This is why Jony Ive quit Apple

John Arlidge for Wired

Making things for himself is now what Ive is going to do. But what? The clue actually comes from Ive himself back in 2013, when I met him with his friend and right-hand man, Australian designer Marc Newson, who is also leaving Apple to join him at LoveFrom. The two men wanted to show off a collection of their favourite “stuff” that would be sold at auction, with the proceeds going to RED, the charity set up to raise awareness and funds to help eliminate HIV/AIDS in eight African countries. “These are the objects we would really like to own ourselves,” Ive said at the time.

There was a Leica Digital Rangefinder camera “which has the minimum number of buttons. It doesn’t even have a ‘hot shoe’ bracket on top to mount a flash gun”. There was a Range Rover, with red accents in the metal exterior and leather interior “because the Range Rover is one of the very few cars that has stayed true to its essence”. Also, desks, desk lamps, chairs, pens and watches (analogue, surprisingly, not smart like the Apple Watch). It is these things – luxury goods – that Ive will craft next

MacDailyNews Take: We’re convinced Ive will make some beautiful things, using his advanced knowledge of new materials and manufacturing processes to transform ordinary objects into sublime items everybody wants to use.

Tim Cook fiercely disputes ‘absurd’ WSJ report in scathing statement about Jony Ive’s departure from Apple– July 1, 2019
Farewell Jony, and farewell Apple of old– July 1, 2019
WSJ: For years before his departure, Apple’s Jony Ive was ‘dispirited’ and ‘rarely showed up’ to weekly design meetings– July 1, 2019
Inside Apple’s long goodbye to design chief Jony Ive– June 28, 2019
Jony Ive is Apple’s next Steve Jobs– May 27, 2015
Jony Ive gives up day-to-day managerial duties to focus on big picture– May 26, 2015
It’s Sir Jonathan Ive’s Apple, Tim Cook just fronts it– September 18, 2013


  1. I’m surprised he didn’t leave right after Job’s passing. Operations guys pretty much suck at anything artistic. Every ops. guy I’ve ever dealt with pretty much was a dick.

  2. Think for a moment about what Jony said.

    “These are the objects we would really like to own ourselves,” Ive said.

    This implies that all the stuff he designed for Apple WAS NOT delightful stuff that Ive would be proud to own and use.

    That says a lot, and it diminishes my respect for him even more.

    It’s one thing to collect millions in unearned paychecks for years while your underlings churn out occasional uninspired updates to Apple hardware. It’s another to have so little regard for Apple — and especially Mac — users that you spend your time designing pens and analogue watches and Christmas trees instead.

    We get it that Cook didn’t assign Ive enough meaningful work and hold him accountable for his productivity and design quality. But it’s absolute BS for an executive to openly go play on bauble design while Mac users lived for 2013-2019 or 2020 without an expandable desktop Mac, for all current MacBook and MacBook Pro users to have shitty keyboards with inadequate stroke and durability. For millions of iOS users to have to buy overpriced replacement cables and adapters because the white crap Apple offered was not durable. The list of underwhelming design coming out of Apple for the last decade is too long. Obviously Neither Ive nor Cook paid attention to the details. Why did Ive continue to get paid???

    1. Right and all that is down to Ive is it? You clearly have decided you don’t like him and want to find reasons to support it. Fact is he could have left Apple and had the world at his feet any time since Jobs died and indeed would likely have been at the height of his appeal 3 or 4 years back. He stayed on no doubt out of loyalty to Jobs especially to see his vision for Apple Park followed through as Steve wanted it, without Cook specifying plastic door knobs. Equally had he left even 2 years back Apple’s share price and reputation may well have tanked so he probably put Apple before himself when he clearly wanted to leave, but allowed himself to be persuaded to stay but with a far more open brief in compensation to disguise and delay his decision.

      So these accusations of neglect and not being around that you so clearly hold against him. Are they true or just manipulations of perceptions of his new role being different to the old one. Even under Jobs he was taking an increasingly conceptual and overseeing rule. His new wider role was clearly designed to reduce his public exposure at Apple and reduce hands on design input so as to prevent Media break downs when he finally did leave.

      That has actually succeeded and logically during this process he would not be ‘in the Building’ high profile as he once was so as to let others flourish and allow lead to a seamless handover. Now that is at least as logical a scenario as any accusations of ‘neglect’ isn’t it. However to some internally it might have been percieved as such and passed on to hacks keen on making a bigger story of it, or indeed use the basic neutral information provided to them, to emphasise the point that that desirable bigger more controversial story needs, hardly uncommon in the media after all. And then of course none of us know how his relationship with Cook progressed which may have added a whole new layer to his work practices and studio Input. Let’s give him a break shall we. He deserves that.

      1. I don’t dislike him as a person. I dislike the way Apple has held him up as a figurehead and thrown money at him while he basically took a vacation for the last 4 years. The reasons to dislike such absurd reward for nonperformance are too many to list.

        You, in contrast, speculate without insider knowledge. “He stayed on no doubt out of loyalty to Jobs …”; “His new wider role was clearly designed to reduce his public exposure …”

        I call BS.

        The fact is that since 2015, when he was promoted to demigod Chief Design Officer, Ive appeared at Apple headquarters — you know, the big donut that you claim he felt such great loyalty to Jobs to finish to perfection — about twice per week on average. Team members report that in order to shorten his commute, he would meet with Apple employees at their homes or hotels rather than going to Apple Park. He took extended absences to his other homes in the UK and Hawaii and found time to work on literally dozens of non-Apple projects while collecting millions in pay from Apple.

        So I don’t know what planet you live on, but that’s not acceptable work ethic where I come from.

        Enjoy your buttery smooth “butterfly” keyboard.

