Jony Ive's departure reveals new details of Apple's car and TV plans

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 28
As current and former Apple staff discuss Jony Ive's departure, new details are emerging about the company's previously secret work on a self-driving car, a television -- and just what happened when Ive famously one-upped Scott Forstall.

Apple's Jony Ive
Apple's Jony Ive


Jony Ive is famous for designing countless Apple products that have been worldwide successes. Now that he's leaving, however, Apple staff are also revealing details of his projects that were never released. They include hardware such as the origins of Apple's Project Titan car, the secret Apple TV set and politics such as how Ive snuck in to replace Scott Forstall as head of Apple's Human Interface team.

Forstall was the senior vice president of iOS Software and was ousted following problems at the launch of Apple Maps. It was known that Ive replaced Forstall, putting him in charge of both software and hardware design, but it wasn't known how swiftly that change was made.

According to The Information, in 2012, Ive joined a regular meeting of Apple's Human Interface team, previously overseen by Forstall, just prior to Forstall's departure.

One of the designers present asked where Forstall was, and it was Ive who answered.

"Scott isn't with us anymore," he reportedly said from the back of the room.

Following that meeting, Ive took direct charge and immediately brought that team over to see Apple's industrial design studio. According to The Information's source who was there, the team got to see a prototype of the Apple Watch three years before it was released. They also got to see an Apple television set.

"It was super-minimal," says the source. "Just a piece of glass with nice details."

Apple never released that television set, and so far it also hasn't released the much-rumored self-driving car. However, other sources speaking to The Information have revealed how Ive approached the idea.

Mockup of an Apple electric car (based on a Tesla)
Mockup of an Apple electric car (based on a Tesla)


Reportedly, Ive was so involved in the original design of an Apple car that he made a prototype model out of leather and wood specifically to show CEO Tim Cook. The most visibly notable feature of the model was that Ive insisted it should not have a steering wheel.

Instead, the car was to be predominantly voice-controlled. And for his demonstration to Cook, Ive hired an actress to perform as Siri, responding to voice commands.

It's not known how that prototype was received or how close Apple's car plans hew to it, but the company did at least temporarily table the initiative. While Project Titan continues to this day under hardware engineer Bob Mansfield, Apple is not as chasing a full-functioning vehicle as aggressively as it was in 2015.

Ive was more clearly successful with his design work on Apple Park, the new campus that he and Steve Jobs had pushed for -- but which Ive now reportedly rarely works in. According to Bloomberg sources, Ive began backing away from day-to-day business shortly after Apple Watch launched in 2015.

Instead of Apple Park, Ive has been working out of the a studio in San Francisco that he has now made the base of his new LoveFrom business. The Information reports that he has been working there for some years.

"It felt special to get invited to his private studio," said a source who has not been there but whose colleagues had.

Nonetheless, enough people do visit the studio in San Francisco's Pacific Heights region that neighbors have reportedly complained. .
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,860member
    That is why having neighbors sucks!    
  • Reply 2 of 38
    seneca72seneca72 Posts: 31member
    Is Ive's new studio LoveFrom or shoudl it be "LoveFORM"  Surely the latter sounds more appropriate.

    LoveForm - function can take a hike....
    cincyteelordjohnwhorfin
  • Reply 3 of 38
    irelandireland Posts: 17,648member
    seneca72 said:
    Is Ive's new studio LoveFrom or shoudl it be "LoveFORM"  Surely the latter sounds more appropriate.

    LoveForm - function can take a hike....
    The latter, yeah.
  • Reply 4 of 38
    irelandireland Posts: 17,648member
    wizard69 said:
    That is why having neighbors sucks!    
    Maybe, but he’s into house music, so he probably isn’t the quietest of neighbour. 
    dasanman69
  • Reply 5 of 38
    irelandireland Posts: 17,648member
    I’ve recently suspected Apple never revealed TV because they had no real video content play. Seems like that will change in the future. Besides being full integrated, I wonder how Apple differentiates this TV product, when announced. Obviously gonna be OLED. And what does Apple charge for their video service, and how do they justify its expense? For magazines, Apple says you get access to over 300 magazines for 10 bucks a month. For songs, 60 million. For video? 24+ TV shows and possibly seven movies a year, for perhaps 10 bucks a month? Really? Surely must be more to this story. Disney+ comes out for 7 bucks a month. It will go up in price in the coming years, but to launch at 7, Apple must have an offering that makes sense. Eventually I’ll get off Netflix. I’m liking their service less and less. So Apple need to show us something worthwhile to give those who want an opportunity to go all in, an opportunity to do so. Won’t Apple have to acquire a small studio? Will they licence content from others? And when a TV service worthwhile is in place, for them—if ever—then maybe within a year we see this TV?
    edited June 28
  • Reply 6 of 38
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 667member
    I have had a voice controlled car for almost 25 years. My wife controls the car from the passenger seat. “slowdown! Get in the other lane! Why are you going this way?”

