Apple’s star designer Jony Ive to set up own firm

San Francisco: Apple’s longtime design chief Jony Ive, who played a key role in the development of the iPhone and other iconic products, is leaving the tech giant to set up his own firm, Apple said on Thursday.
Ive will depart later this year “to form an independent design company which will count Apple among its primary clients,” Apple said in a statement.
Ive will pursue “personal projects” but also continue to work closely “on a range of projects with Apple,” the California tech company said.
“Jony is a singular figure in the design world and his role in Apple’s revival cannot be overstated, from 1998’s groundbreaking iMac to the iPhone and the unprecedented ambition of Apple Park, where recently he has been putting so much of his energy and care,” said chief executive Tim Cook.
“Apple will continue to benefit from Jony’s talents by working directly with him on exclusive projects, and through the ongoing work of the brilliant and passionate design team he has built.
“After so many years working closely together, I’m happy that our relationship continues to evolve and I look forward to working with Jony long into the future.”
British-born Ive joined Apple in 1992 and designed the iPod, iPhone, iPad and Macbook as well as the iOS software system for Apple
devices.
Ive was a key collaborator of the late Steve Jobs at Apple when the company’s fortunes were revived with the development of the iPod and later the iPhone. In Walter Isaacson’s biography, Jobs praised Ive as being his partner in dreaming up devices.
“If I had a spiritual partner at Apple, it’s Jony,” Jobs was quoted as saying. “Jony and I think up most of the products together and then pull others in and say, ‘Hey, what do you think about this?’” — AFP