I had the time of his life. It’s the end of an era at Apple. (Sorry. The Macalope just couldn’t resist.)
But it is the end of an era as The New York Times reports that Apple has terminated its contract with LoveFrom, Jony Ive’s design consultancy.
There isn’t much information from Ive or Apple other than the usual “Man, that group we don’t work with anymore was the best. You wonder why we don’t work with them anymore!”
While neither side says much, there’s no shortage of analysis about what this means.
9to5Mac’s Ben Lovejoy says “Jony Ive LoveFrom’s contract was probably just a PR fiction; ending it means nothing”.
John Gruber indicates in an update of a message about the…divorce? To finish? Determined lack of someone holding up a boombox blaring ‘In Your Eyes’ in hopes of getting a second chance? (That’s a weird thing to do, by the way, never do that.) Anyway, Gruber says sources at Apple indicate that Ive was only giving product advice a few months ago, so it’s somethingbut maybe not much.
Paul Thurrott – definitely the man you should turn to for analysis on Apple – claimed “Apple has had it with Jony Ive…” (tip o’ the antlers to tay) and that this was all because Tim Cook hates Ive.
We just tuck that under the newspaper to be scooped up and tossed in the trash later.
According to The Times, Apple’s refusal to renew the contract was because of the exorbitant rate Ive charged and, for Ive, because he was able to take on all the customers he wanted. Sometimes you just want to charge someone else a lot of money! We’ve all been there. (Disclaimer: We haven’t all been there.)
The interesting thing is, no one really seems to be heartbroken about this breakup. Just as few said the sky fell when I left Apple, no one seems to be complaining about the end of an era, part II: ending it again, this time it really ended. because for the most part, Apple fans and Apple haters alike, we’ve decided to blame Jony Ive for the mid-to-late decade years when Apple pursued minimalism at the expense of usability. It is certainly at least partially true that Ive was responsible, not that one person in an organization is ever fully responsible for all the bad it does.
Except for the one time with Gary. But we don’t talk about that anymore.
Ive was in charge of software design at Apple and he was famous for minimalism, but he was also reportedly burned out and somewhat aloof since Steve Jobs passed away. A source claimed he only smiled when someone told him they managed to remove another gate. (Another disclaimer: No one really said that.) How much damage can a checked-out person do?
Again, we’re not talking about Gary. We’re not talking about Gary. We’ve collectively decided to put that behind us, Gretchen. Don’t start dredging it up again. Nothing good will come of it.
It’s kind of nice – if a little weird – that this is what we all seem to agree on. Jony Ive was bad for Apple! The guy responsible for the iMac, white headphones, and probably a million other things you love (oh, now I get it!) Apple should be sanding. Don’t get knocked at the door, legendary designer! Especially those huge glass doors in Apple Park!
With Ive’s influence completely gone, it will be just as interesting to see where Apple’s design is headed as it is to see where popular opinion about Ive’s departure is headed.