Jony Ive's Involvement at Apple Reportedly Tapered After the Original Apple Watch Launched in 2015

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
20,651
22,314
I find it quite amusing that one the one hand Ive has been checked out for years but on the other he’s apparently responsible for every product decision someone doesn’t like. Amazing how that’s possible.

My question is who has the final say if a product ships or not? Take the butterfly keyboard. Was it Ive who signed off and said it was good enough to ship? Does he make that decision? Did engineering and/or operations have a say? Were there employees inside the company who surfaced problems but Ive had the final say and said ship anyway? Or are these decisions much more complicated with not just one person deciding?
 

Paradoxally

macrumors 68000
Feb 4, 2011
1,587
1,813
Man, are the haters here really so full of impotent rage that they don’t see how fundamental Jony is to Apple’s success? It’s like John leaving the Beatles and people saying ‘good riddance’. I mean, Ive practically IS Apple.
They'll soon realize this once Apple declines within the next decade and competitors take away more and more of their market share in key areas (e.g., iPhone). If you look around, it's already happening and that iPhone XI camera arrangement isn't exciting anyone.
 
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borntrouble

macrumors 6502a
Jun 4, 2010
515
536
Germany
So the era of Jonathan Ive comes to an end. Apple's future will be very different from the Apple that Steve Jobs built. I fear, this might might not be in the best interest of what Steve Jobs intended.
 

edgonzalez32

macrumors 6502
Jul 21, 2011
339
390
Ooooh poor thing...the money bag was too heavy I guess. And what exactly made him tired? The years and years of same design for the iPhone and Mac lineup? Or changing the colour theme in iOS? Without someone like Steve Jobs pushing him he's just overrated as hell right now.
Design is really not as easy as you're trying to make it out to be. They did way more than change just the colors in iOS. And it was never Steve pushing him to do more. The two were just incredible collaborators. They pushed each other.

He probably wants to leave because he's tired of working in-house. At his core, he's a designer. With his new studio, I'm excited to see what other products he can push out.
 

Bin Cook

macrumors 6502
Jun 16, 2018
308
647
Not saying he was solely responsible for the Magic Mouse charging port, but this may be the most egregious act of poor design in Apple’s recent history.
How is responsible at all if he has not been on products since 2015?

People mentioning the notch and the touchbar. Is no-one reading the article?

He’s been on special projects since 2017 like stores, rainbow stages etc. Everyone good coming out of Apple is still by Ive.

Everything crap : Riccio, Schiller and Williams committee decisions.
 

The Man

macrumors 6502
Jul 7, 2004
477
106
With Ive gone, Forstall can go back! Just kidding. But really, rumor has it that it was Ive who wanted Forstall gone, or Ive would go. He put his foot down.

I always thought that when Forstall was brought in more and more during the Keynotes in Steve's days, he was set up to becomes one of the top people at Apple. He was a rebel, apparently, and other executives at Apple hated him. But when Forstall talks about design, I kind of agree with him, and I see the implications of going the opposite direction with iOS 7 and beyond. Ever since iOS 7, my mother (who also has eye disease) has great difficulty using her iPad. Hard to see buttons, small targets, and huge complexity in gestures and functionality. My mother now says that her old iPad was the one she could use, and the new one is useless. She also feels dumb and useless, because she can't figure things out. Apple has forgotten a certain target audience.

"When I look at good design, when I look for good design, I look for something which is easy to use. Approachable. Friendly. You can use it without a manual. It’s fun.

If you look at the designs we did at Apple, we talked about photo illustrative designs, metaphorical designs. And those were infused into the design sense of Apple by Steve Jobs since the original Mac if not earlier. The original Mac had a desktop and folders that looked very much like the desktop on which that Mac sat.

And so we used these design philosophies. It doesn’t mean that we loved every single part of it. It doesn’t mean I loved every single part of it. There’s definitely things that I was less a fan of than others.

