Jony Ive confirms Apple Watch three years in the making as designer's media blitz continues

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited August 2015
Apple design chief Jony Ive provided a rare glimpse into Apple's product development process on Wednesday as part of an even-rarer interview, revealing that Apple's new smart watch was in the works for some three years before its unveiling in Cupertino.




"It's strange when you've been working on something for three years..." Ive told Vogue columnist Robert Sullivan when discussing the Apple Watch. The interview appears in the magazine's October issue.

If accurate, it would mean that the Cupertino company began development of the Apple Watch approximately one year before even the earliest rumors of the product began to circulate.

While CEO Tim Cook has previously said that work on the Apple Watch began after the death of Apple cofounder Steve Jobs, it remained unclear exactly how long the device had been in progress. Jobs resigned as Apple's chief executive in August 2011, then died in October of that year.

Since Cook's ascension, his lieutenants --?especially Ive --?have increasingly found themselves in the spotlight as the company attempts to counter the widely-held belief that it would find survival difficult without Jobs. Ive has been even more visible during the launch of Apple Watch, which has seen Apple push into an entirely new industry -- fashion.

Apple has ample industry expertise on board, in the form of Paul Deneve --?the former Yves St Laurent CEO who now reports to Cook --?and retail chief Angela Ahrendts, late of British label Burberry. But it seems that Ive, rather than Cook, Deneve, or Ahrendts, has been chosen to be the face of Apple in fashion.

Ive and fellow design superstar Marc Newson --?formerly of Swiss watchmaker Ikepod, now part of Ive's team --?personally introduced the Apple Watch to a number of fashion luminaries on Tuesday in Paris. Vogue editor Anna Wintour, Chanel creative chief Karl Lagerfeld, and supermodel Karlie Kloss were among those who scored rare face time with Ive and the chance to try on the Apple Watch at Parisian boutique Colette.

It remains to be seen whether this strategy will continue, but it appears --?at least for the moment -- that Ive is prepared to shed his famously behind-the-scenes persona and become Apple's standard bearer.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 174
    Someone has to pick up the design mantle left by Steve. No better person than Ive.
  • Reply 2 of 174
    512ke512ke Posts: 782member

    Amazing designer.  The Apple watch turns the geeky gadget watch into stylish jewelry.

     

    Just one request... besides wanting the watch to have standalone GPS so I can use it accurately to track running and hiking without having to lug around a big phone...

     

    Dear Apple, please stress test the hell out of the watch.  Make sure it holds up to rough and tumble use (running, hiking, and malicious attention-seeking teenagers who will video themselves trying to pry open the watch in Apple Stores).  Etc.

  • Reply 3 of 174
    Three years to design a $350 iPhone accessory that sits on your wrist so that people don't have to go to all the trouble of taking their iPhone out of their pocket to look at it? I guess this is what passes for "innovation" in the post-Steve era.
  • Reply 4 of 174
    schlackschlack Posts: 686member
    grooming Ives to be the next CEO. amazing.
  • Reply 5 of 174
    Brilliant marketing here. Going straight to the fashion world to build cool factor is the strategy that may win while other tech watches are floundering.

    What's brilliant is that unlike a phone - watches are a wearable that are not hip or cool - especially to tech heads or I dare say Andriods core market.

    In order to grow a market that isn't there --Apple seems to be going straight to the fashion market to attempt to make wearing a watch fashionable again..

    Using this strategy is more likely to work unlike other watches out there as they (Google, Samsung) are just throwing those devices against the walls of technoites and praying that that strategy will make watches cool like smartphones... Wrong...

    Watches and phones are totally different animals..

    Whomever at Apple thought to bring in top fashion industry execs into their management fold and go for a more trend leader market -- in terms of the watch --could pay off in spades and leave others in the dust..

    Of course the watch will be sold in retailers other than Apple Stores and its traditional partners.. Also brilliant. This gives them product real estate in a shitload of retailers their competition couldn't dream of -- yet.

    Seems they are working overtime to really differentiate from the rest..
  • Reply 6 of 174
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    But YouTube comments told me Apple copied the Galaxy Gear?

    So it had to have started development a year ago?
  • Reply 7 of 174
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 512ke View Post

     

    Dear Apple, please stress test the hell out of the watch.  Make sure it holds up to rough and tumble use (running, hiking, and malicious attention-seeking teenagers who will video themselves trying to pry open the watch in Apple Stores).  Etc.


     

    The first day of sales will be greeted with the inevitable video of the destruction of an Apple Watch using a cindercrete block.

  • Reply 8 of 174
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    Jobs resigned as Apple's chief executive in August 2011, then died in October of that year.

    Your use of the word "then" here, to join the two thoughts about jobs' resignation and his death, implies that his death is something steve consciously chose to do.

    "he consciously decided to resign", then "he consciously decided to die". and i imagine that couldn't be further from the truth.
  • Reply 9 of 174
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    gijoeinla wrote: »
    Brilliant marketing here. Going straight to the fashion world to build cool factor is the strategy that may win while other tech watches are floundering.

    What's brilliant is that unlike a phone - watches are a wearable that are not hip or cool - especially to tech heads or I dare say Andriods core market.

    In order to grow a market that isn't there --Apple seems to be going straight to the fashion market to attempt to make wearing a watch fashionable again..

    Using this strategy is more likely to work unlike other watches out there as they (Google, Samsung) are just throwing those devices against the walls of technoites and praying that that strategy will make watches cool like smartphones... Wrong...

    Watches and phones are totally different animals..

