The reasons why Jony Ive, the legendary chief designer, left Apple

The reasons why Jony Ive, the legendary chief designer, left Apple


A long-awaited book will shed light on what happened to Apple after the death of Steve Jobs. The latest article in the New York Times focuses on the events that alienated Jony Ive, the legendary chief designer of Apple.

The reasons why Jony Ive, the legendary chief designer, left Apple
Jony Ive and Tim Cook during the presentation of the iPhone XR in 2018 // Source: Apple

If you’re not following Apple News, be aware that a long-awaited book will be released this week called: After Steve: How Apple Became a Trillion Dollar Company and Lost Its Soul. You can find it at 25 euros at Amazon France.

This is a book written by New York Times journalist Tripp Mickle, which tells the story of Apple’s evolution after the death in 2011 of its founder Steve Jobs. The title clearly indicates the overall tone of the book and apparently accurately represents the thought of Jony Ive, the legendary chief designer of the company, which eventually led to his decision to leave to start his own business.

While waiting to pick up this book, Tripp Mickle published an article in the NYT (” How the technocrats triumphed at Apple“), Based on the book, which focuses precisely on the events that separated Jony Ive from Apple, first philosophically and then more specifically.

Disagreements with Tim Cook

The bottom line is that despite their mutual respect, Jony Ive and Tim Cook (now Apple CEO) saw things differently on a number of key issues.

For Jony Ive, design has always been the top priority, you say, while Tim Cook has had a more realistic and user-friendly approach. Whether we’re talking about the latest Mac Studio or the latest MacBook with all these ports (and the memory card reader!), We seem to be far from the designer’s passion for the clean and minimalist product line he has created. It’s one of the most iconic examples, but the first fractures date back to 2014, when the Apple Watch was released.

The reasons why Jony Ive, the legendary chief designer, left Apple
Apple Mac Studio // Source: Frandroid

For Jony Ive, the Apple Watch was supposed to be a luxury product. He had imagined an extremely lavish presentation, comparable to a haute couture parade, in a white pavilion that cost $ 25 million. The goal was to impress the Vogue reporter more than any other technician. Tim Cook agreed, but only to a point, and a long series of arguments then led Jony Ive to feel unsupported by his own company for the first time.

Over the years, as we know, the Apple Watch has become a relatively popular and mainstream product and has become more and more focused on fitness and health, with luxury versions becoming more and more popular.

The Apple Watch Series 7
The Apple Watch Series 7 // Source: Arnaud Gelineau – Frandroid

Tim Cook always tried to please or please Jony Ive as much as possible because he feared that his departure would have a serious impact on the value of Apple stock. At the same time, however, Jony Ive was increasingly stressed about the significant increase in his workload following the departure of Steve Jobs, when he became full director of the design department.

Almost overnight, he was found to be managing more than 100 employees, from a team of 20 he had managed for years. Tim Cook tried to offer a compromise by allowing him to work part-time and from home, abandoning his day-to-day management tasks and focusing solely on designing new products. But in the end he did not succeed and at the end of 2019 the creator of the iPod, iPhone and iPad said goodbye to the company in which he worked since 1992.

Jony Ive also disliked Apple’s transition to a service company. The chief designer complained that the company was hiring corporate executives or, as he called them, ” accountants“The sad truth is that Jony Ive’s presence was less necessary in the new Apple. Although his work has been instrumental in building Apple’s success, the American band has changed a lot.

Jony Ive’s lack of interest resulted in the famous meeting to determine the final design of the iPhone X. After three hours of waiting, the top twenty software designers introduced the new smartphone features to Jony Ive. In the end he left the room without commenting to the teams.

The reasons why Jony Ive, the legendary chief designer, left Apple
Apple iPhone X

Currently, Jony Ive is still working for Apple from his own company called LoveFrom. But its flagship customer is now Ferrari. An electric car could be Jony Ive’s next big thing, but we’ll have to wait at least until 2025.

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