The news may seem trivial: Apple announced that its design chief, Jony Ive, responsible for the characteristic appearance of products like iMac and iPhone, leaves the company after nearly thirty years to create their own design studio, of which Apple will be customer. .
But the output of Ive has a symbolic importance for the company beyond its role – undoubtedly vital – in the perception of Apple products. For many, It is a clear sign of the new times in which society lives, ever further from hardware.
With a global market for saturated mobile phones (iPhone sales are stagnant or falling months) and high-quality competition in computers and other devices from Asia, Apple has decided to focus its future efforts on services. For the most famous hardware manufacturer in the world, this is a big change and the output of Ive, which Almost three decades have passed in company and who, after the death of Steve Jobs in 2011, continued to represent Apple's creative "spirit", supposes a perfect illustration of the new times.
Ive came to Apple in 1992, when the company was going through the worst moments after Jobs resigned, due to disagreements with the direction taken by the company, and started directing the design department four years later, in 1996. Jobs he returned to Apple in 1997, the two men formed an intense friendship and Jobs gave Ive a great slice of power, placing him at the highest levels of the company and giving him almost total freedom to shape and give body to the ideas he had.
From the collaboration between both came out, in 1998, iMac, the first desktop computer of the new series that survives to this day. In a period of heavy and beige boxes, I dreamed of a computer with curved lines and a translucent box to which a revolutionary element soon joined: the color.
A few years later, in 2001, the iPod was born, the portable music player that contributed decisively to changing the model of musical consumption and the revolution that this sector has suffered since then. Even there, the design weighed as much as the technology, because the usability of the device was something never seen before: the front was white and the back was metallic. An arrangement in the form of a wheel made it possible to control all the functions and, in the process, made the device something absolutely unique.
But the fruit produced by both minds that undoubtedly had a greater impact on the future of Apple and the technology sector in general was the iPhone, in 2007, whose successful design, conceived by Ive, ended up becoming the norm in the industry and to define the shape of current phones.
"Jony is a singular figure in the world of design and his role in Apple's renaissance cannot be underestimated, from the innovative iMac of the 1998 iPhone and the unprecedented ambition of Apple Park (the new circular building that houses the company's headquarters), "Tim Cook, CEO of the company, announced when he announced his departure.
Jobs' vision and Ive's creativity were the cornerstones on which Apple's age of gold was established, mainly focused on hardware and which, in the August of last year, led to being the first listed company in the United States. . in exceeding trillions of dollars in market capitalization.
That milestone, however, was a late mark of the company's best years, since from that moment on it could begin to catch a glimpse of some clouds in the horizon, the result of the changing technological landscape that put a brake on Apple's overwhelming dominance if it were still at stake almost exclusively from hardware.
In January and April of this year, Apple presented decreases in profits compared to the previous year, results in which the decline in iPhone sales (which continues to represent over half of the company's total revenues) has played an important role. key role
Aware of the difficulty of continuing to compete for a greater market share in the hardware world, the Cupertino (California, USA) company has bet very strongly to take advantage of the gigantic and in many cases fervently faithful of the user base with that counts already to sell them services. So, in March, instead of taking a new iPad or a new MacBook, Apple held a press event where all the news was about services: Apple TV +, Apple News + and Apple Arcade.
These changes have diminished the importance of Ive within the company. An industrial designer totally focused on physical products, the creative began to look for new directions and this, together with personal problems, ended up precipitating his departure.
TECHNOLOGICAL DESIGN *
* With agencies
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