Author of a book exploring the evolution of Apple after the death of Steve Jobs, Tripp Mickle returns at length to the departure of Jony Ive, the brand’s star designer, in an article in the New York Times. Disputes with Tim Cook are at the origin of this departure which marked a turning point for the side of Cupertino.
In June 2019, Jony Ive slammed the door of Cupertino to found his own design company. The departure of the Briton, knighted in 2012 and considered one of the most famous industrial designers in the world, is far from going unnoticed. For nearly 30 years, he participated in the rise of the Apple by imagining the shapes of the iPod, the iMac or the iPhone. Essential in the organizational chart of Apple, he remained close to Steve Jobs and the death of the co-founder and CEO seems to have pushed Sir Jonathan Paul Ive to distance himself from the firm which made him famous.
Tensions between Jony Ive and Tim Cook
Journalist and book author After Steve: How Apple Became a Trillion-Dollar Company and Lost Its Soul (After Steve: How Apple became a multi-billion dollar company and lost its soul), Tripp Mickle is a specialist in the Apple universe. In his book, he looks back on the aftermath of Steve Jobs and the relationship between Jony Ive, the firm’s star designer, and Tim Cook, who became its CEO. While waiting for the release of the book, he took up his pen in a long article called “How the technocrats triumphed at Apple”, to return to the departure of Jony Ive.
According to him, the announcement of the first Apple Watch gave birth to tensions between the two men. Focused on design, Jony Ive wanted a grandiose presentation and make the connected watch a “bolder product”. Opposite, Tim Cook was more pragmatic and less extravagant than the designer. This first conflict dating back to 2014 has never really been forgotten; it marks the beginning of a strained relationship between the two men. Despite Tim Cook’s stated desire to keep his designer, the relations are not ideal and lead to the departure of Jony Ive five years later, in 2019.
Marking a turning point for fans of the brand – who said goodbye to the one who imagined Apple’s flagship products -, this departure also forever altered the balance of power at the top of the company. Long praised for the design and ingenuity of its products, Apple has switched to a new strategy.
From magic to profits, Apple has transformed
While Steve Jobs and Jony Ive shared a common interest in design and the care taken in creating a product; Apple is become more traditional and it is not necessarily a criticism to say so. With Tim Cook, Apple has climbed the ladder to brew billions of dollars and settle at the top of the pyramid. The company has a complete and recognized range (iPhone, Mac, iPad, etc.) and has discovered an interest in connected objects (AirPods, Apple Watch) or services. Almost every time, the success is on the way for the American group, but the magic has somewhat disappeared.
Apple’s latest major advances are also not visible and concern the world of chips. The company has remodeled its image, to the great displeasure of Jony Ive who saw landing ” accountants in the offices of Cupertino rather than creators.
Today, Jony Ive is not cold with Apple and keep collaborating with the firm through his own company. The ex-brilliant Apple designer has also been seen on the side of Airbnb and more recently at Ferrari. A new large-scale project could even see the light of day in the years to come.