Jony Ive Talks Apple Watch, Apple Car, and the Cupertino Company’s Impact on Society

Apple design chief Jony Ive recently sat down to dish out his thoughts on the company’s latest products and its impact on society.

Financial Times

In a new interview with the Financial Times‘ Nicholas Foulkes, Apple’s design guru gave his two cents on a number of topics, including the Apple Watch, the company’s brand-new Apple Park headquarters, the prospects of an Apple Car, and the responsibility the company has to examine how its products impact the world.

Ive was asked what he thinks about Apple now being considered the world’s “number-one watch brand,” Ive had an interesting take:

No, I think that this is a very powerful computer, with a range of very sophisticated sensors, that is strapped to my wrist. That’s neither very descriptive nor very helpful. You and I share the same perspective and we had this same challenge with the product that we called the iPhone. Clearly the capability of the iPhone extends way beyond the function of what we would traditionally call a phone.

Ive was also asked about the Cupertino company’s brand-new Apple Park headquarters and why his 9,000-employee design team was the last to move into the building:

It wasn’t late, it was always scheduled to be then. When you’re moving 9,000 people, you don’t do it in one day. We’re one of the last groups. It’s a loaded and significant event because it meant leaving a studio that has decades of history, where we designed and built first prototypes. This is the studio I went back to on the day that Steve died. And it’s the place where we figured out the iPhone and the iPod.

The interview also briefly touched on the highly-rumoured Apple Car project, which Ive remained fairly tight-lipped about. Ive believes it’s important to work on the issues at hand in any given project rather than openly speak on it, risking it being copied:

We explore so many different thoughts and so many different technologies for products or services. Some companies use the fact that they are exploring lots of different ideas as a PR tool — we don’t. If you are genuinely working on something, it’s better to be working on it and struggling with the associated issues and challenges, rather than talking about it. Our capital, our equity, is our ideas and the technologies that we’re developing. It’s important that as long as possible that remains ours, to try and postpone that point when they will then be copied — which is what history suggests.

Apple products have inarguably had a major impact on modern society, in both positive and negative ways. Ive is very aware of this and the role Apple plays in the world, and he admits that it keeps him up at night:

If you genuinely have a concern for humanity, you will be preoccupied with trying to understand the implications, the consequences of creating something that hasn’t existed before. I think it’s part of the culture at Apple to believe that there is a responsibility that doesn’t end when you ship a product. It keeps me awake.

Ive also recently sat down with Vogue to dish out his thoughts, saying he’s got plenty left to do at Apple that will keep him there for the foreseeable future.