The man who designed the iPod ponders the question with furrowed brow. "That's a good one," says Jony Ive, when asked what he would turn his talents to if Apple no longer required them. There's a long silence, then a whispered, thoughtful and prolonged answer that boils down to one thing. He's not going anywhere.
"Look at that chair. We understand it because its form and function are the same thing, which is how the manufactured world has been for hundreds of years," he says in a soft British accent. "And then incredibly and relatively recently, there's this opportunity but with a set of problems to create objects whose forms don't hint at what they do. And they're packed with incredible sophistication and capability."
Ive twirls his iPhone 5s in his hand, then smiles.
"It all feels so new and all-consuming," Ive, 46, tells USA TODAY. "It feels like we're just getting started."
If Apple has a design wizard, it is Ive. He joined the company in 1992 and has been the fertile and detail-obsessed mind behind culture-shaping products such as the lollipop-colored iMacs (1998), the iPod (2001), iPhone (2007) and iPad (2010). His work has earned him countless design awards, flattery in the form of product imitation and even a new name -- Sir Jonathan -- courtesy of Queen Elizabeth II.
Most recently, Ive and his hardware design group collaborated closely with teams led by Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, to dream up the newly launched iOS 7 operating system and 5c and 5s iPhones. Industry observers and consumers alike see these new products as critical to proving that the company Steve Jobs created can still think differently.
While the affable and well-coiffed Federighi, 44, often bounds onstage like a game-show host at Apple developer and media presentations, the privacy-loving Ive appears only in polished videos. But as Apple seeks to fend off competition from the likes of Samsung and other Android armies, the reserved knight of this digital Oz is peeking out from behind his curtain.
In a rare interview, Ive, joined by Federighi, settles into a spartan meeting room with a simple black-and-white photo of a MacBook on one wall and the new lineup of iPhones on a counter. Over the course of an hour, the pair discuss their teamwork, personal philosophies and commitment to Apple's unwavering mission. (continued...)
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Posted: 2013-09-22 @ 5:40pm PT
"The man who designed the ipod?"
I don't see Tony Fadell's name anywhere in the article.