28 June 2019

I was surprised to read the news of Sir Jony Ives’ departure from Apple this morning. The legendary designer is the behind the revolutionary iMac, iPad and of course, the iPhone.

Ives is moving to start his own creative firm, LoveFrom, and Apple is set to be its first client. In my experience, a move like this only comes when a creative feels like their wings are being clipped in their current role. There’s also no denying that innovation has slowed at the tech giant in recent years. New devices have followed a predictable pattern of being thinner, smoother or with bigger screens, rather than revolutionary changes.

That’s not to say that I think that this move is to be seen as a negative. With the new venture, Ives is no doubt going to be reinvigorated and fired up to really make a mark on the world. And now, he can share that creative genius with businesses all across the world, rather than just one firm. That has got to be a great thing!

The most profitable product in history

When you look back at Ives’ history of innovation in design, it really is quite remarkable. His portfolio includes the iPod mini, the MacBook Air, the Apple Watch and AirPods. Each of these is or was wildly successful. They all played a part in transforming how we interact with technology.

His role in creating the iPhone not only changed how we expect to consume media, but also how consumers are driven to get the next, latest and greatest device. Which other companies have customers queuing overnight to get their hands on the latest model? The iPhone is also reportedly the most profitable product in history.

It is absolutely undeniable that Ives has been a core part of Apple’s growth over the years, joining the team long before it was the hugely successful business that it is today.

As iPhone sales have faltered recently, I do wonder what we can expect from the company going forward, particularly now without the foundation of their design creativity.

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