Apple's Jony Ive talks iPhone, Apple Watch and copycat devices in Vanity Fair interview

Posted:
in General Discussion edited October 2014
During a panel at Vanity Fair's New Establishment Summit, Apple SVP of Design Jony Ive offered up stories about his time at the company in a rare one-on-one interview, at one point revealing that he does not see copying as flattery, but theft.


Apple SVP of Design Jony Ive (left) interviewed by Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter at
the 2014 New Establishment Summit. | Source: Business Insider


Ive shared his thoughts on design and the tech industry with Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, with topics ranging from the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch to "copycat" devices, reports Business Insider.

While much of the talk covered details about Ive's routine at Apple, one audience member asked a pointed question regarding smartphone maker Xiaomi, which sometimes references itself as "the Apple of China." Ive's response was clear and telling.

"I don't see it as flattery. I see it as theft," Ive said. "When you're doing something for the first time and you don't know it's going to work. I have to be honest the last thing I think is 'Oh, that is flattering. All those weekends I could've been home with my family.' I think it's theft and lazy. I don't think it's OK at all."

On his time at Apple, the design guru said the company selected him during a world tour, forcing him to choose between working on the PowerBook or designing bathroom hardware at a UK ceramics firm. Ive commented on how different the two projects were, saying he ultimately opted for Apple.

"A beautiful product that doesn't work is ugly. The best things we've done are harmonious. I think design is the whole thing. Beauty is in that it works." - Apple SVP of Design Jony IveIve works with a small design team of around 16 or 17 people that meets three or four times a week.

When asked about the current iPhone 6 and why it took Apple so long to come out with a large-format handset, Ive said prototypes were made "years ago," but the result was clunky and not suitable for Apple's high standards.

"Years ago we realized this is going to be important that we have larger screens but we need to do a lot of things to make it a compelling product," he said.

Discussing Apple Watch, Ive said he views the product as a move away from consumer electronics, something hinted at by Apple's marketing of the device as fashion accessory. Noting a long interest in watches, Ive pointed out that the wrist is a "natural place for technology to end up" as it provides quick access to information at a glance.

As for working with Steve Jobs, Ive reiterated that many who interacted with the Apple cofounder misinterpreted his nature as brusque, while the truth was something else entirely.

"I remember talking to Steve Jobs and asked why he was perceived as harsh," Ive said. "And I said couldn't we be more moderate? And he said why? And I said because I care about the team. And he said, 'No Jony, you're just really vain. You just want people to like you. I'm surprised at you, because I thought you really held the work up as the most important and not how you are perceived by people.' People misunderstand Steve because he was so focused."

Finally, Ive was asked about the balancing function and design, one of the most important tenets of the industrial design trade.

"A beautiful product that doesn't work is ugly," Ive said. "The best things we've done are harmonious. I think design is the whole thing. Beauty is in that it works."

Along with the above, Vanity Fair's posted a number of memorable quotes from the talk to its Twitter account.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 139
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,973member
    Who in their right mind gives up the chance to reimagine the toilet? :lol:
  • Reply 2 of 139
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    According to Twitter, in this interview Ive said his commute to/from Cupertino is around two hours each way. Ouch.
  • Reply 3 of 139
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Here's a video clip: http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2014/10/jony-ive-lessons-from-steve-jobs

    I hope Vanity Fair posts the entire video because it sounds really interesting.
  • Reply 4 of 139
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,985member
    I agree whole heartedly. Theft of IP that took time, sweat and tears is terrible. Yes Googke looking at you too!
  • Reply 5 of 139
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member

    Steve Jobs: "

    "Picasso had a saying -- 'good artists copy; great artists steal' -- and we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas." 

    Explain that Jony.

  • Reply 6 of 139
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,969moderator
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    According to Twitter, in this interview Ive said his commute to/from Cupertino is around two hours each way. Ouch.



    This is what is referenced in the tagline for next week's event.  "It's been way too long."  It's Jony's commute.  Next week Apple will reveal that it has fixed Apple maps so that it will no longer route Jony from his home in Cupertino through Mountain View and right by the front of Google's headquarters on his way to and from work each day.

  • Reply 7 of 139
    blazarblazar Posts: 270member
    There is a tough balance between being liked and getting the job done when it comes to leadership.

    Ultimately the exact balance depends on who you are leading combined with your personal comfort level.

    Ive cant help wanting to liked any more than I can help liking chocolate.
  • Reply 8 of 139
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    pazuzu wrote: »
    Steve Jobs: "
    <p style="margin:0px 0px 20px;">"Picasso had a saying -- 'good artists copy; great artists steal' -- and we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas." </p>

    <p style="margin:0px 0px 20px;"><span style="line-height:1.4em;">Explain that Jony.</span>
    </p>

    :roll eyes: Your comments just get more and more idiotic. It would be nice if you didn't post something that wasn't fucking retarded every once in a while.
  • Reply 9 of 139
    [VIDEO][/VIDEO]
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    Who in their right mind gives up the chance to reimagine the toilet? :lol:

    The toilet company insulted him and said his toilet was too expensive. That's not a problem at Apple. :lol:
    rogifan wrote: »
    According to Twitter, in this interview Ive said his commute to/from Cupertino is around two hours each way. Ouch.

    The man has a selection of fine cars, from Bentley's to Aston Martins, and he owns Jobs's private jet. I think his commute is not as dull as most peoples.


    Increasingly I regard the Issacsson biography as drek, there's some good info but the conclusions are all wrong. Jobs had flaws but I don't think he was as bad as people think.
  • Reply 10 of 139
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,969moderator
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post

     

    Steve Jobs: "

    "Picasso had a saying -- 'good artists copy; great artists steal' -- and we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas." 

