Who is iPhone designer Jony Ive and why is he quitting Apple?

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APPLE iPhone designer Jony Ive is to leave firm whose fortunes he helped turn round. 

In the space of almost three decades Sir Jony was the driving force behind Apple which is today the world’s most valuable company. 

Apple Chief Design Officer Jonathan Ive (centre), point at a new Apple Watch to actor Stephen Fry (left)
Apple Chief Design Officer Jonathan Ive (centre), point at a new Apple Watch to actor Stephen Fry (left)
Getty Images – Getty

Who is Jony Ive?

London born Sir John is leaving to start a creative business called LoveFrom and Apple will be its first client. 

Apple boss Tim Cook said his “role in Apple’s revival cannot be overstated”.

He became head of Apple’s design studio in 1996, when the company was struggling and cutting jobs. 

“It’s the most significant departure of somebody who was a core part of the growth story” under Jobs, said Ben Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies.

What did he design?

The turnaround began with Sir Jonathan’s iMac in 1998, and the iPod in 2001. 

He led the design of the candy-coloured iMacs that helped Apple re-emerge from its near death.

Other landmarks of industrial design followed, including

  • 2004 – iPod Mini
  • 2007 – iPhone
  • 2008 – MacBook Air
  • 2010 – iPad
  • 2015 – Apple Watch
  • 2016 – AirPods


Jony said in a statement he was leaving to found his own company. 

He said: “This just seems like a natural and gentle time to make this change.

“After nearly 30 years and countless projects, I am most proud of the lasting work we have done to create a design team, process and culture at Apple that is without peer”.

He said Marc Newson, a friend and collaborator at Apple, would also join the new firm.

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