Jony Ive talks about design theft, and much more, in U.K. interview

Jony Ive talks about design theft, and much more, in U.K. interview
He's the SVP of design at Apple, which makes Jony Ive a very interesting interview. He recently sat down with the Sunday Times in the U.K. and made some fascinating comments. First of all, according to the executive, those who steal Apple's designs are committing "thefts." And while he might not mention Samsung by name, you know that the Korean rival would have to be near the top of the names in his mind.

 Ive talked about how he and the late Steve Jobs would put the utmost care into parts of a device that the public would never see. "It didn't make any difference functionally," said Ive. "We did it because we cared, because when you realize how well you can make something, falling short, whether seen or not, feels like failure."


While Ive would not reveal whether Apple is working on the rumored Apple iWatch, his response to a question about the wearable practically was anything but a flat denial. "Obviously I'm not going to talk about it, it's a game of chess, isn't it," he said. He also talked about the intimate relationship that buyers of Apple products have with their purchase. He considers those who wait in line for Apple's latest models to be demonstrating "against thoughtlessness and carelessness."

Don't forget that Ive took his design deeper into the workings of the Apple iPhone when iOS 7 was released. He replaced Scott Forstall, former iOS chief, whose refusal to take written responsibility for the failed Apple Maps debut led to his "removal" from Apple. Ive went with flatter, more pastel colors and remove the skeuomorphic icons beloved by Steve Jobs and Forstall.

Even though design is Jony Ive's job, he says that everyone he works with at Apple has great respect for how a product is made. "Objects and their manufacture are inseparable. You understand a product if you understand how it's made." Speaking of which, he once took apart his iPhone and put it back together, just to prove that he could do it.

source: TheSundayTimes (SubscriptionReq'd) via 9to5Mac, CNET

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37 Comments

1. Duketytz

Posts: 534; Member since: Nov 28, 2013

Makes sense since he is always surrounded by Apple products.

2. Kishin

Posts: 706; Member since: May 30, 2013

This is why i care about design so much..

10. Feanor

Posts: 1341; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

Yes, but this interview is a bit of a product placement. I also work in this field and I'm telling you that Apple has similar stringent cost control with other OEMs and they definitely don't waste their time on taking care about the nice looks of invisible components "just out of motherly care" as Ive tries to convince us.

24. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Truth be told he said Jobs cared, which is why we don't see that any more.

3. KillerKeyboard

Posts: 372; Member since: Nov 21, 2013

Jony Ives? You mispelled it Alan F.

4. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Lol ios 7 is a pain for my eyes to watch

12. Sauce unregistered

Like your comments. Time for some Advil.

19. nestea unregistered

said fandroid...

26. Gsizzle

Posts: 39; Member since: Aug 19, 2013

I am a avid android fan, but I don't agree with your statement. iOS 7 is more soothing then what your portraying it to be.

29. AntiFanBoyz unregistered

Are you kidding? The iconography is the worst out there at the monent. The neonish green of the phone, messages, and FaceTime apps is atrocious... it literally hurts my eyes if I have the brightness above 50%. The dialer is awesome, the calculator is ugly as hell. It's a freakin' mess. There's about 20% where I prefer iOS7, otherwise I terribly miss the subtle elegance of iOS6.

5. jeff1434325

Posts: 97; Member since: Aug 07, 2012

meanwile in pluto...

6. guest

Posts: 371; Member since: Jun 13, 2012

Speaking of design theft, I think the iPhone 4 is a little upset that the 5 just stole its shape, made it a little longer and then they tried to cover it up by using aluminum instead if glass.

8. Feanor

Posts: 1341; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

Speaking of design theft, the winning prototype that turned out to be the highly acclaimed iPhone 4 was inspired by Sony and it was Jobs' desire for his designers to think of how a Sony smartphone might look like (Sony had no market presence back then)? Which makes sense seeing the current iPhone 4-like line up of current Xperias. They want to take credit back for the glass back they had used before.

7. alterecho

Posts: 1106; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

"And while he might not mention Samsung by name" I find many other vendors copying Apple (mainly in Laptops). Samsung is done copying anyone. Which is why their product design has flatly been the same since Galaxy S3.

11. Feanor

Posts: 1341; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

I sadly agree. Samsung is indeed a copycat. Once they were done copying Apple (I would say actually that only the original Galaxy S was a real copy of the iPhone), they stopped making any noteworthy designs. They made a small effort with the GS2 but ever since then their design is a downward spiral.

13. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Jony Ive talk as though he is the only person that know design. Open your eyes. The Macbook design has not been changed for the past 7 years. The iPhone design also has very no change since iPhone 4. He always follow the same whiteroom video presentation every year. Are this the signs of an creative person? He is overhyped just like most of Apple products.

15. Luuthian

Posts: 332; Member since: Sep 09, 2011

And do any of those devices need a new design? Notice how absolutely fantastic they are as is? Notice how not just Apple but other vendors have barely changed the design of their devices in several years? Changing the color of the plastic or adding a larger screen does not count as a redesign. Virtually all phones for the past five years have been rectangles with screens at the front. Given current technology, these devices aren't ever going to look much better or change distinctly. There simply isn't anything that requires a change. The tech might get better and the screen's might get clearler, but ergonomically there's only so many more design decisions you can make. Apple makes great products and in terms of build quality they really don't require much more work. They've hit an apex, and I actually think they're doing themselves a better service by keeping their tech the way it is. What you, and most other people, are really asking for is a software change, and that will never happen given Apple's software philosophy.

18. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

The designer that don't need to think for the past 7 years. Lol! Apple fans are quick to criticize others but fail to see the glaring flaws of Apple own products.

30. AntiFanBoyz unregistered

The Galaxy Note 3 is the best designed device I own, and I also own an iPhone 5.

35. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

He's just jealous because of hard competition. he's nothing more than a arrogant idiot. And he stole the original design idea from SONY's prototype

16. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

The guy is clearly full of himself. I wonder why, if Apple cares so much about fine detail, was iOS 7 so horribly buggy at launch? Why does the 5s have a disconcerting rattling sound from the camera module when you shake it a little? Yeah, Jony. Your company cares so much about the flawlessness of your products that you keep regurgitating the same basic design year after year, knowing that those customers who are "rebelling against thoughtlessness" obviously are rather thoughtless about the fact that they're buying the same damn thing for the seventh year running.

17. Lt.Green

Posts: 397; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

Utter bullsh!t.

20. techperson211

Posts: 1280; Member since: Feb 27, 2014

Poorly made objects? Is he referring to his iPhone ? And yet overpriced. Well your right about 1 thing is that you are ripping off consumer for your so called premium products.

21. Elfmonster unregistered

Haha. Quality Apple? My last three MacBooks had DVDRs that broke within two months, one MacBook arrived at my house with a faulty logic board, and each of them lost their screen brightness and original batteries faster than a firefly blows out. I used to be so rah-rah Apple, I convinced my Dad to switch to Apple. But I hate Apple these days. My most recent MacBook sits in the closet while I have converted everything to Android and cloud drives. No mas, Apple. And this lying guy, what a load comes out of his mouth.

22. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Funny he talks about design theft when most of his work is a rip off of Braun designs: http://gizmodo.com/343641/1960s-braun-products-hold-the-secrets-to-apples-future

33. PBXtech

Posts: 1032; Member since: Oct 21, 2013

http://everythingisaremix.info/blog/everything-is-a-remix-case-study-the-iphone Interesting perspective on how much copying really goes on in the mobile world. For Apple to sue anyone just shows what a hypocrite they really are.

23. alrightihatepickingusernames

Posts: 474; Member since: Dec 29, 2013

"against thoughtlessness and carelessness." We both know that's BS Jony, they're there because most of the time they don't think, or care about other options.

32. EclipseGSX

Posts: 1770; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Lol, had to change your gross username? YW :P

25. rob5150

Posts: 183; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Has anyone noticed most dishwashers and laundry machines have the same basic corners and shapes? Even their doors look similar and have the same purpose. It is how the technology inside differs. Just like car radios or Hammers. And get this.. Cell phones too. Apple didn't invent clicking icons on a screen with your finger. I remember in Hallmark card stores about 1990. You pressed on screen icons with your finger to select to build custom greeting card. Enough of the baby stuff.

27. fredmode01

Posts: 19; Member since: Jul 17, 2012

Man, this guy is high on extasy.. too much self estime.. I'm not an hater, nor a fanboy, Apple products are just ok to me, not insanely good, not crappy bad, just ok, as in 'they do their work really fine'. Overpriced ? sure they are, but that's another problem. Is my 2008 iPod nano still alive ? YES it is, and THAT is amazing ! Do I still use it ? Not that much, but it looks still good. But when I read this kind of stuff from this guy, I'm just laughing myself to death. Dude.. oh, sorry, I meant 'Sir', you've designed iOS 7, THE ugliest design ever, and you've 'stolen' ideas from other existing platforms.. So please shut up, be humble, and go back to school, or at least just buy yourself some taste before talking about anything !!

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