zune Brown.

            1. The only good thing is I still feel good about my fully loaded 2014 Mac Book Pro without a lot of significant changes since then. Not so with the Mac Pro sadly. I think the end of this year and beginning of next with the Mac are watershed make or break periods, especially for pro’s gasping for upgradeable Mac Pro air, and other Macs “languishing” in the line. Let’s hope they’re listening.

  2. Neil Cybart over analyses Apple inc. in the abstract. I tend to listen more to Horace Dediu for a more reasoned and balanced view of Apple inc.

    Apple inc. being “design lead” is so yesteryear is effectively what Cybart is attempting to say, because some diehard technologists are pissed off with the evolution of the iPhone and Mac lines. Well guess what Neil, the real customers vote with their wallets and guess where all the cash ends up ….you got it, yes Apple inc.!!

  3. Form follows function.
    That’s what Jony says.
    Problem is, Apples computers don’t function that well in comparison to the competition.
    The Mac hardware isn’t being updated.
    Pro’s needs are being ignored.
    Jony thinks that slim is everything now, everything else is forgotten.
    Remember when we used to say “design is not just how it looks, it’s how it works.”?
    It doesnt work anymore.
    I’m a Mac user since 1989, I’ve had to add an SSD to a new mid range iMac just to make it usable.
    Ive had to build a hackintosh to get s decent gpu to play games.
    I’m dual booting Windows so I can play no mans sky, and guess what? Windows ain’t that bad.

    1. You aren’t the only one, but I’m skipping the whole Hackintosh deal and just buying a PC. Loyal Mac user since ’92, but they just don’t care about me or power users anymore.

  4. Jony Ive = form over function

    Thinner and thinner phones for no defensible reason
    Lower contrast icons in IOS
    The bag-o-crap which is iTunes

    I’m pretty sure Jobs actually used this stuff. Ive? Not so much.

    1. Yeah that’s exactly it, they are simply idling and the CEO concentrating solely on social issues. Brilliant deduction Holmes from your specious reasoning skills though the stockholders might be a little miffed. Maybe some day you’ll make it out of third grade Debate Class skill level.

      1. Thank God then that Apple have other presumably competent people like Federighi, Ahrendts, and Schiller to keep the foundering ship afloat until jambro can come up with the name of someone that can save them from Davy Jones’ Locker—hurry, jambro, lives are at stake!

    2. Herself is right! This is our most desperate hour and only YOU can save us Obi-jambro – you’re our only hope! (Mac can’t because he’s too busy cleaning extra messy bed pans in his graveyard shift orderly job.)

  5. Rubbish anti-Cook drivel.

    My iPhone, MacBook Pro, and iPad are tough as old boots and give daily service, helping me earn a living.

    Oops, nearly forgot the cordless Mouse. Ditto, tho’ it still continues to need its bi-monthly battery fix.

  6. There is nothing new about Apple pessimism or criticism of management. Anyone who has an actual memory, instead of re-manufactured histories read on the internet, knows that Apple was always unfairly treated in online media, and before his deification, Jobs was constantly accused of hubris and being in decline. Nothing new here. It’s always the same story. For a company that has constantly been reported in decline for the last ten years Apple is, amazingly, still here.

  7. If anything is awful at Apple today, its its design. It’s been at its lowest since the year after SJ passed. Starting with the childishly awful ios 7, the 6 series iPhone. The battery pack. The egregious faults at Apple point to the design people.

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