- After a legendary 27-year run, Jony Ive is leaving Apple and starting a new firm, called LoveFrom.
- “He has more operational power than anyone else at Apple except me,” Steve Jobs once said of Ive.
- See are the most iconic Apple products designed by Ive – the products that helped Apple establish itself as the premiere manufacturer of premium gadgetry.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
After a legendary 27-year run, Jony Ive is leaving Apple and starting a new firm, called LoveFrom.
It can’t be overstated just how influential Ive was, and is, at Apple: “He has more operational power than anyone else at Apple except me,” Steve Jobs once said of Ive.
When Ive first started at Apple in 1992, the company was seen by many as being on its last legs. Over the next few years, Ive would contribute his design expertise to products like the Newton, Apple’s ill-fated personal digital assistant. He almost quit on several occassions.
But when Jobs made his triumphant return to Apple in 1997 and took over as CEO, Ive emerged as a key lieutenant and a major creative force in the reinvigoration of the company. Together, Jobs and Ive saved Apple from an ignominious fate, and brought it to its present position of massive market strength.
Ive’s first big project with Jobs was the original, candy-coloured iMac, launched in 1998. The success of that machine re-established Apple as a major innovative force in the PC market, and set the stage for Apple to blow everybody away with the MacBook, the iPod, and later, the iPhone – all of which Ive designed.
Now, it seems, Ive is ready for something new – though, it should be noted, his firm LoveFrom will continue working with Apple.
Here are the most iconic Apple products designed by Ive – the products that helped Apple recover from near-certain doom and establish itself as the premiere manufacturer of premium gadgetry.
Ive’s first design for Apple was the MessagePad 110, part of its Newton line of pioneering personal digital assistants. These devices were innovative, boasting stylus input and other cutting-edge features, but they were never sales successes.
Ive’s first smash-hit came later: The original candy-coloured iMac looked like nothing else on the market when it came out in 1998. It got lambasted for not having a floppy drive — making this the first time that Apple got rid of a feature that everybody else considered standard, and then ended up looking like a visionary.
Starting in 1999, the iMac design would also give way to the similarly colourful iBook family of laptops, which looked funky, but would later be replaced by the more rectangular MacBook.
The Power Mac G4 Cube, another Ive design, wasn’t quite the same sales sensation, but it reinforced Apple’s reputation for making good-looking computers that stood out against the bland beige boxes that characterised the PC industry of the day.
The original iPod, too, was an Ive design. While music players had existed before, the sleek sophistication of the iPod, combined with its ease-of-use, started a revolution — and gave Apple the grounding it needed to establish its now-huge iTunes Music store.
Fast forward to 2007, and Ive made arguably his biggest stamp on the world of gadget design with the launch of the iPhone, which set the standard for how smartphones should look and feel.
Ive helped create an entirely new category of mobile devices with the iPad, unveiled in 2010. The iPad was the first in a wave of tablets that had most of the functionality of a laptop, and was slightly larger than the iPhone.
Ive also helped design some of Apple’s accessories, like the Apple Pencil. The Apple Pencil was unveiled in 2015 as a companion to the high-end iPad Pro, but was widely seen as an overly expensive stylus — and had the bizarre “feature” of needing to be plugged into the side of the iPad Pro to charge.
Ive took on mobile computing design yet again with Apple’s first wearable device, the Apple Watch, in 2015. Now in its fifth iteration, the Apple Watch supports a range of health technology, wellness monitoring, and cellular data options.
Ive even had his hand in Apple’s biggest project, its massive new headquarter and campus that was unveiled in 2017.
Ive never stopped working on Apple’s laptops, though. Most famously, he created the MacBook Air, Apple’s smallest, lightest, and thinnest laptop.
Indeed, Ive has had his hands in just about everything Apple has come out with in the past decades, including the new Mac Pro unveiled at Apple’s developer conference WWDC on June 3.
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