Jony Ive no longer works at Apple — for realsies this time

Jony Ive
Jony Ive (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Jony Ive's LoveFrom design firm is no longer working with Apple.
  • The two companies have not signed a new contract after the previous one expired.
  • Ive is thought to have worked with Apple on a new mixed reality headset.

Jony Ive is officially out of Apple, three years after he left the first time according to a new report. Ive previously left Apple to start his own firm in 2019, but was signed on as a consultant immediately.

Ive founded LoveFrom and then signed a $100 million contracting deal with Apple. That deal appears to have been for three years, with The New York Times now reporting that the contract has come to an end and that the pair have decided to go their separate ways.

The reasons for that haven't been made public, but it doesn't take too much guesswork to figure out. Part of the deal meant that Ive wasn't allowed to work for Apple's competitors, it seems, something that greatly limited the scope of projects that LoveFrom could get involved with.

The deal restricted Mr. Ive from taking on work that Apple found competitive and ensured that the designer would inform the development of future products, such as an augmented-reality headset that it is expected to ship next year, the people said.

But it wasn't just Ive that wanted out. The report notes that some Apple execs had questioned the amount of money being paid to Ive, especially following a period that saw multiple designers leave the company to take new roles at LoveFrom. The lack of a contract renewal also means that Ive no longer needs Apple to give him the OK to hire Apple people, too.

In recent weeks, with the contract coming up for renewal, the parties agreed not to extend it. Some Apple executives had questioned how much the company was paying Mr. Ive and had grown frustrated after several of its designers left to join Mr. Ive's firm. And Mr. Ive wanted the freedom to take on clients without needing Apple's clearance, these people said.

With Ive reportedly having already worked on the upcoming Apple mixed reality headset it isn't clear what other products he had a hand in. Since his leaving Apple, the company is thought to have undone many of his design decisions including adding ports back to Macs that he removed them from. Other changes include making devices thicker and heavier to allow for the addition of features — something Ive was reportedly against.

Some of those improvements can be seen in Apple's various MacBook lines and you can grab a MacBook Prime Day deal right now. But be quick, the clock's ticking!

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.