Marc Newson says auto industry is ‘at the bottom of a trough’

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Marc Newson is peeved at the auto industry but he loves vintage Ferraris.
Marc Newson is peeved at the auto industry but he loves vintage Ferraris.
Photo: Spanich Coches/Flickr

It’s an open secret that Apple is poised to take on the auto industry with its rumored electric car project, and according to Apple design guru Marc Newson, the automotive industry is stalled.

In a new interview, the Apple designer touches on a number of topics, ranging from his love of fountain pens to his current design pet peeve: boring cars.

Marc Newson wants to kick the aluminum bucket in Apple’s design studio

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Marc Newson and BFF Jony Ive.

Given how secretive Apple is, it’s no surprise that we know relatively little about the role of Jony Ive’s designer BFF Marc Newson, who works on so-called “special projects” for the company.

In a recent interview, however, Newson spilled a few beans about his work at Apple — including the fact that it consumes about 60 percent of his time, and is a job he hopes to hold “indefinitely.”

Who can blame him?

Marc Newson sets a world record with $3.7 million lounger

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Imagine lying on this and using your new Apple Watch Edition! Photo: Design Museum

Looking for a gorgeous chair to sit in while you get to grips with your brand new Apple Watch?

If you happen to have a spare seven-figure sum lying around, you could have snapped up this riveted aluminum and fiberglass beauty when it came up at auction yesterday — designed by none other than Jony Ive’s BFF and sometimes-Apple designer Marc Newson.

See Jony Ive and Marc Newson talk Apple Watch design

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Jony Ive gets animated as he talks about Apple Watch. Photo: Vogue
Jony Ive gets animated as he talks about Apple Watch. Photo: Vogue

Jony Ive and his BFF Marc Newson launched Apple into the luxury market this week with the Apple Watch, which expertly straddles the line between gadget and fashion accessory.

Apple’s dynamic designing duo sat down with Vogue’s Suzy Meeks this week to talk about their first foray into the fashion world — as well as what inspired them to create the Apple Watch. We rounded up the top 8 revelations from the pair’s appearance earlier this week, but Vogue just made the full interview available online, and it’s full of juicy insights into Jony and Marc’s thought processes.

Watch the full interview below:

Second wave of Apple Watch preorders could kick off May 8

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The Apple Watch is coming to Italy. Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Customers in Italy will be able to preorder the Apple Watch from May 8, according to an internal source speaking to Italian Apple website iSpazio.

If true, this will kick off the second wave of Apple Watch launches, with the first beginning in the United States and nine other countries earlier this month.

Tickets for Jony Ive’s ’21st-century luxury’ talk cost $4,100

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Marc Newson and Jony Ive Photo: Vanity Fair

Apple is diving into the luxury market for the first time ever with the exorbitantly expensive gold Apple Watch Edition. The pricey new timepiece has been met with criticism from Apple fans and haters a like, but according to Condé Nast, Apple is now a powerful player in the luxury industry and wants Jony Ive and Marc Newson to tell them all about it.

Jony Ive and Marc Newson will open the first ever Conde Nast Luxury Conference in Florence Italy in April 2015. The design duo will appear with event host, Vogue International editor Suzy Menkes, to discuss “21st century definition of luxury and their collaborative work to date.”

Apple Watch is totally a Jony Ive production

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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.

Here’s all the ways

Secret R&D facility suggests Apple might actually make a car

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Ford_021C_concept_car_Mark_Newson
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.”

Apple car? Cupertino’s got the design talent to transform another industry

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One of the designers in Apple's Industrial Design Group helped create this shape-shifting fabric-covered car for BMW. Photo: BMW

As rumors that Apple is making a self-driving car rev up, a peek under the hood of the company’s famed Industrial Design studio reveals a crew of talented automobile designers.

An interest in futuristic cars is embedded deep within the DNA of Apple’s vaunted design team. Working under Jony Ive, Apple employs designers who worked on several fantastic concept cars, including a fabric-covered BMW that shifts shape depending on speed.

Ive has long been obsessed by cars. (He has quite a stable.) As a teenager, Ive wanted to be a car designer. He visited a U.K. design school that specialized in automotives with a view to studying there, but he found the other students too weird. They were making “vroom vroom” noises as they sketched. Instead, he went to Newcastle Polytechnic (which has since been renamed Northumbria University).

A look at other key members of Apple’s design team, and at a super-secret research-and-development facility planned for the company’s new campus, offers a few clues about how Cupertino might go about producing innovative and unconventional cars.

Apple Watch shows up on the arm of mystery man

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Whose arm is it? Photo: Suzy Menkes

We’ve known for a while now that a fortunate few people with close ties to Apple have been testing the Apple Watch in the wild, but this may be our best glimpse yet.

Posted on Instagram by Vogue international editor Suzy Menkes, the picture shows a man’s arm (thereby ruling out Menkes herself) sporting the chic Apple smartwatch, which Apple has been heavily promoting in fashion and design circles.

“So here is that new Apple watch gleaming and glinting and performing at the dinner table,” Menkes wrote. “Who owns the arm?! A free Apple watch for anyone who guesses right!”

Sadly, she went on to add that she was “only kidding.”