But we built these designs that worked. And how do we know they worked? You just had to watch people use it."
—Forstall
 

Paradoxally

macrumors 68000
Feb 4, 2011
1,587
1,813
Not saying he was solely responsible for the Magic Mouse charging port, but this may be the most egregious act of poor design in Apple’s recent history.
The most egregious act is not the charging port itself, but the ergonomics of the mouse.

Think about it: how often do you have to charge the Magic Mouse vs how often do you actually use the mouse. Pick up a decent Logitech mouse and the difference is immediately noticeable (and I'm not talking about the charging): the Magic Mouse is terrible for your hand in the long-term.
 

Fixey

macrumors regular
May 16, 2017
165
145
It’s time for a change Apple designs have become boring and dull, the UI designs gets most of it’s ideas from jail broken stuff and Android

Apple no longer innovative it’s lost it’s way needs a fresh design team, new direction and stop thinking thick not thin laptops with zero ports
 
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The Man

macrumors 6502
Jul 7, 2004
477
106
How is responsible at all if he has not been on products since 2015?

People mentioning the notch and the touchbar. Is no-one reading the article?

He’s been on special projects since 2017 like stores, rainbow stages etc. Everyone good coming out of Apple is still by Ive.

Everything crap : Riccio, Schiller and Williams committee decisions.
Yeah, apparently the iPhone X and such were from lead Apple designer Richard Howarth. He also did the first iPods, many Macs and came up with great iPhone 4 design! So don't link everything to Ive!
 

unobtainium

macrumors 68020
Mar 27, 2011
2,266
3,036
Question: does macrumors have the most negative online forums in existence?

Anyway, Godspeed to Jony Ive. Some great design from Apple in the past few years (Mac Pro, AirPods, new MBA, iPad Pro) give me reassurance that there are great new design talents coming up at Apple. Look forward to seeing what the future brings, change can be refreshing.
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They'll soon realize this once Apple declines within the next decade and competitors take away more and more of their market share in key areas (e.g., iPhone). If you look around, it's already happening and that iPhone XI camera arrangement isn't exciting anyone.
People have been saying that since 2009.
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
20,651
22,314
This is Tim Cook in his interview with the Financial T8mes.
“The company runs very much horizontally,” said Mr Cook. “The reason it’s probably not so clear about who [sets product strategy] is that the most important decisions, there are several people involved in it, by the nature of how we operate.”
I think this puts to rest the notion that one person is responsible for decisions at Apple. Now whether this constitutes ‘design by committee’ and whether that’s good or bad is another discussion. But the idea that Ive unilaterally made product decisions is hogwash.
 
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Mainsail

macrumors 65816
Sep 19, 2010
1,137
980
People are being really harsh. If I had the success and resources of this guy, I would have pulled out of Apple a long time ago, opened my own studio so I could explore more creative freedom, and spent more time with friends and family. What is wrong with that?

As for being tired, critics should be cautious. There are lots of medical conditions that lead to exhaustion, and some are serious. I would not judge a person, and certainly we do not have any of the details to understand or appreciate his situation.
 

hawkeye_a

macrumors 65816
Jun 27, 2016
1,256
3,223
I guess that's that.

With Ive's departure, it's the end of an era that started with the iMac in 1997. The "dream team"* which brought us the iMac, TiBook, iBook, MacOSX, iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes is no longer at Apple.

*Avie Tevanian, Scott Forstall, Steve Jobs & Jonny Ive (among others)
 

benroberts3

macrumors member
Oct 18, 2012
70
126
Kansas City
The most egregious act is not the charging port itself, but the ergonomics of the mouse.

Think about it: how often do you have to charge the Magic Mouse vs how often do you actually use the mouse. Pick up a decent Logitech mouse and the difference is immediately noticeable (and I'm not talking about the charging): the Magic Mouse is terrible for your hand in the long-term.
The ergonomics were awful. I have a Logitech MX series mouse. Easily the most comfortable form fitting mouse on the market. The Magic Mouse was uncomfortable to use after 30 min.
 

hawkeye_a

macrumors 65816
Jun 27, 2016
1,256
3,223
“Tiredness” is code for ‘had enough with fighting office politics’.
I suspect you're right as well. The new management style probably did'nt mesh well with those who worked, and succeeded while Jobs was at the helm.

