Jony Ive on Apple Watch: 'Everything We Did Was in the Pursuit of What We Thought Was the Best Solution'

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 9, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple's design chief Jony Ive, who is responsible for overseeing the creation and design language of almost all of Apple's products, even down to its stores and campuses, recently sat down for an interview with Benjamin Clymer, the founder of watch-focused site Hodinkee.

    Ive shared details on the creation process behind the Apple Watch, some of Apple's inspiration for the device, and the experts the company consulted with, along with background on the first watches he purchased, Apple's focus on health, what he finds inspiring, and more.


    Ive's first watch of note was an Omega Speedmaster, which he says he bought in 1992 on a trip to Kowloon. Ive says he was "utterly seduced" by its use in space exploration. "Somehow it epitomizes the optimism, ambition, and courage of invention," he said. Ive said he also admires the Nautilus by Patek Philippe, which he describes as a "bizarre, bizarre object."

    According to Ive, Apple CEO Steve Jobs had no particular interest in watches, and so early discussions for the watch didn't take place until 2012, a few months after Jobs passed away. The death, said Ive, caused Apple to "think about where we wanted to go" and what trajectory Apple was on as a company. Apple was also exploring its contribution to its users. "I think, incontrovertibly, that Apple since the 1970s has made difficult-to-comprehend and inaccessible technology easy to understand and accessible."

    The Apple Watch, with its focus on the personal, was the next logical step in device development, and its creation was different from many of the products that came before it because there were existing references. "Normally there are no parallel products from which to learn," said Ive. Given the historical context of the watch, though, Apple did something "highly unusual" and consulted a range of experts.

    Ive says Apple asked seven experts for their assistance with the Apple Watch while it was still in development, and he provided details to Hodinkee. Apple consulted Will Andrewes (a horologist with 40 years of expertise), Jonathan Betts (Curator Emeritus at the Royal Observatory), Dominique Fléchon (a specialist in antiquarian horology), Grégory Gardinetti (Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie historian), Claudia Hammond (a writer and psychology lecturer), David Rooney (Keeper of Technologies and Engineering at the London Science Museum), and Chris Lintott (an astrophysicist at the University of Oxford). Marc Newson, who Ive said is his best friend, was also involved in the Apple Watch's development as he had designed several watches in the past.

    Apple wasn't aiming to solve a particular problem with the Apple Watch, according to Ive. It was more so a "matter of optimization - of opportunity." In the vein of "opportunity" Ive also alluded to future Apple Watch development and how much more impressive the idea of opportunity is to him because he knows the technology Apple has in development.
    Despite the early input from horological experts and the storied history of the watch, Ive says there were no homages in the Apple Watch. "Everything served a purpose," said Ive. "Everything we did was in the pursuit of what we thought was the best solution." Ive used the digital crown as an example, which he said "took a modicum of courage" to implement with Apple's typical disposition towards "direct manipulation."

    According to Ive, one of Apple's aims with the Apple Watch was to "broaden how relevant we were," which is why the company explored new materials like the gold and ceramic that's been used for higher-end Edition watches. Ive says that working in gold and ceramic was "purposeful" for expanding "who Apple is" and from a materials science perspective as it will help with the development of future products.

    Health-based capabilities were "an early and significant focus" of the Apple Watch, and Ive says that feedback from customers who have had health benefits from the Apple Watch has been hugely motivating. In fact, he says that he finds customer feedback much more motivating than Apple's new position as the largest watchmaker by revenue.
    The full Ive interview, which goes into much greater depth on many topics surrounding Apple Watch development, can be read over at Hodinkee.

    Article Link: Jony Ive on Apple Watch: 'Everything We Did Was in the Pursuit of What We Thought Was the Best Solution'
  2. Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
  3. meaning-matters macrumors 6502


    Dec 13, 2013
  4. Applebot1 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2014
    What ever, the Apple Watch can be so much more. Start with battery life.
  5. theheadguy macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2005
    The entire article is quite boring, actually.
  6. NT1440 macrumors G4


    May 18, 2008
    You know the watch actually got a hair thicker in iterations right?
  7. CLS727 macrumors regular


    Feb 5, 2018
  8. Superhappytree, May 9, 2018
    Last edited: May 9, 2018

    Superhappytree macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2015
    "According to Ive, Apple CEO Steve Jobs had no particular interest in watches"

    I can see why. No offense to anyone who bought one, I'm sure they have their use cases but they are just meh to me and I still have no interest in them or the product category in general. I don't see the Watch as the game-changing product like the iPod, iPhone and iPad were.
  9. jerryk macrumors 68040

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    Make the watch that works with Android phones and I will consider it. Until then I will use my $199 Fitbit Versa. It does 90% of what I need, is over $100 cheaper, 1/3 the weight, and lasts 4 days without a charge.
  10. Superhappytree macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2015
    No thanks. iOS will never get any better, he's the one who initially ruined it in the first place with the redesign that we're still feeling the effects of 5 years later. I don't think he has it anymore in regards to hardware either. Things like the notch, protruding camera lens, ugly antenna lines and the keyboards on MacBooks getting stuck and generally being inferior.
  11. gugy macrumors 68030

