Think of almost any Apple Inc. product, and you're picturing something designed by Jony Ive. Items launched such as the translucent plastic iMac in the 1990s to the rounded corners of an iPhone in the early 2000s and the iWatch in the 2010s — and even the ill-fated iPhone 5c from 2013 that Ive called "beautifully, unapologetically plastic" — were designed by Ive and his team.
And now, three years after Ive stepped down to run his own design firm while retaining Apple as its major client, the technology company and the designer have split ways, according to The New York Times.
"Some Apple executives had questioned how much the company was paying Mr. Ive and had grown frustrated after several of its designers left to join Mr. Ive's firm," the Times' Tripp Mickle wrote, quoting people familiar with relations between Ive and Apple. "And Mr. Ive wanted the freedom to take on clients without needing Apple's clearance."
Ive's design company LoveFrom will now be free to take on work from a wide variety of corporate clients, including the carmaker Ferrari and Airbnb.