    Explain that Jony.




    Picasso was influenced by African art.  That doesn't mean he ripped off African art pieces; it means he lifted ideas and concepts form African art to incorporate into and influence his own art.  Steve Jobs was influenced by the clean, minimalist design he saw in Sony's products.  This doesn't mean he then created products that were copies of Sony's; it means that he incorporated the minimalist design ethic he saw in Sony's style and incorporated it into his own thinking about how a product should be designed.  Where closed-minded Apple haters see only the depths of felony, the rest of us, as did Steve, comprehend Picasso's brevity in capturing a noble concept; the notion of standing on the shoulders of giants in our own efforts to reach greater heights.

  • Reply 11 of 139
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    :roll eyes: Your comments just get more and more idiotic. It would be nice if you didn't post something that wasn't fucking retarded every once in a while.

    You mean like what you just did?
    I at least post something relevant to the thread topic. You just attack with vitriolic language because you've been proven WRONG time and time again and can't handle it. Who's the real PAZUZU?
  • Reply 12 of 139
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member

    Picasso was influenced by African art.  That doesn't mean he ripped off African art pieces; it means he lifted ideas and concepts form African art to incorporate into and influence his own art.  Steve Jobs was influenced by the clean, minimalist design he saw in Sony's products.  This doesn't mean he then created products that were copies of Sony's; it means that he incorporated the minimalist design ethic he saw in Sony's style and incorporated it into his own thinking about how a product should be designed.  Where closed-minded Apple haters see only the depths of felony, the rest of us, as did Steve, comprehend Picasso's brevity in capturing a noble concept; the notion of standing on the shoulders of giants in our own efforts to reach greater heights.

    That explains the first part - but then why do 'great artists steal'?
  • Reply 13 of 139
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    pazuzu wrote: »
    Steve Jobs: "
    <p style="margin:0px 0px 20px;">"Picasso had a saying -- 'good artists copy; great artists steal' -- and we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas." </p>
    <p style="margin:0px 0px 20px;"><span style="line-height:1.4em;">Explain that Jony.</span>
    </p>

    I agree with Sol here.

    Do you truly believe that Steve Jobs admitted to theft in a public interview?

    What exactly was he admitting to stealing?

    When was he charged?
  • Reply 14 of 139

    Picasso was influenced by African art.  That doesn't mean he ripped off African art pieces; it means he lifted ideas and concepts form African art to incorporate into and influence his own art.  Steve Jobs was influenced by the clean, minimalist design he saw in Sony's products.  This doesn't mean he then created products that were copies of Sony's; it means that he incorporated the minimalist design ethic he saw in Sony's style and incorporated it into his own thinking about how a product should be designed.  Where closed-minded Apple haters see only the depths of felony, the rest of us, as did Steve, comprehend Picasso's brevity in capturing a noble concept; the notion of standing on the shoulders of giants in our own efforts to reach greater heights.

    And whenever someone says "but Xerox!", I tell them to shut up. Apple had permission to see what they did, Xerox was well compensated, and Apple took the very limited Alto design and blew it away with the Macintosh, doing things the Xerox guys didn't think was possible.

    Whereas Microsoft ripped off the Macintosh and produced a crappy copy that didn't catch up until Windows 95.
  • Reply 15 of 139
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,973member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    :roll eyes: Your comments just get more and more idiotic. It would be nice if you didn't post something that wasn't fucking retarded every once in a while.

    Funny retarded is acceptable, but a quote that's been discussed a million times over is neither funny, nor beneficial to the thread in any way.
  • Reply 16 of 139
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    blazar wrote: »
    There is a tough balance between being liked and getting the job done when it comes to leadership.

    Ultimately the exact balance depends on who you are leading combined with your personal comfort level.

    Ive cant help wanting to liked any more than I can help liking chocolate.

    Well Jony can say that Steve was right but I think caring about how your teams work is critiqued is not being vain. And we know that Steve could sometimes be incredibly rude and mean. That certainly isn't a way to motivate people to do better work.
  • Reply 17 of 139
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    It's one thing to steal an idea and improve upon it or make it your own. that's completely different than what these Chinese companies are doing. Xiaomi is just blatantly ripping off Apple's aesthetic/marketing.
  • Reply 18 of 139
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,969moderator
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post





    That explains the first part - but then why do 'great artists steal'?



    You've got it backwards.  Copying is what Samsung does.  It takes the skill of a good artist.  A great artist steals concepts, incorporates them into his own style and then creates new work.  Please tell me you do understand this and that you're just yanking our chain here.

  • Reply 19 of 139
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    Funny retarded is acceptable, but a quote that's been discussed a million times over is neither funny, nor beneficial to the thread in any way.

    Retarded?- name calling at its lowest level.
    Yes it is relevant when the entire topic is all about COPYING.
  • Reply 20 of 139
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 2,969moderator
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post





    And whenever someone says "but Xerox!", I tell them to shut up. Apple had permission to see what they did, Xerox was well compensated, and Apple took the very limited Alto design and blew it away with the Macintosh, doing things the Xerox guys didn't think was possible.



    Whereas Microsoft ripped off the Macintosh and produced a crappy copy that didn't catch up until Windows 95.



    DED here on AppleInsider once walked through the entire Xerox episode.  What you said and much more that shows beyond refute there was no theft or underhandedness going on.  And those same people conveniently forget the Microsoft Windows story, which DED also detailed beautifully.

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