Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Former Apple designer Jony Ive and OpenAI's Sam Altman are in advanced talks with SoftBank's Masayoshi Son to launch a $1 billion venture to build "the iPhone of artificial intelligence," according to the Financial Times. The news follows a report on Wednesday that claimed Ive and Altman are in discussions about creating an AI gadget.


According to FT, Altman wants Ive's design agency LoveFrom to help develop the ChatGPT creator's first consumer device. From the paywalled report:
Altman and Ive have held brainstorming sessions at the designer's San Francisco studio about what a new consumer product centered on OpenAI's technology would look like, the people said.

They hope to create a more natural and intuitive user experience for interacting with AI, in the way that the iPhone's innovations in touchscreen computing unleashed the mass-market potential of the mobile internet.

The process of identifying a design or device remains at an early stage with many different ideas on the table, they said.
Son, Softbank's founder and CEO, has been involved in some of the discussions, which have centered around creating a company drawing from Softbank, Altman's OpenAI, and Ive's LoveFrom design agency.

Son is said to be pitching a central role for British chip designer Arm, in which the Japanese conglomerate holds a 90% stake. Son is also offering $1 billion investment in the venture, according to the report.

Ive is said to have been concerned about the compulsive nature of smartphone users' behavior, and the designer sees the project as an opportunity to create a way of interacting with computers that is less reliant on screens.

Discussions are said to be "serious," but no deal has been agreed, and it could be several months before any official announcement, cautioned people with knowledge of the matter. Any resulting device would likely remain years away from launching.

Ive left Apple to begin LoveFrom in 2019, recruiting at least four of his former Apple colleagues to work with him at the firm, including Wan Si, Chris Wilson, Patch Kessler, and Jeff Tiller.

Article Link: Jony Ive and OpenAI in Advanced Talks to Build 'the iPhone of Artificial Intelligence'
Last edited:


macrumors member
Apr 14, 2023
It's an obvious idea.

I am wondering how people make use of a 1Bn dollar investment though - how do you even spend this much money in a startup.

OpenAI was a different story they spend a huge chunk of their Billion dollar Microsoft investment back in MS Azure server rentals, so it's a win-win there.


macrumors 6502
Nov 7, 2012
Although I am genuinely curious what Jony could come up with, I’d be surprised if this would become a success. It wil be hard to tear people away from TikTok, Instagram, and all the functions smartphones can do these days. Adding a good interface to smartphones seems to me to be the better route.


macrumors 6502a
Sep 13, 2012
I hope it's unapologetically plastic vegan leather, but with no plastic vegan leather in the packaging by the end of next year. And I hope it has organic wi-fi, crypto NFT support and is completely carbon neutral.

This ''''''article'''''' is another one that is so thin on details, it could have been written by Jony Ive himself.

Omega Mac

macrumors 6502a
Aug 16, 2013
"It's so Intelligent, there's nothing artificial about it, magical meets you, "Intelligence" the new IX"
Ha ha I thought I'd coined that phrase, but it seems to obvious, a quick search and bingo:

Poor Ive and Altman, they're gonna have to Elon Musk iX if Musk doesn't get there first! :D


macrumors 68020
Nov 7, 2017
Thinking something very much like from "Her", not a phone, although it might could make calls. Something focused just on direct communication with an AI, probably largely audio.

Sunglasses seems doable tech wise.
I think that movie is going to be seen as prescient, yeah.

So you’d imagine a device whose:

- primary input is audio
- the screen showing the results of what the ai has found / done for you (flight times etc)
- using the screen for typing when you can’t speak / accessibility (deaf / hard of hearing)
- limited selection of apps/functionality- clock, music / podcast playback. Video playback (but doubtful it will be designed for you to watch video for any length of time).
- web browser, email, calendar, reminders all purposely bare bones.
- Wi-Fi / 5g

And by then, chat got will be able to remember and know much more about you so they really are an assistant in your life.

If you’re learning Spanish, it will remember what you’ve learnt, what your weaknesses are etc.

What table you like in your favourite restaurant. What your grocery order tends to be etc etc etc.

And it’ll be interesting by then, of how much chat gpt will be on your handset versus how much will be in the cloud.

You could imagine a hybrid with more advanced features remaining in the cloud.


macrumors 6502a
Oct 13, 2021
The word "experience" for me is quite esoteric in connection with tech products. It often means making the interface simple and taking away choices from the customer. When Facebook talks about improving the experience, that sounds like a thread to me. If I want an experience, I go on a journey. A tech product should just work.

If you want to build the next great smartphone, the design should be last on your list. Smartphone designs really are no magic.

The complicated part is developing AI chips that are better than the ones you can already find in the phones by Apple, Google and Samsung.

And Sam Altman can't be taken seriously anyway. He developed an AI and created a billion dollar company with it and that's great, but then he came up with stupid ideas like "Worldcoin", which is a complete ponzi scheme and might land him in jail next to Sam Bankman Fried one day.


macrumors 6502a
Dec 28, 2007
Former Apple designer Jony Ive and OpenAI's Sam Altman are in advanced talks with SoftBank's Masayoshi Son to launch a $1 billion venture to build "the iPhone of artificial intelligence”
I think now we know why Apple ended the contract with LoveFrom.

No way Apple can continue working with Ives when he wanted to create something they would likely compete with iPhone. They probably knew this since Ives formed the company and Apple didn’t want to risk having Ives get some aspect of neural engine and Siri intelligence that would aid ChatGPT.

Also would’ve gone against Apple’s philosophy of privacy first. Would be weird for Apple to have contract with company that is working on a product that would not only compete but also go against Apple in terms of privacy.

(Unpopular opinion, but for me, I really wished Apple Silicon MacBook lineup was thin as Touchbar MacBook Pros. Ives would’ve likely found compromise that brought ports we have now while keeping it thin and simple. Unfortunately we never saw it because Apple killed the contract with LoveFrom)
Last edited:
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.