Apple ends relationship with former design director Jony Ive, how do we continue to expect Apple‘s design?

Jul 14, 2022

apple's design

Whippet July 13 - Since former Apple design director Jony Ive left Apple in 2019, he has continued to work for the company as a consultant through his LoveFrom design firm, but now the partnership between Apple and Jony Ive has ended, ending a 30-year relationship, according to The New York Times.

In those 30 years, Jony Ive has helped define every rounded corner of the iPhone and guided Apple's development of the Apple Watch, the only new product category in recent years.

Jony Ive

In 2019, Apple announced that Chief Design Officer Ive would be leaving the company. Once the news was released, it immediately caused a buzz on the Internet, and even more so, Apple's stock price fell by 1% in response, shrinking by $9 billion, which shows its influence.

Although Ivey left Apple, but did not cut off the connection with Apple. At that time, Apple CEO Tim Cook assured customers that Ivey would work exclusively with Apple for many years. It is understood that after leaving Apple, Ivey chose to start his own design company. At the time, Apple signed a multi-year contract with him worth more than $100 million. Under the agreement, Apple restricted Ivey to work that competed with him and ensured that he would provide guidance for the development of future products, such as VR headsets.

But now, it seems that Ivey's relationship with Apple has come to an end. In recent weeks, with the contract set to expire, the two sides agreed not to extend it.

iphone design

A 30-year love affair

Although most people are not familiar with Ivey, they must be very familiar with a series of classic products such as iPod, iMac, iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, etc. launched by Ivey's design team. Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, once said of him, "If I have a soul mate at Apple, it's Jony Ive.


Apple's classic products

classic iphone 1st gen

The iPad, Apple Watch, Macbook Air, and Apple Park, Apple's spaceship headquarters, are also the work of Ive's team. Ivey's contribution to Apple speaks for itself, and Fortune once voted him the world's smartest designer.


Lost its soul? 

iphone 1st gen
Now that the two sides have stopped working together, many people are very curious about what exactly made the old friend who had been together for 30 years choose to part ways. According to multiple people who worked closely with Ive, before leaving Apple in June 2019, Ive increasingly recognized that under Cook, Apple was a bit more concerned with operations than with the design side of its products.
As Cook focused on selling more software and services, Ive's a role in this relationship with Apple changed and no longer played a pivotal role. And some Apple executives are already questioning the high fees Apple pays to Ive. Of course, Ive, for his Apple‘s design part, wanted to not have to report to Apple for his work and was free to entertain clients.

After Ivey left Apple, he was replaced by Richard Howarth, who was also a key figure in the development of each iPhone and the original Apple Watch.


In recent years, Apple has also launched many new products, including the iPhone 11 series to 13 series, etc. Although the products continue to be sought after by consumers, there are many people pointing out that these iterations are becoming more and more similar, with too much of a single style and no innovative leaps in design, and several products put together may not be able to find any difference, saying that they are "multiples It's not too much to say "multiples".


There are many people who believe that Steve Jobs' successor, Cook, is just a technical manager from the supply side, without the imagination of Apple's iconic founder. Some even threatened that Apple's products had lost their "soul" after the loss of Steve Jobs.


To change or not to change?

tear down iphone 1st

When Ivey led the team, the bold, minimalist, innovative style was reflected in the products, which often stood out from the rest. We can also feel the charm of design from Apple's successive generations of products and experience a different kind of touch. Today, Apple products are still minimalist, but they have lost a bold and innovative "drive".


Take the iPhone 14 series, which is expected to meet us in the fall, many renders of the new machine have now been exposed on the Internet. The appearance of the new machine is very similar to the previous generation, and the overall design does not bring a sense of freshness, and even disappoints some fruit fans. But in terms of performance and other improvements to the iPhone 14 is still the focus of the cell phone circle, once the new news exposure, related topics are immediately rushed on the hot search, proper top flow.


However, if Apple continues to give up on the Apple‘s design of the product to make innovative breakthroughs, and only knows how to do things by the book, it will be difficult to attract new consumers, and may even lose some disappointed apple fans.

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