Jony Ive's impressive legacy at Apple

Apple’s outgoing chief design officer is leaving behind some iconic products

  • Published 5.07.19, 7:56 PM
  • Updated 5.07.19, 7:56 PM
  • 2 mins read
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iMac G3 (1998) Picture: Apple

Considered a revolutionary design, it came in a friendly shell of translucent-coloured plastic and an ovoid form. The device came with a 56Kb modem and USB.

In the words of Steve Jobs: “It comes from the excitement of the Internet and the simplicity of Macintosh. Even though it’s a full-bodied Macintosh, we are targeting this for the number one use consumers tell us they want on the computer — to get on the Internet simply and fast…. This is incredible compared to anything out there. It looks like as if it’s from another planet. And a good planet. A planet with better designers!”

iPod (2001)
iPod (2001) Picture: Apple

The iPod was certainly not the first portable MP3 player but it was certainly a game changer with its “genius scroll wheel” that allows users to scan through a list quickly. It was a design classic, inspired by the iconic Braun T3 pocket radio.

In the words of Steve Jobs: “The biggest thing about the iPod is that it holds 1,000 songs. This is a quantum leap, for most people it’s their entire music library. The coolest thing about the iPod is that it would hold your entire music library and it fits in your pocket.”

iPhone (2007)
iPhone (2007) Picture: Apple

The iPhone changed the way smartphones work. Steve Jobs never liked the stylus and thus the focus on touchscreen. Both Jobs and Ive are among those listed as inventors on the “ornamental design” patent of Apple’s original iPhone. The industry biggies — BlackBerry and Nokia — looked down on the product but, of course, history has set the records straight. The iPhone is one of the most profitable products of all time, surpassing one billion units sold in 2016.

In the words of Jony Ive: “We nearly shelved the phone because we thought there were fundamental problems that we can’t solve.” 

MacBook Air (2008)
MacBook Air (2008) Picture: Apple

It was so thin that Jobs introduced it by pulling it out of a manila envelope on stage. Light and portable, it invented a whole new category of computers called ‘ultrabooks’.

In the words of Steve Jobs: “The thickest part of the MacBook Air is thinner than the thickest part of the TZ series (from Sony). We are talking thin here.”

iPad (2010)
iPad (2010) Picture: Apple

What Apple did was amazing — there is no right or wrong way of holding the iPad. You don’t have to change to fit the product; the product fits you.

In the words of Jony Ive: “It’s true when something exceeds your ability to understand how it works, it sort of becomes magical. And that’s exactly what the iPad is.”

Apple Watch (2015)
Apple Watch (2015) Picture: Apple

The first product from Apple since Job’s death was a passion project for Ive. Apple’s first steps in wearables and health is picking up pace and is slowly finding takers.

In the words of Tim Cook: “Users love how quick and easy it is to receive and respond to messages, phone calls and notifications from their favourite apps. Apple Watch is helping our users live a better day.”

AirPods (2016)
AirPods (2016) Picture: Apple

When it appeared, many said it looked like ear pods with the cables cut off. But now almost every other person in the US is seen sporting AirPods. Held and charged in a tiny white case that easily fits in your pocket, AirPods simply rock and are reminiscent of the white iPod headphones. In 2018, Apple sold 35 million AirPods.

In the words of Tim Cook: “Wireless is the future. By snipping the wire, I have never personally had them fall out.”