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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple's product design has improved since former design chief Jony Ive left the company in 2019, according to an opinion column by Bloomberg reporter Alex Webb.


Webb believes that Apple has reemphasized function over form since Ive's departure. For example, while the design of the previous Siri Remote for the Apple TV made it easy to pick up the remote upside down by accident, a new Siri Remote was released in May with an improved design and added power and mute buttons for a TV.

There's also the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models this week, which feature the return of several ports that Apple had removed in 2016, including an HDMI port, an SD card slot, and MagSafe. Function over form certainly applies here, as the new MacBook Pro models are slightly thicker and heavier than the previous-generation models, but gain back expanded connectivity that many professional users appreciate having.

Webb argued that the flat edges on the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models also prioritizes function over form, arguing that the curved edges on previous iPhones made the display prone to cracking if the devices were dropped on their sides.

"There is merit in sometimes listening to your customers, particularly when the pendulum has swung too far away from function and towards form," wrote Webb. "After all, you're liable to lose professional customers – architects, musicians, film-makers – if they can't plug their laptops into external monitors. And professional users can afford to pay for the top-of-the-range devices that are more profitable to Apple."

Webb acknowledges that perhaps at least some of these design changes would have happened under Ive, but he ultimately feels there has been a change of philosophy.

We also think it's worth noting that Ive might have had a hand in designing some of the aforementioned products before his departure, and possibly even after given that Apple announced it would remain a primary client of Ive's independent design firm LoveFrom. Apple said that Ive was involved with the design of the colorful 24-inch iMac released last April, well over a year after he departed the company.

Of course, as Webb notes, Apple would not be the same today without Ive, a highly-respected creative who helped design some of the company's most iconic products, ranging from the iMac and iPod to the iPhone and iPad.

Article Link: Apple Designing More Functional Products Since Jony Ive's Departure, Argues Bloomberg Reporter


macrumors 65816
Aug 11, 2014
Nothing of proof here... Jony designed plenty of Macs loaded with ports -- most notably all those legacy machines made prior to the 2012 retinas that had no shortage of ports.

Heck, the 2006-2008 MacBook Pros prior to Unibody had full-size DVI ports... what an ugly sucker that port is.


macrumors regular
Apr 7, 2004
All I can think is that the notch exists on the iPhone because of hardware constraints. If it doesn’t exist on the iPad Pro, there’s exactly zero reason they couldn’t do without it on the new MacBook Pro.

MacBook Pro lid is 4mm thick. You can’t stack the camera and the LCD on top of each other in such a small space. Therefore you need the notch if you want the small bezel.

iPad Pro is 7.8mm thick.


macrumors 65816
Jul 25, 2002
Glad they kicked him to the curb

As MacBreak Weekly pointed out....Ives left during the timeframe that all these major product changes would have been started to be planned out. I hate that he is still contracting with them. I would rather them cut the cord. There is nothing more demoralizing to your designers than telling them they can't do it on their own and farming out decisions to a firm by a former leader who by all reports stopped showing up more than 1 day a week.


macrumors member
Oct 15, 2020
California, USA
Ives only left in 2019 - it’s pretty likely he’s had a say in some of the designs of products we’ve seen released over 2020 & 2021. Apple roadmaps their products years down the road - so it’s hard to say what design decisions he has influenced in products that have been released since he left. Especially since we don’t know how drastic Covid 19 impacted apple’s product road map


macrumors member
Nov 12, 2010
San Diego
All I can think is that the notch exists on the iPhone because of hardware constraints. If it doesn’t exist on the iPad Pro, there’s exactly zero reason they couldn’t do without it on the new MacBook Pro.
If iPad pro was to have a smaller bezel, the notch would be there. Thank goodness it doesn't have smaller bezels because it would be more difficult to hold without activating stuff on the screen. I'm thinking they can reduce the bezel on the ipad pro to where you can still hold it and the screen would reject it as a touch? kinda like palm rejection? but only around where bezels would be? I don't know.


Staff member
Feb 1, 2005
Twin Cities Minnesota
Mad respect for Johnny, and I do feel some great products came out under his reign. That said, I think his form (or design) over function did start to run him later in his years.

Some Great products
- Original iPod
- Original iPhone
- Powerbook G4 aluminum
- Powermac G5 (Later Classic Mac Pro)
- iMac (G3-G4-G5)
- iBook G3 (OG) especially in Lime ;)
- Touch Bar (that item not the product it was in)

Some Meh products.
- Original hockey puck mouse (iMac G3)
- Magic Mouse (charge location)
- iBook G3 (2nd generation) (the hinge system was terrible and destroyed video cables)
- earpods
- various keyboards
- Later MacBook Pros with zero ports besides USB-C

All just my opinion. None look as awesome as the Macintosh Quadra 840av™


macrumors regular
Jan 27, 2011
Apple started caving to the mob since Ive left. Everything thicker and heavier, obsolete ports being put back… the golden era of Apple design has gone. We’re headed towards being Dell with a notch. But hey the YouTubers will be happy, so…
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