Skip to main content

Apple lead designer Jony Ive is leaving to start his own company

Apple chief design officer Jony Ive (middle) tests out a product at the 2019 Apple Worldwide Developer Conference.
Apple chief design officer Jony Ive (middle) tests out a product at the 2019 Apple Worldwide Developer Conference. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Apple’s head of design Jony Ive is leaving the company.

Apple announced Thursday that Ive will leave the company later this year to form his own independent design firm — which will have Apple as one of its major clients. In other words, while Ive is leaving Apple, he will likely still play a major role in the design of Apple products, at least for the foreseeable future.

As Apple’s chief design officer, Ive changed the face of modern design. From the company’s most popular Mac models to the iPhone to the Apple Watch, Ive’s designs have inspired countless knockoffs over the years — yet Apple products have continued to remain distinct and unique.

“Jony is a singular figure in the design world, and his role in Apple’s revival cannot be overstated, from 1998’s groundbreaking iMac to the iPhone and the unprecedented ambition of Apple Park, where recently he has been putting so much of his energy and care,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.

Ive’s new company will be called LoveFrom, and it will launch in 2020. It’s not clear what other clients Ive will have, but we do know that designer Marc Newson, known for his work on aircraft design, furniture design, and jewelry design, will join Ive at the new company. Considering both Ive’s and Newsom’s history, it’s easy to imagine that he will be able to get new clients relatively quickly.

So who will fill Ive’s beautifully designed shoes as Apple’s head of design? According to Apple, design team leaders Evans Hankey, vice president of Industrial Design, and Alan Dye, vice president of Human Interface Design, will now report to Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. In other words, no single figure will take over for Ive just yet.

“After nearly 30 years and countless projects, I am most proud of the lasting work we have done to create a design team, process and culture at Apple that is without peer,” Ive said in Apple’s blog post. “Today it is stronger, more vibrant and more talented than at any point in Apple’s history.”

Apple also announced that Sabih Khan, a longtime Apple employee, is being promoted to the executive team as Apple’s senior vice president of operations.

Editors' Recommendations

Christian de Looper
Christian’s interest in technology began as a child in Australia, when he stumbled upon a computer at a garage sale that he…
Apple Music to livestream concerts starting this Friday
amazon tickets

Apple is about to begin livestreaming select concerts as part of its new Apple Music Live feature. It kicks off with Harry Styles’ gig at the UBS Arena in New York later this week. Anyone around the world with an Apple Music subscription will be able to access the content.

Apple said the livestreams will “give the biggest stars in music the biggest possible platform to flaunt how they connect with audiences and how their songs translate to live performance.”

Read more
Apple starts selling refurbished iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro
The back of the iPhone 12 Pro being held by someone.

Apple has started selling certified refurbished iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro handsets on its website.

The move comes almost 18 months after the high-end phone launched in 2020.

Read more
Apple is the only company that can pull off an iPhone SE
iPhone SE 2020's Touch ID sensor.

The iPhone SE is a remarkable device in that it is remarkably unremarkable. Where other companies are pushing the boundaries on their midrange and cheap devices, luring customers with insane and powerful designs, and pushing colorful combinations, wild cameras, and more in a desperate bid to grab just one more sale, Apple's SE is a retread of years past. More than a peek into the future, the SE is a snapshot of the past, a time capsule packed with tech and an aesthetic thought from bygone days. Were it made by any other company, they would be laughed right out of the metaphorical room.  And it works because Apple can capture the two things to appeal to its primary customers: Nostalgia and sales.

The very first iPhone SE launched in 2016. Coming a few months before the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, it was easily recognizable for what it was: An appeal to nostalgia. Sure, you can get the newfangled iPhones with larger screens and rounder designs, but the iPhone SE served the role of comfort food for those who wanted to cling to their iPhone 5 devices a little longer. The company didn't embark on the SE stage for four more years before it debuted the iPhone SE (2020) amid a pandemic and supply chain crisis. At that point, the SE not only served the role of cheap phone, but that of a small iPhone in a pre-iPhone Mini world. If reports are correct, yet another SE will debut tomorrow -- cheap, cheerful, and a throwback to the 2017-era iPhone 8.
An iPhone is an iPhone is an iPhone
The iPhone SE differentiates itself from other cheap smartphones because it is an iPhone. This isn't kowtowing to Apple's branding power as much as it is admitting a certain threshold of quality, of fit and finish, is expected with iPhones that you won't find in Android models of similar pricing. The iPhone SE is also built from the shell of what was once a flagship device. Even if it is now outdated, that weight, both literal and metaphorical, still remains. It goes beyond skin deep, Apple truly does equip them with flagship-level internals, without qualification.

Read more