    Whomever at Apple thought to bring in top fashion industry execs into their management fold and go for a more trend leader market -- in terms of the watch --could pay off in spades and leave others in the dust..

    Of course the watch will be sold in retailers other than Apple Stores and its traditional partners.. Also brilliant. This gives them product real estate in a shitload of retailers their competition couldn't dream of -- yet.

    Seems they are working overtime to really differentiate from the rest..

    Knowing the copycats, I think Apple should secure deals with Bloomingdale's, Macy's etc. to exclusively carry ?Watch as the only smart watch and keep a mini display like iPhone/iPad/iPod.

    They should also have fashion brands sign exclusive deals to design bands exclusively for Apple. From lower priced brands like Calvin Klein/Ecko to higher end like Gucci/Burberry.
  • Reply 10 of 174
    Originally Posted by cali View Post

    But YouTube comments told me…

     

    You… you mean I’m not a gaywad?

  • Reply 11 of 174
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post



    Someone has to pick up the design mantle left by Steve. No better person than Ive.



    Except that Ive has been designing products before Steve died.  I think the last two designs (iP6, Watch) are not the best Ive has done though. 

  • Reply 12 of 174
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Pooch View Post





    i understand you guys are just script kiddies and fanboys, and that you aren't professional (or even very good) writers so i don't expect much. your use of the word "then" here, to join the two thoughts about jobs' resignation and his death, implies that his death is something steve consciously chose to do.



    "he consciously decided to resign", then "he consciously decided to die". and i imagine that couldn't be further from the truth. but, hey, it's ok. cuz you're fanboys and not writers.

     

    And you are already in the post-upper-caps area. Someone writing about correct writing should show he knows the current conventions. You fail.

  • Reply 13 of 174
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,463member
    popnfresh wrote: »
    Three years to design a $350 iPhone accessory that sits on your wrist so that people don't have to go to all the trouble of taking their iPhone out of their pocket to look at it? I guess this is what passes for "innovation" in the post-Steve era.

    I can only imagine that if you were alive at the beginning of the twentieth century, you would have said the same thing about the Cartier Tank Watch.

    I suppose there will always be people who can't quite wrap their minds around major shifts.

    Then again, you might just be a troll on our site.
  • Reply 14 of 174
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    popnfresh wrote: »
    Three years to design a $350 iPhone accessory that sits on your wrist so that people don't have to go to all the trouble of taking their iPhone out of their pocket to look at it? I guess this is what passes for "innovation" in the post-Steve era.

    Not to mention who can afford to buy anything in Vogue anyways. Or even want to for that matter? Who cares about fashtards?
  • Reply 15 of 174
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,463member
    <span style="line-height:1.4em;">You… you mean I’m not a gaywad?</span>

    Well, you might be, but it's not relevant.
  • Reply 16 of 174
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    beltsbear wrote: »

    Except that Ive has been designing products before Steve died.  I think the last two designs (iP6, Watch) are not the best Ive has done though. 

    Ive is extremely overrated. Steve would reign him in. It's been well documented how he's stolen extensively from the house of Braun and Leica most successfully.
  • Reply 17 of 174
    pfisherpfisher Posts: 758member

    Companies that make watches probably need two kinds of customers:

     

    1. People who mostly just want to know what time it is (like myself, with a $25 Casio, after getting tired of pulling the phone out for 3 years)

    2. Those who want something far more than that (changable faces, apps, whatever else that may be)

     

    Maybe Apple will hit on it to make a market for people category #2 and create a market for those people who are not #1 or #2, but would become #2.

     

    --

     

    Battery life is such a dealbreaker. Traditional watches go forever. Once a week on a "smart watch" would be acceptable. It's already bad enough we are constantly charging our phones.

     

    And having a watch that is dependent on a phone and a phone almost/sometimes dependent on a computer. It all gets crazy.

     

    There was a story about someone meeting up with someone with a Google watch. They were constantly playing with it. It's good to have a phone in the pocket. Keep it there while at work.

     

    Just had a discussion about a new manager who is on her phone during important/staff meetings. Hilarious. Just not tuned it.

     

    How many distractions do we need? Or are people becoming acclimated to it? Probably.

     

    There's a case to be made for not having these devices around us all of the time.

     

    Anyway, the watch? Could it bomb? Could it be a real niche product? Could be. Especially at the $350+ price scale.

     

    Super niche-y.

  • Reply 18 of 174

    AppleWatch has been three years in the making and still no consumer has one.  Samsung must already offer about six smartwatches in only a year's time.  I'm not criticizing Apple as quantity doesn't mean much.  It's just an observation.  I suppose Apple must be spending a lot of time trying to get AppleWatch right on the first shot.  Apple will probably offer a lot of apps upon introduction of AppleWatch.  I doubt any other smartwatch company has a smartwatch App Store.

  • Reply 19 of 174
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post

    Well, you might be, but it's not relevant.

     

    And all this time, through all those “thumbs up”, I thought YouTube would never lie to me… :p

  • Reply 20 of 174
    pazuzupazuzu Posts: 1,728member
    AppleWatch has been three years in the making and still no consumer has one.  Samsung must already offer about six smartwatches in only a year's time.  I'm not criticizing Apple as quantity doesn't mean much.  It's just an observation.  I suppose Apple must be spending a lot of time trying to get AppleWatch right on the first shot.  Apple will probably offer a lot of apps upon introduction of AppleWatch.  I doubt any other smartwatch company has a smartwatch App Store.

    Have fun reading that 1" screen.
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