As an outsider, I know that I liked the products Apple made between 1997 and 2011 more than between 2012 to 2016, and I feel that has a lot to do with the people involved in making them.
 

P-DogNC

macrumors newbie
Sep 8, 2016
20
16
North Carolina



Following Apple's surprise announcement yesterday that Jony Ive is leaving the company, fresh details have emerged about the design chief's day-to-day involvement at Apple in recent years that suggest his exit has been a long time in the making.


Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports that after the Apple Watch launched in 2015, Ive had already started relinquishing his responsibilities because of the strain it was putting on him personally.

Around the time, Ive told the New Yorker he'd become "deeply, deeply tired," and said the year leading up to the Apple Watch debut was "the most difficult" since he joined Apple.

To extend his time at the company, Apple subsequently agreed to change his official role to Chief Design Officer, which allowed day-to-day responsibility of the hardware and software design teams to shift to executives Alan Dye and Richard Howarth.

From then onward, Ive began coming to Apple headquarters "as little as twice a week," and many meetings with his design team reportedly took place in San Francisco so Ive could avoid the long commute from his home in the Pacific Heights district to Apple's HQ in Cupertino, California.

Ive sometimes even met with his team at the homes of his employees, at hotels, or other venues, according to people familiar with the matter, while the design executive did much of his work at a San Francisco office and studio, which has now become the base of his new LoveFrom business.

Ive also frequently travelled to London, near to where he was raised, according to Bloomberg's Gurman.

About two years into his new role, at the end of 2017, Apple said Ive had re-assumed some of the leadership responsibilities he had previously given up, and Howarth and Dye were removed from Apple's leadership page. But still Ive only came to the office a couple of days a week.

Some people familiar with Apple are worried about the new design leadership, reports Gurman. With Ive leaving, longtime Apple designer Evans Hankey will run the hardware design group. Hankey, who has more than 300 patents to her name, is described as a "great team leader", yet one person familiar with the design team told Gurman that Apple "now lacks a true design brain on its executive team, which is a concern."

Hankey and Dye will report to Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams, who will likely gain more control over product direction, and some employees are also said to be concerned that the re-organization is another sign that Apple is less design-focused and becoming more of an operations company.

As for the fate of Richard Howarth, Gurman tweeted that he didn't want to manage the design team, whereas "Hankey is known as a better manager, but isn't a designer." The entire group of designers has been reporting to Hankey, "and she to Ive after Howarth was demoted from VP a couple years ago," said Gurman. "The [organizational] structure isn't actually changing."

Article Link: Jony Ive's Involvement at Apple Reportedly Tapered After the Original Apple Watch Launched in 2015
 

Defthand

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2010
1,274
1,631
"The design team is made up of the most creative people, but now there is an operations barrier that wasn't there before," one former Apple executive said. "People are scared to be innovative."

Bingo.

Large companies are bureaucratic by necessity. The people dynamic is also political. Without Jobs to rule on conflicting product opinions—I'll bet Ive was less influential and discouraged. Worse, majority opinion probably prevented Ive's more radical ideas from being considered. In fact, I'll wager that you won't see any design departures unless Apple's customers tire of the current ones. Apple is very corporate these days. They'll play it safe and stick with what worked previously.
 

HobbesInVA

macrumors 6502
Aug 29, 2018
259
329
Chesapeake, VA
"The design team is made up of the most creative people, but now there is an operations barrier that wasn't there before," one former Apple executive said. "People are scared to be innovative."

Bingo.

Large companies are bureaucratic by necessity. The people dynamic is also political. Without Jobs to rule on conflicting product opinions—I'll bet Ive was less influential and discouraged. Worse, majority opinion probably prevented Ive's more radical ideas from being considered. In fact, I'll wager that you won't see any design departures unless Apple's customers tire of the current ones. Apple is very corporate these days. They'll play it safe and stick with what worked previously.
Apple is the new IBM.