Jony Ive is the quiet creator behind Apple’s most famous products, but over the weekend, he gave an interview to The Sunday Times about the current state of design, Apple copycats and even memories of the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
Ive, senior vice president of design at Apple, said that there’s a general misconception that users don’t care about design as much as other aspects when it comes to today’s gadgets, but added that Apple has challenged that way of thinking.
“We’re surrounded by anonymous, poorly made objects,” said Ive. “It’s tempting to think it’s because the people who use them don’t care — just like the people who make them. But what we’ve shown is that people do care. It’s not just about aesthetics. They care about things that are thoughtfully conceived and well made. “We make and sell a very, very large number of (hopefully) beautiful, well-made things. Our success is a victory for purity, integrity — for giving a damn.”
Ive went on to say that Apple’s future is limitless as technology continues to evolve and present new opportunities. But a current aspect of of the tech industry that seems to be holding innovation back is copying the products of another company.
In fact, Apple has been in a lengthy battle with its top smartphone competitor Samsung since April 2011, when Apple initially called Samsung an iPhone and iPad copycat. The two have been flinging lawsuits back and forth ever since with attempts to ban each other’s products.
“It’s theft,” said Ive. “What’s copied isn’t just a design, it’s thousands and thousands of hours of struggle. It’s only when you’ve achieved what you set out to do that you can say, ‘This was worth pursuing.’ It takes years of investment, years of pain.”
Ive is a longtime member of Apple. He joined Apple’s design team back in 1992 and most recently took the reins with iPhone 5S/5C and iOS 7 design. He even had a solid relationship with Jobs, which was no easy task.
Jobs passed away in October 2011 after complications with pancreatic cancer. But it’s not uncommon for Apple team members who were close to him to recount old times with the headstrong leader of the Cupertino tech giant.
“We’d get to the hotel where we were going, we’d check in and I’d go up to my room,” said Ive, referring to an experience with Jobs. “I’d leave my bags by the door. I wouldn’t unpack. I’d go and sit on the bed and wait for the inevitable call from Steve: ‘Hey Jony, this hotel sucks. Let’s go.'”
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