Pundits suspect Apple’s Jony Ive no longer involved in iPhone, Mac product design

“According to numerous reports said to be out of Apple headquarters, the company’s Chief Design Officer Jony Ive hasn’t contributing much to Apple’s consumer goods design as of late, and has been more interested in architecture and similar projects for the last few years,” Mike Wuerthele reports for AppleInsider.

“Based on comments that he had heard over time, long-time Apple journalist Jason Snell and John Gruber speculated that Jony Ive is focused on Apple’s “Spaceship” campus and store design with retail head Angela Ahrendts,” Wuerthele reports. “‘I’ve heard that he has lately been checked out or not as directly involved with product design and that he’s been largely focused on architecture,’ said Gruber on his The Talk Show podcast.”

“he pair discussed the possibility that Ive ‘has assumed a Jobs-like role’ within Apple,” Wuerthele reports. “Gruber and Snell postulate that Apple’s car project, recently rumored to be dramatically scaled back, was originally started at Ive’s bidding, and the rumored collapse is the herald of Ive’s future departure from the company. Potentially reinforcing that belief, the pair discuss rumors floating about that the recent coffee-table ‘Designed by Apple in California’ tome was ‘decreed’ by Ive, is his swan-song, and acts as a portfolio of the designer’s work.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Well, Jony certainly wasn’t involved with the design of the Apple TV’s Siri Remote – unless he was drunk during the 20 minutes that were lavished on its so-called design.

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

Prescience:

Steve Jobs is 48 years old. Reportedly, he is a vegan and in very good health. May he live to be one hundred! May he live forever, but that’s probably unlikely. So, I’m back to the beginning; what happens when Steve Jobs dies? Or, a bit more hopefully, when he doesn’t feel like leading Apple Computer, Inc. anymore and decides to kick back and relax? Since Jobs returned to lead Apple, every Apple shareholder, employee, and avid company watcher has asked themselves this question at some point, “whither Steve Jobs?”

Pixar has John Lasseter and a crop of young, talented directors to carry on post-Steve. But, who will lead Apple? Is Steve grooming someone, yet? Is it too early to worry about it? …I mean, come on, we all lived through the Scully, Spindler, and Amelio years; Apple barely did. On the face of it, the closest Apple has to a successor-in-grooming is Phil Schiller. No offense, Phil, but the RDF hasn’t rubbed off. Leading Apple is a very tricky proposition. Only one man so far has pulled it off successfully. Twice. The key ingredients seem to be a quest for perfection, a passion for the technology and the company, and the ability to relate Apple’s ideas to the world with style. Jobs is truly the charismatic force that propels Apple forward in the face of tremendous odds.

Right now, it looks like Apple’s best hope, and a very good one at that, is Jonathan Ive, Apple’s Vice President of Industrial Design, the London Design Museum’s “2003 Designer of the Year,” and chief designer of the original and current iMacs, iPods, iBooks, PowerBooks, Power Mac G5, and more. He seems to work well with the engineers responsible for the hardware. He is obviously a meticulous genius. And he has “that certain something” which, importantly, comes across on camera and in person. Whether he has the extremely rare “vision thing” that Jobs possesses; well, that’s still an open question.

SteveJack, MacDailyNews, August 20, 2003

SEE ALSO:
‘Designed by Apple in California’ photo book chronicles 20 years of Apple design, dedicated to the memory of Steve Jobs – November 15, 2016
Steve Jobs left design chief Jonathan Ive ‘more operational power’ than anyone else at Apple – October 21, 2011

23 Comments

  1. Jony threatened to leave a few years back (confirmed through several different sources, many of whom went public). Then Apple, under Cook, gave him much more flexibility in what he chose to pursue and control over product design than he even had under Jobs.

    Jony, like most creative minds, is always searching for new avenues to interest him. If Apple isn’t developing any new, groundbreaking products, then he will get interesting in things like architecture or cars or airplanes.

    The scary thing is that last sentence.

    If Apple is not pursuing new products that keep Jony’s interest, what the hell does Apple have coming in the future? Anything?

    1. Shadowself has it completely backwards. Ive is supposed to generate the interest through creative vision and strategy, which is now sorely missing since all of Jobs initiatives are exhausted. Ive may be a genius at ID but he seems to shirk accountability as Chief Creative Officer not even showing up in his chauffeured limo. He’s part of the problem not the solution. Cook also lacks strategic vision and executive communication skills to represent the largest shareholder base in the world.

      1. You seem to misunderstand my point.

        Creativeness in Industrial Design has reached a point of diminishing returns on everything from the iPhone to the iMac. So Jony is looking elsewhere — and Tim has not given him any new things to chase so he’s chasing stuff that is absolutely not where he should be spending his time. They gave him the power to chose and no reason to chose Apple products, so he’s chasing other things than Apple products.

        1. I think your missing rfsfo’s point. What should Jony’s focus be on? The campus and retail stores? Or a new ground breaking product. Seems to me all Jony can actually do is make a pretty port less product. White washed user interfaces and no ports on a MacBook are not groundbreaking but do show design taste. Where MDN is wrong is they think Ive is a successor to jobs, he just the “flavoring”. The successor must be a VISIONARY first and foremost. Neither Tim Cook or Ive is that. Hell we would be better off with Elon Musk. Visionaries change the world. Everyone else seasons the soup.

        2. Yes. Diminishing returns. Especially when Apple’s home country’s legal system lallows your arch enemies, nemeses (plural of nemesis?), and competitors to outright COPY and STEAL its designs. (Judge Koh even chastised Apple for suggesting otherwise.) Sad.

  2. Thanks for your contributions, Jony. Please clean out your desk by noon. Keep your scrapbook.

    Now can apple please hire someone who knows the difference between a consumer appliance and a proper computer???????? Redesign all your Macs. Every single one.

    1. To be fair, Jony is good at figuring out how to arrange the innards of a computer. Open up a Dell and it looks like they threw a bunch of parts in a bag and shook it until a laptop came out.

      They say that if you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. In Jony’s case, he has an iron and an ironing board, so everything looks like a wrinkled shirt. He makes things flat.

  3. MDN take regarding Apple better off without Cook, and he needs to be reassigned if not let go, is correct.

    That said, we don’t know who made the decision to abandon Mac Pros sacrificed at the altar of THIN.

    If Jony made this decision, yup, clean out your desk …

  4. Now if he’d only get out of the UI design business. Research and usability testing should go back into the design process. Apple owes us something better than a UI that looks like an extraterrestrial circus poster.

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