Apple and Jony Ive are breaking up — and this time, according to The New York Times, it’s for real. Ive left the tech giant in 2019 after over two decades and formed his own company called LoveFrom, which counted Apple as its first and primary client. The publication said that both parties agreed not to extend their contract in the weeks leading up to its renewal and to stop working together for the first time since the 90’s.
Ive was a close collaborator of Steve Jobs and is credited with designing the translucent, candy-colored plastic cases older Mac computers were known for. He also helped design the iPod, its white earbuds, the iPhone, the iPad, as well as the Apple Watch. Ive even reportedly contributed ideas to Apple’s upcoming mixed reality headset. In 2015, he was named Apple’s first Chief Design Officer, though his role shifted again over the years. The reports that came out after Ive left Apple claimed that he felt “dispirited” by Tim Cook’s lack of interest in design and the CEO’s decision to focus on selling software and services. Cook called those reports “absurd.”
The Times said LoveFrom’s multi-year contract with Apple was worth $100 million and prohibited the firm from taking on any project that the tech giant considered to be in competition with its products. Ive reportedly wanted the freedom to take on new clients without needing to ask permission from Apple. Meanwhile, the company’s executives had apparently been questioning the amount Apple was paying him and had grown frustrated over employees quitting to join his design firm instead.
Back when Ive left Apple and LoveFrom signed a deal with the company, Cook said that he looked “forward to working with Jony long into the future.” Whether that means there’s a possibility of them working together again remains to be seen. Unless, of course, one or both parties are taking a leaf from the great Taylor Swift’s book and swearing that they are never, ever getting back together.