With the news that Sir Jony Ive will be starting his own venture, ‘LoveFrom’, questions have been raised over whether or not Apple will succeed without its chief designer who has worked for the company since 1992. Ive was knighted in 2012 and throughout his career, he has been responsible for designing the iMac, iPod and iPhone.
Back in 2009, the first ever iPhone was launched and this undoubtedly changed the world. I remember the frenzy around iPhones, how everyone wanted one — the queues people would stand in to buy it. Fast-forward ten years, and the release of a new iPhone doesn’t receive the same attention as it did then. The general consensus now appears to be that iPhones are simply too expensive, and that they fail to show any real innovation which we saw back in 2009.
This is a major problem for Apple, as iPhones are responsible for the majority of their revenue. It’s interesting that iPhone unit sales peaked in 2015, but since then, Apple have stopped disclosing how many iPhones sell. This has become a serious source of concern for shareholders, which has only been exacerbated by the fact that they are no longer the most valuable company in the world.
Last week, Apple faced its latest blow — the loss of Jony Ive. Ive intends to launch his own company, ‘LoveFrom’ which is rumoured to specialise in wearable technology. Ive has been responsible for designing many of the products which can be attributed to Apple’s success. It is because he has been so instrumental and at the core of the company, that his resignation poses questions over what the future of Apple is about to look like.
In addition to his work on successful projects such as the iPhone, Ive has also experienced recent success in alternative ventures, such as the design of Apple Park in Cupertino. However, this isn’t quite the end of Ive’s relationship with Apple, as he has expressed an interest in continuing to work with the company’s design team, whilst also revealing that Apple will be the first customer for LoveFrom.
What does this mean for the future?
Arguably, this is a critical moment for Apple. The question is: has Apple essentially created a ‘one-hit wonder’ experience with Ive that can’t be replicated? I think, for now at least, the answer might be a cautious yes. On the other hand, Ive’s departure might present Apple with an exciting opportunity to demonstrate that they are a resilient, innovative and forward-thinking company. In fact, Apple have just appointed Evans Hankey as the first woman to lead the company’s industrial design team. It will be interesting to see what changes this will bring.
Either way, we’ll have to wait and see how all this plays out for Apple; whether this is the start, or the end of an era for the technology giant.