    Seriously though, Ive should have gone a long time ago.  He really needed Jobs to keep him grounded and that didn’t always work either.  He should be forced to work the rest of his days with a hockey puck mouse. 
    ttollertonfrantisekmacxpressavon b7kitatitmacplusplusrandominternetpersonravnorodommwhitemobird
  • Reply 7 of 38
    seneca72 said:
    Is Ive's new studio LoveFrom or shoudl it be "LoveFORM"  Surely the latter sounds more appropriate.

    LoveForm - function can take a hike....
    It's LoveFrom.  From FastCompany article: 

    LoveFrom? Sort of an odd name on first hearing, right? Well, there’s a story there. The name comes from this Steve Jobs quote, paraphrased by Ives in a Financial Times piece today.

    “There was an employee meeting a number of years ago and Steve [Jobs] was talking . . . He [said] that one of the fundamental motivations was that when you make something with love and with care, even though you probably will never meet . . . the people that you’re making it for, and you’ll never shake their hand, by making something with care, you are expressing your gratitude to humanity, to the species.”

    “I so identified with that motivation and was moved by his description. So my new company is called ‘LoveFrom’. It succinctly speaks to why I do what I do.”

    Andy.Hardwakerandominternetpersonn2itivguyStrangeDays
  • Reply 8 of 38
    irelandireland Posts: 17,648member
    seneca72 said:
    Is Ive's new studio LoveFrom or shoudl it be "LoveFORM"  Surely the latter sounds more appropriate.

    LoveForm - function can take a hike....
    It's LoveFrom.  From FastCompany article: 

    LoveFrom? Sort of an odd name on first hearing, right? Well, there’s a story there. The name comes from this Steve Jobs quote, paraphrased by Ives in a Financial Times piece today.

    “There was an employee meeting a number of years ago and Steve [Jobs] was talking . . . He [said] that one of the fundamental motivations was that when you make something with love and with care, even though you probably will never meet . . . the people that you’re making it for, and you’ll never shake their hand, by making something with care, you are expressing your gratitude to humanity, to the species.”

    “I so identified with that motivation and was moved by his description. So my new company is called ‘LoveFrom’. It succinctly speaks to why I do what I do.”

    It’s called a typo.
    lordjohnwhorfin
  • Reply 9 of 38
    ireland said:
    seneca72 said:
    Is Ive's new studio LoveFrom or shoudl it be "LoveFORM"  Surely the latter sounds more appropriate.

    LoveForm - function can take a hike....
    It's LoveFrom.  From FastCompany article: 

    LoveFrom? Sort of an odd name on first hearing, right? Well, there’s a story there. The name comes from this Steve Jobs quote, paraphrased by Ives in a Financial Times piece today.

    “There was an employee meeting a number of years ago and Steve [Jobs] was talking . . . He [said] that one of the fundamental motivations was that when you make something with love and with care, even though you probably will never meet . . . the people that you’re making it for, and you’ll never shake their hand, by making something with care, you are expressing your gratitude to humanity, to the species.”

    “I so identified with that motivation and was moved by his description. So my new company is called ‘LoveFrom’. It succinctly speaks to why I do what I do.”

    It’s called a typo.
    No, it's called LoveFrom.  A cursory googling would disavow you of the notion of LoveForm.
    randominternetpersonn2itivguypscooter63StrangeDays
  • Reply 10 of 38
    ireland said:
    seneca72 said:
    Is Ive's new studio LoveFrom or shoudl it be "LoveFORM"  Surely the latter sounds more appropriate.

    LoveForm - function can take a hike....
    It's LoveFrom.  From FastCompany article: 

    LoveFrom? Sort of an odd name on first hearing, right? Well, there’s a story there. The name comes from this Steve Jobs quote, paraphrased by Ives in a Financial Times piece today.

    “There was an employee meeting a number of years ago and Steve [Jobs] was talking . . . He [said] that one of the fundamental motivations was that when you make something with love and with care, even though you probably will never meet . . . the people that you’re making it for, and you’ll never shake their hand, by making something with care, you are expressing your gratitude to humanity, to the species.”

    “I so identified with that motivation and was moved by his description. So my new company is called ‘LoveFrom’. It succinctly speaks to why I do what I do.”

    It’s called a typo.
    No, it's called LoveFrom.  A cursory googling would disavow you of the notion of LoveForm.
    That whooshing sound you hear is the joke in the original post passing miles and miles above your head...
    lordjohnwhorfin
  • Reply 11 of 38
    The bit about Ive immediately taking over from Forstall isn't much of a reveal.  Did we think Apple fired a senior person and didn't give the team any supervision for weeks while they figured out what to do about it?  We don't know if the powers that be decided to give the UX role to Ive months or minutes before they decided to fire Forstall; in any case of course he was there when the team found out.  A little weird that he didn't announce it from the front of the room, but designers are always a little odd.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 12 of 38
    williamh said:
    I have had a voice controlled car for almost 25 years. My wife controls the car from the passenger seat. “slowdown! Get in the other lane! Why are you going this way?”
    LOL. This is hilarious. You made my day! Funny how they are all the same.
    mike1asdasdpeteoflyingdppscooter63
  • Reply 13 of 38
    mwhitemwhite Posts: 205member
    williamh said:
    I have had a voice controlled car for almost 25 years. My wife controls the car from the passenger seat. “slowdown! Get in the other lane! Why are you going this way?”

