Jony Ive

Always with the raw & fresh perspective on Apple, John Gruber gives his take on Jony Ive leaving Apple:

I think Tim Cook is a great CEO and Jeff Williams is a great COO. But who’s in charge of product design now? There is no new chief design officer, which, really, is what Steve Jobs always was. From a product standpoint, the post-Jobs era at Apple has been the Jony Ive era, not the Tim Cook era. That’s not a knock on Tim Cook. To his credit, Tim Cook has never pretended to be a product guy, which is exactly the hubris that John Sculley succumbed to back in the early ’90s, leading to the Newton being launched far before it was ready and the Macintosh platform languishing.

My gut sense for years has been that Ive without Jobs has been like McCartney without Lennon. Or Lennon without McCartney — take whichever analogical pairing you prefer. My point here is only that the fruit of their collaborations were, seemingly magically, far greater than the sums of the duos’ talents and tastes.

It’s too soon to know anything. As Gruber mentions, Apple’s product roadmap stretches at least 5 years into the future, and in that time Apple will figure out a replacement that makes sense. Or they won’t. Who knows. I don’t.

…and then I read John Siracusa’s tweet and I can’t un-see it:

Folks who wanted someone to be fired over the butterfly keyboard: happy now?

He’s 100% right. OK, at least 50% right.

Up until 2016 did you ever have reason to doubt the integrity of your MacBook’s keyboard? I’ve been buying Macs since 2000 and I never had a reason to doubt them. My current laptop is a 2015 MacBook Pro, the one with the flawless keyboard.

Steve Jobs had an ego the size of California and he could be a salty motherfucker, but he would admit to a fuck-up if he had to. He did it (begrudgingly) in 2010 in response to the antenna issues in the iPhone 4, otherwise known as “Antennagate”.

As Gruber mentions, Ive no longer has a Lennon to his McCartney, so we never got an apology.

It is interesting that the ‘solution’ to the iPhnoe 4 antenna issue was a plastic bumper to cover the edges of the device and the ‘solution’ to the MacBook Pro butterfly keyboard was a silicon membrane covering the individual key mechanisms. Covering up the problems versus fixing them.