In his breathtaking profile of Jony Ive in the latest issue of The New Yorker, Ian Parker drops a bombshell. You know that crossguard lightsaber in J.J. Abrams’ new Star Wars movie? The gnarly, rough-around-the-edges one seen in the latest trailer? You can give Ive credit for inspiring it.
That got Martin Hajek thinking. The Dutch CGI modeler, who always loves rendering potential Ive designs, wondered what it would look like if Apple produced a lightsaber. Not something rough and spitty, but just as refined as any other Apple product. And so, the iSaber was born.
The mythical, elusive, rarely-seen-in-the-wild, Apple ID team. Photo: D&AD Awards
Jony Ive and his infamous design team aren’t simply creating the Apple products you use and love, their influence is reshaping Apple itself. On this episode, we look back at Jony’s humble start, and examine how Sir Ive and team became the powerful core of the world’s greatest company. Plus, we bet you just can’t wait to get behind the wheel of your very own Apple-made … minivan? We’ll fill you in on the latest Apple car rumors.
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What will the Apple Car even look like? Cover design: Stephen Smith
An Apple Car? Yep, you know it! Cupertino is all abuzz with latest evidence that the fruit-flavored computing company is taking a run at the highway with a possible new iCar, and we’ve got Lewis with the features we’d like to see there. Plus, Luke spends some time with the exhaustive New York Times post on Jony Ive, design genius, Alex dives deep into your new favorite iPhone game (Alto’s Adventure), David chats about one auteur’s thoughts on the film completely shot on an iPhone 5s, and Luke gets the inside scoop on one 25-year-old who’s made 600 iOS apps without even knowing how to code.
All this, plus a ton more (see below) in this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine, ready for download at your pleasure.
Motorola’s CEO isn’t happy about what Jony Ive told the New Yorker about his company. Photo: Motorola
In Ian Parker’s excellent New Yorker profile of Apple’s Jony Ive, the Apple design maestro is mentioned to be disparaging of an unnamed competitor who allows customers to make their devices into “whatever you want.”
Apparently, Motorola thinks the comment was about them, and Motorola CEO Rick Osterloh is now firing back, calling Apple’s pricing “outrageous” and taking issue with Ive’s comments.
It’s time for Jony Ive to get the credit he deserves. Photo: Portfolio/Penguin
People are calling The New Yorker profile of Jony Ive the most important thing written about Apple in quite a while, and I’d have to concur.
Not only is it full of fascinating details, it puts Ive at the center of Apple, where he belongs. As the piece’s author, Ian Parker, writes: “More than ever, Ive is the company.”
This is something that’s been true for a couple decades, but still isn’t apparent to most people — even veteran Apple watchers. Such is the company’s secrecy, and the tendency of the public to equate everything Apple does with Steve Jobs, that the true story has yet to be told. Ive has not gotten the credit he deserves.
What would a Jony Ive spacesuit look like? Photo: Sotheby’s
When you’ve designed some of the most successful consumer electronics in modern history, where else can you look but up?
One of the many interesting tidbits in The New Yorker’s 17,000-word profile of Jony Ive surrounds his fascination with the Apollo space program and, yes, designing spacesuits. It doesn’t sound like the spacesuit itself was what inspired Apple’s top designer as much as the process that went into it.
Ive mentions he’s been watching the old Discovery channel series Moon Machine about the challenges facing the Apollo program. NASA designers had no idea what goals they even needed to meet for the suit, but built up to the final design with invention after invention until they got it right.
An anecdote from The New Yorker’s time in Ive’s hallowed design studio (emphasis added):
This is the device they’ll remember Jony Ive for. Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac
If there’s one thing today’s New Yorker profile of Jony Ive hammers home, it’s how important the Apple Watch is to Apple’s design guru. The 16,000-word story reveals how Ive pushed the Apple Watch as a project, shortly after Steve Jobs’ death, when Apple was under pressure to come up with its next insanely great idea.
Apple could be sitting on a goldmine with its own Apple-branded car. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
As rumors of an Apple car start to gain speed, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has run the figures to find out what kind of business proposition automobiles could be for a company that tends to steer clear of small or low-margin markets.
His verdict? If Apple cars were even a “moderate success,” Tim Cook and pals could be looking at an extra $50 billion per year in revenues. To put that figure in context, it would be an increase of 23 percent on top of the already impressive cash-generating machine that was Apple in 2015.
The world’s most famous designer, Jony Ive. Photo: Apple
In what may be the longest magazine feature yet dedicated to Apple’s industrial design guru, the New Yorker has just published a sprawling 16,000 word profile of Jony Ive — taking readers from his early meetings with Steve Jobs up to the present day.
It’s jam-packed with fascinating tidbits about Ive, his secretive design studio, and Apple’s past and future. While I’d thoroughly recommend reading the whole article, here are the details that really leaped out:
Is Apple designing a car? Maybe that’s the real reason it picked up designer Mark Newsom, who created this concept car for Ford in 1999. Credit: Mark Newsom/Ford
Apple has set up a top-secret automobile R&D lab and is recruiting experts to possibly build a car, the Financial Times reports.
The lab is in a secret location away from Apple’s HQ. Apple recently hired the head of Mercedes-Benz’s Silicon Valley R&D unit, and has staffed the new lab with “experienced managers from its iPhone unit,” the Times says.
“Three months ago I would have said it was CarPlay,” said one of FT‘s sources. “Today I think it’s a car.”