Apple has given a clear indication that it has now officially parted ways with Sir Jony Ive, the British designer of the iPhone.

In June the world was shocked when the designer of the iPod, iPad, and other iconic Apple devices such as the iMac, announced he was leaving Apple to form his own design company.

Reports at the time had suggested Sir Jony had spent his final years distancing himself from Apple, with his last major design contribution (other than its new HQ) being the Apple Watch, introduced back in 2015.

Apple departure

Sir Jony said earlier this year that he was leaving Apple to form a design company called LoveForm.

He said the transition would begin 2019, with LoveForm fully operational in 2020 – with Apple as one of its major clients.

However he failed to give an exact date when he would depart from Apple.

But the profile of Sir Jony has now been deleted from the company’s leadership page – a move that now ends speculation about the date of his departure from Apple.

Apple designer

Sir Jonathan was born in Chingford, London, and studied Industrial Design at Northumbria University (then known as Newcastle Polytechnic).

He began his career at London-based design consultancy Tangerine, where he worked on a wide range of products from power tools to wash basins.

In 1992 he moved to the US to work for Apple as their chief designer.

Sir Jonathan gained complete design control when Steve Jobs returned to the company in 1997 (Apple was back then in very poor financial health), and he headed the Industrial Design team responsible for most of the company’s significant hardware products, including the iMac in 1998, and the iPod in 2001.

He was also responsible for the design of the iPod Mini (2004); the iPhone (2007); the Macbook Air (2008); the iPad (2010); Apple Watch (2015); and AirPods (2016).

His most recent project was finishing Apple’s new corporate headquarters, Apple Park.

In 2005 he was named as one of Britain’s most influential expatriates by the Sunday Times, and in 2012 he was knighted by the Queen.

Sir Jony’s contribution to Apple’s revival could not be overstated, and the British designer was described by Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs, as his spiritual partner at the firm.

Sir Jony provided vital continuity for Apple’s strategic vision after the death of Steve Jobs, aged 56 in October 2011 following his eight year battle with pancreatic cancer.

At one stage Sir Jonathan was even being mooted as the next CEO of Apple.

The death of Jobs however did have a lasting impact on Sir Jony and in 2011 it was reported that he was at “loggerheads” with the company’s board, over his wish to move back to the UK.

Sir Jonathan and his wife were said to be keen to return back to England to raise their children and send them to British schools.

Sir Jonathan even proposed a plan to “commute” to Cupertino, California, from his Georgian manor house in Somerset.

In the end Apple held onto Sir Jonathan and kept him in the United States, until late 2019 it seems.

Quiz: What do you know about Apple?

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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