When it comes to business, Apple design chief Jony Ive said he's bad with numbers — but he's good at telling when an existing product is loathsome.
Ive spoke with David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, at The New Yorker TechFest in Manhattan on Friday, on the heels of the unveiling of Apple's 10th anniversary iPhone, which he said has been in the works for five years, according to 9to5Mac, which attended the event.
Originally from the London area, Ive has been with Apple since the early 1990s and is perhaps best known to consumers as the voice that narrates many of Apple's product videos.
Ive did not pull punches when describing the products of his competitors, telling Remnick he detests "most things, really." He also called the design of most products "soul destroying," 9to5Mac reported.
Ive, alongside Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, is known for defining Apple's extremely particular design philosophy, as commemorated in a book he co-authored on the topic. Ive told Remnick that he had trouble ignoring the design in objects around him from a young age, and said he thinks that consumers can feel when something is designed carefully, even if they can't articulate it.
Despite Ive's unrelenting attention to detail when it comes to Apple products, he doesn't advocate obsession among consumers. He said that using an iPhone constantly actually constitutes misuse of the product.
Today Apple is the world's most valuable public company, but during the period when Ive came aboard, the company was "losing fabulously large sums of money every quarter," he said. Still, Ive said that even when Jobs returned as CEO, the goal of Apple was not to make money.
Jobs, a famously harsh critic, was not easy on Ive. But Ive said that Jobs taught him how to focus.