    Jan 31, 2005
    La Jolla, CA
    I was skeptical of the AW. I am not in love with the design but, I end up getting the series 2 when it launched because I wanted a swim tracker. Man, in a weird way the ring challenges made me a better swimmer and my fitness level is way better now due to all the tracking data. Also, AW has some quite nice features that I use daily.
    Ideally, I would wish Apple made a band so I could keep the mechanical watches that I love, but in the end, I think AW was a very positive experience and I am on my second one. Good job Apple!
  12. archvile macrumors 6502


    Oct 27, 2007
    I enjoy the Apple Watch. I am glad Apple dove into a new product category and made it, as well as all of the marketing efforts that have gone into selling it. It compliments the Phone very well and I enjoy wearing it, as a former (dumb) watch wearer. The Stainless Steel models are the only ones I will buy, though. Waiting for a solid revamp of the design but fortunately my Series 2 still has some years left on it. I don't think at the time that Apple could have picked a better product category to break into.
  13. Johnny907 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 20, 2014
    So targeting the fashion industry with ridiculously overpriced models that now have a small fraction of whatever they were originally valued at was the “best solution?”
    I wish Ive would just admit they completely botched the initial roll out, and if not for changes that were made with the Series 1 and 2 models that both lowered the price and returned focus to functionality instead of fashion the Apple Watch would have failed spectacularly.
  14. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    You have two wrists. :D
  15. iapplelove macrumors 601


    Nov 22, 2011
    East Coast USA
    They just haven’t sold me on the watch yet. iPhone, iPad etc it was hook line and sinker... I wanted one!

    But the watch, meh
  16. bladerunner2000 macrumors 68020


    Jun 12, 2015
    Unfortunate because the watch ended up being a dud. Oh well.
  17. partsofspeech macrumors member


    Apr 6, 2018
    Apple’s next products predictably would be iRing, scented iCandle, and iBling-Bling.
  18. fairuz macrumors 68000


    Aug 27, 2017
    San Jose and Berkeley, CA
    That's how I feel about it, but more negatively. Apple did a great job with the design, and it's probably the best smart watch*, and they're making money off it. But smart watches just aren't cool and don't solve any real problems. Fitness trackers are and have been around for the advanced non-timekeeping functions.

    Watches are jewelry, and one of the few that everyone can enjoy wearing (many men find necklaces and other things weird). Smart watches, i.e. ones capable of functions using a screen, have to compromise on the style.

    * One thing though, does it lag? It was so horribly laggy when I tried it in the store that I couldn't believe anyone would use it, so I assumed that's not normal.
  19. Dave245 macrumors 603


    Sep 15, 2013
    The Apple Watch is one of Apple’s best products to date, I love my Series 0 and this is coming from someone who never use to wear a watch before, the health and fitness related aspect is brilliant I can track my run, calories burned and so on but it also enables me to see notifications without needing to take my phone out of my pocket all the time. Quickly replying to txt is simple and easy the watch faces can be changed and the overall design is just brilliant.

    It’s a very nice looking fashion accessory and I think people probably don’t appreciate how great it is that the bands can be swapped out so easily and changed, I can change from a sport band when going for a run to a leather band when going out to a restaurant or a more formal occasion.

    My wishlist for future Apple Watch would be, more battery life, more health features and expand the case materials maybe add more colours to the Ceramic model as well.
  20. tzm41 macrumors regular


    Jul 11, 2014
    Boston, USA
    It was a dumb product I found useless... Until I got one myself. And it had helped me stay in shape and keep being motivated.
  21. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    I tried one for 18 months but I've now gone back to my mechanical watches.
  22. ThunderSkunk macrumors 68030


    Dec 31, 2007
    Colorado & Ontario
    Hm. So I'm with Steve on this one. Along with a lot of his other positions, it seems. Odd, I wasn't a huge Jobs fan while he was alive, and am certainly unfit to judge his character as a person, but the more Apple strays from what it was under him, the more I'm beginning to appreciate a lot of his ideas on product.
  23. Will.O.Bie macrumors 6502


    Aug 29, 2016
    A golf cart to drive around that massive building? ;)
  24. WWPD macrumors regular


    Aug 21, 2015
    Ten Forward
    "I couldn't be more excited to introduce you to our latest product...iRing. And here to show you how it works, Frodo Baggins."
  25. Xavier macrumors 68030

    Mar 23, 2006
    The Apple Watch is a seriously impressive device if you think about how technology has progressed. It is everything and more than the iPod was and in a smaller form factor. It is a fitness and health tracker which does a better job then some of the Garmin devices I have used. It has app integration with the iPhone. It has a cellular connection.

    Think a little deeper about what technological advancements have made it into a form factor as small as a watch and how these things are now almost considered a given.

    While I don't own one yet as I think the battery life needs to catch up with the device (battery tech is a different discussion) I do see myself getting one in the future.

Share This Page