The well-known industrial designer Jony Ive has left his role as chief design officer at Apple in 2019 after more than 20 years working with the company. Ive created his own design firm, but he remained a consultant to Apple nonetheless. However, it seems that this partnership has now come to an end.
In a new report in The New York Times, journalist and writer Tripp Mickle has revealed that Jony Ive is no longer an Apple consultant. Citing two sources familiar with the contract, the journalist claims that the consulting agreement between Apple and Jony Ive is over, which means that Ive no longer has a role – even a small one – in Apple’s product development.
The agreement, which was signed right after I left Apple, expired in the last few weeks. Both Ive and Apple have agreed not to extend it. According to that The New York Times’ sources, some Apple executives were “frustrated” with how much the company was paying Ive at the same time that the designer was hiring some Apple talent for his own firm.
Ive and Apple declined to comment.
Jony Ive’s LoveFrom firm
When Jony Ive left Apple in 2019, Apple stated in a press release that the company would be a client of Ive’s new design firm called LoveForm. Since then, despite the partnership, Apple has never revealed which projects Jony Ive was involved in. Apple’s last product signed by Ive was the 2019 Mac Pro.
However, this doesn’t mean that I wasn’t collaborating with Apple before the end of the deal. In an interview for Zane Lowe’s Apple Music show, composer Hans Zimmer revealed that Jony Ive helped Apple design the AirPods Max wireless headphones, introduced in late 2020.
Jony Ive worked on the development of iconic Apple products such as the iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, and the Apple Watch. His projects are well known for their minimalist style, which certainly helped Apple achieve the status that the company has today. Previous reports revealed that in his last years working at Apple, Ive was “overwhelmed” by leading the company’s design team for decades.
Last year, Jony Ive’s firm LoveForm announced multi-year partnerships with major companies like Ferrari and Airbnb.
As for Apple’s design team, it is currently led by Alan Dye (Vice President of Human Interface Design) and Evans Hankey (Vice President of Industrial Design) – both of whom worked for years at Apple under Ive’s supervision.
Some argue that Apple’s products have gotten considerably better since Jony Ive left the company. For example, the MacBook Pro has been made thicker again to accommodate more ports – while Jony Ive stood for an ultra-thin MacBook with a single USB-C port.
It’s unclear at this point whether the end of the partnership between Apple and Jony Ive will have a huge impact on the design of future products, such as the company’s rumored mixed reality headset.
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