        1. “I dislike the way Apple has held him up as a figurehead and thrown money at him while he basically took a vacation for the last 4 years.”

          “I call BS.”

          Gee, let’s just post the short list:

          New iPhone designs YEARLY. Redesigned Airpods. Redesigned iWatch. Redesigned HomePod.
          Redesigned Mac Mini.
          Redesigned MacPro laptop.
          Redesigned iMac Pro.
          Redesigned the big dog MacPro and then my work is done here.

          Also, in addition designed all the other side products your snide comments put down.

          Let’s face it Mike, you are in the same mode with criticism of Jony as President Trump.

          Meaning, you are TOTALLY BLIND to positives and only post negatives and appear really small.

          The reality you refuse to recognize is much broader in real life…

      2. I have to add — reports are surfacing that the last significant work Ive personally did which the public has seen is the 2015 Apple Watch. Ive did the early prototypes, and against objection within the Apple leadership team got his $10k gold watch launched. But of course as we all know it was Jeff Williams who actually did the heavy lifting. Hell, Angela was brought in to forge relationships with ultra-luxe companies to make accessory watch bands because Ive was just too busy .. or AWOL.

        Ive did have some pet projects that the public has not seen. This is probably a good thing. Commanding a car or television exclusively by Siri sounds like a disaster in the making.

        When you add it all up, you soon realize that the right thing for Jony to have done was to be honest, tell his employer that his heart isn’t in it anymore, and resign in 2012. Think of the poor Apple products that could have been avoided if only an engaged designer was working in Cupertino with the design teams.

      3. “He stayed on no doubt out of loyalty to Jobs especially to see his vision for Apple Park followed through as Steve wanted it”

        Certainly I have zero insider knowledge, but it sounds totally believable. Jony’s heart is and was with Apple. Cook’s heart is in a bank account.

        Awesome rebuttal…

    2. “This implies that all the stuff he designed for Apple WAS NOT delightful…”

      Nope. This implies Johnathan Ive wanted to design things that really did not fit within the scope of the products that Apple makes, like lamps, desks, chairs, sofas, and whatever else Ives wants to create. Sorry, but you completely missed the mark with this interpretation of what he said.

      The rest of your post is predicated on that false interpretation.

  3. Something that perfectly sums up Jony Ive:
    “There was a Range Rover, with red accents in the metal exterior and leather interior “because the Range Rover is one of the very few cars that has stayed true to its essence”.

    I’ve known a number of people that have owned Range Rovers over the past decade. They wanted an SUV that was a status symbol. Rare off road use, but was a standout when driving around town. ALL of these individuals got rid of them within a couple years due to near constant failures of this or that. One friend said that during the year he owned his the Range Rover was literally in the shop more than it was in his home garage or on the road. Everyone I’ve ever known that has owned one (from the basic models all the way up through one with all the bells and whistles) has complained about how unreliable they are.

    So, Ive is more interested in looks and style than reliability and usefulness. That says it all.

      1. Range rover has gone from a cool tough awesome off-road Amazon crossing capable vehicle in late 70s .. to a bogus pretentious suburban SUV. And he claims it has stayed true to its essence? Haha , truly out to lunch.

        Having heard that , I think im even happier now that is is not going to be the primary influencer at Apple anymore.

    1. The list of objects in the article is telling. These contain the extreme endpoints that delight a designer. Like people who delight in the exact shape of a font. Wonderful. But in the broader world we need objects that are also useful. I wonder if Steve kind of grounded him, helped make his designs practical. The chamfered edges are a delight, but we also need capacious batteries and fast computers inside to make them useful.

  4. In life, people come and people go. In tech jobs, that happens even faster. In a year, if Apple is doing well, Ive will become just another ex-Apple employee as all the thousands before him. Why some people think his departure will be the downfall of Apple is beyond my understanding. I’m always hopeful that someone new will be better than the person who left which is feasibly quite possible.

  5. Read all the posts.
    Everybody got valid points. Which is bizarre as they are often opposing views but I guess that is life and the confusing reports of Ive leaving.

    My two cent notes are:

    Apple DID give an official announcement a few years back that Ive was stepping back while two others took over the day to day running of the studio. Apple said that Ive was going to concentrate on the Campus and other things (retail with Ahrendts ?).
    Not much was made of this by the press.

    His name was still head of design though.

    There were shoddy products (although a bunch of good ones like AirPods , iMac Pro, iPad Pro with Pencil etc) and plenty of complaints about the Mac. I’m typing this on a upgraded 2010 Cheese Grater.

    But we can see perhaps why Jony Ive didn’t want to attend regular meetings and made himself difficult to access Remember officially he wasn’t doing day to day supervision of product design. The WSJ article mentioned that the designers although had authority themselves wanted Ive to sign off on things. But how could he as he was not officially working on products and wasn’t fully involved with them. I think he didn’t want the responsibility or liability to sign off on stuff he wasn’t intimately involved with, that’s why he made himself difficult to be accessed.

    That’s just my guess.

    (Ive did do all kinds of stuff like Christmas trees and charity Cameras , furniture etc. But all this was with the permission of Cook. so who is to be or more to be blamed ?)

    It’ll only be way in the future when people are not bound by confidentiality agreements that more of the truth will come out.

      1. i agree but many complain about connectivity. The ‘a’ chip sensor tech is awesome. Why it isn’t in a range of full sized speakers for Beats or something is bizarre. You have the tech and don’t fully use it (just like Mac OS vs Windows for years). They could give the big speaker companies a fight, probably chances of success ($) higher than things like news app.

        1. “i agree but many complain about connectivity”

          didn’t come out right, should be : “i agree its sound is good and many complain about connectivity”

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