    I got rid of my voice controlled car and have never been happier......
  • Reply 14 of 38
    qwweraqwwera Posts: 276member
    So the abomination that was ios7 was indeed Ives.
    cgWerks
  • Reply 15 of 38
    dedgeckodedgecko Posts: 112member
    qwwera said:
    So the abomination that was ios7 was indeed Ives.
    It’s time to move on Mr. Crabby Pants, put the hate down and step back slowly. 
    mwhiteqwweraandrewj5790SpamSandwichStrangeDays
  • Reply 16 of 38
    qwweraqwwera Posts: 276member
    dedgecko said:
    qwwera said:
    So the abomination that was ios7 was indeed Ives.
    It’s time to move on Mr. Crabby Pants, put the hate down and step back slowly. 
    Yeah but boy was that bad. It’s been softened up a little, and the skinny fonts are a little healthier with some meat on them, but it’s always good to know who exactly was responsible for such a mess.


    edited June 28 cgWerks
  • Reply 17 of 38
    neilmneilm Posts: 634member
    ireland said:
    I’ve recently suspected Apple never revealed TV because they had no real video content play. Seems like that will change in the future. Besides being full integrated, I wonder how Apple differentiates this TV product, when announced. Obviously gonna be OLED. [...] And when a TV service worthwhile is in place, for them—if ever—then maybe within a year we see this TV?
    Not going to happen. TV sets are a low margin, dog-eat-dog business, with little opportunity for the kind of product differentiation that's characteristic of Apple. That's why Apple didn't come out with one back then, and isn't going to now.

    Instead they produced the AppleTV device as a portal to video services.
    n2itivguy1STnTENDERBITSgatorguypscooter63macplusplusStrangeDays
  • Reply 18 of 38
    peteopeteo Posts: 366member
    "One of the designers present asked where Forstall was, and it was Ive who answered.
    "Scott isn't with us anymore," he reportedly said from the back of the room."

    Man they wouldn't even let him say goodbye to his team. What a burn
    edited June 28 Hypereality
  • Reply 19 of 38
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,381unconfirmed, member
    An Apple TV set would be pricey but so worth it.
    Hypereality
  • Reply 20 of 38
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,469member
    ireland said:
    I’ve recently suspected Apple never revealed TV because they had no real video content play. Seems like that will change in the future. Besides being full integrated, I wonder how Apple differentiates this TV product, when announced. Obviously gonna be OLED. And what does Apple charge for their video service, and how do they justify its expense? For magazines, Apple says you get access to over 300 magazines for 10 bucks a month. For songs, 60 million. For video? 24+ TV shows and possibly seven movies a year, for perhaps 10 bucks a month? Really? Surely must be more to this story. Disney+ comes out for 7 bucks a month. It will go up in price in the coming years, but to launch at 7, Apple must have an offering that makes sense. Eventually I’ll get off Netflix. I’m liking their service less and less. So Apple need to show us something worthwhile to give those who want an opportunity to go all in, an opportunity to do so. Won’t Apple have to acquire a small studio? Will they licence content from others? And when a TV service worthwhile is in place, for them—if ever—then maybe within a year we see this TV?
    Apple never revealed the TV because the margins on TV's are quite small, most TV's today are nothing but minimalist glass so Apple's design probably wouldn't be much different and I bet Apple could not differentiate the set enough from the competition to have commanded the (probably absurd) price that Apple would have wanted.   One other factor is that TV prices start dropping very rapidly after release.   Apple usually only starts discounting when models are replaced.

    The 2019 Sony XBR A9G OLED, which just won the Value Electronics shootout held during TV Week in NYC (although by a very narrow margin) has already dropped from $4500 to $3800 in the 65".  The XBR A8G has already dropped from $3500 to $3000.   The previous year's A8F has dropped from $3800 to $2900.  The 2017 A1E has dropped  from $6500 to $3200.   And Sony is relatively pricey compared to Samsung and others.    Big box stores sell 65" UHD TV's for well under $2000, including currently a Samsung for $1080 including delivery.   That's a rough market for Apple to be competing in, especially considering that it's unlikely that the picture quality would be any better in an Apple TV, since they'd be buying someone else's panels anyway.

    I think Apple is going to have a tough time creating a compelling streaming service because the studios who are developing their own streaming services are going to hold back content from everyone else.   So Disney is going to hold back Fox/Disney/Lucasfilm/Pixar content, Comcast is going to hold back Universal content and AT&T is going to hold back Warner Bros. content.    That's why Netflix and Apple, among others, are spending so much on new original content, but I don't think that's going to be enough.  Now in the long run, the studio-based services might fail because of that limitation and they'll have to let others distribute their content again.   But that's years away.  Although I think Disney overpaid for Fox, Apple probably should have bought it and sold off the pieces they didn't want.   Or they should have outbid AT&T for Warner.  


    ravnorodom
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