Apple’s design head Jony Ive speaks his heart and mind in interview


Off late Apple has been in the news for its new iPhones, the #bendgate and for its second media event of the year, which is slated for the October 16. And the rumors about Apple devices, well we are growing old with them now. Besides the products, Apple’s ace designer, Jonathan Ive has been making the headlines. It was believed, Jony could part ways with the Cupertino tech giant, but Apple’s recent hiring of industrial designer Marc Newson, a close friend to Ive, may have put the hearsay to rest.

Recently, Ive went live on Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit, he was interviewed by Editor Graydon Carter. In the rear one-on-one interview (Ive is interview shy, he does attend fashion events, but interviews have been a rare coming from him) Jony talked about Apple’s principles, about the legendry Steve Jobs, and of course about product design and his design team.

Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design, Ive revealed something that most of us may find a little surprising. He said, Apple’s core design team only comprises 16 people and that they meet three to four times a week. What is more astonishing – according to Ive, no one has ever voluntarily left the team, which surely goes to prove the level of professionalism and commitment for work in the team.

In major part of the interview, Ive discussed routine and work at Apple, and talked about the late Apple C.E.O. Steve Jobs, who he referred to as the epitome of focus, he said “Steve was the most remarkably focused person I’ve ever met in my life.”

During the course of the interview, when Ive faced questions from the audience; member in the audience asked a question regarding Xiaomi – a Chinese phone maker, which is often referred to as “the Apple of China” – and is the Cupertino tech giant’s copycat rival.

Like the question, Ive’s reply was straight, clear and telling. He showed clear unacceptability of how Xiaomi was copying designs (that he and his team reach after detailed research and understanding).  Ive said, “I don’t see it as flattery. I see it as theft.” He was clear in saying that copying design is not “Ok at all”. He said, it is not flattering. Ive elaborated on his statement and took a jab at all tech companies that tend to copy Apple’s persuasive aesthetic.

Ive also discussed about the first-generation iPhone (a bulky prototype phone with attached microphone), which he said had to be put to rest because the team could not get a touch interface working on it. On being asked about why Apple reverted back to rounded edges on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and what took Apple so long to deliver a large-display iPhone; the design genius informed the rounded edges on the new iPhones make the smartphones feel thinner. He said, Apple made many attempts at creating large iPhone, but the significant square-edged design made the phone look and feel bulky.

Apple Watch was point of discussion too. Unlike, how we may perceive the wearable device, Ive views it as a move away from consumer electronics. Ive hinted, Apple would market the Apple Watch as a fashion accessory.

Video excerpt from the interview below.



Bharat writes about latest gadgets, toys, robots and new technologies across various platforms. In addition to reporting and reviewing new products and technologies, he spends too much time digging the internet for endless questions. He's a die-hard football fan and a big foodie who wants to host Man v. Food some day.

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