Jonathan Ive and the Future of Apple

The New Yorker’s Ian Parker put together an incredible portrait of Apple from the perspective of Jony Ive, with a level of depth and access never before allowed. It’s really very long, and it is impossible to summarize; every word is worth reading. There are details about the Apple Watch (“an Apple Watch uses a new display technology whose blacks are blacker than those in an iPhone’s L.E.D. display”); about Ive’s personal views (the near palpable sigh when asked about the camera bulge on the iPhones 6); and about what makes him tick. Do make half an hour to fully digest this.

Ive certainly has a lot of pressure on his shoulders. After Steve Jobs resigned his CEO post, and again after he died, Apple’s stock price was — perhaps surprisingly — unaffected. But if and when Jony Ive leaves Apple, I can’t imagine their share price and their perceived future viability would be unaffected to the same or greater extent. Jobs left a willing and public successor, Tim Cook, in his wake; Ive doesn’t have anyone like that. He is both irreplaceable, and yet he must eventually be replaced.