Jony Bye Bye

Greetings! Coming right up, the most interesting stuff about Apple in the past week. — Please forward this email to anyone you think might find it interesting.


Jony Ive isn't leaving Memphis with a guitar in his hand, but he's leaving Cupertino to create a new design firm with Marc Newson, also from Apple. "There were some significant projects that I feel like I've completed". Looks like Ive's done designing electronics. Jeff Williams will oversee the design department.

This friendly divorce has led to plenty of gossip and social media war between rabid fanboys, mild enthusiasts and "the others".

We'll only know what really transpired in a few years when it's time for a new biography. Meanwhile, I'd recommend all of you to read John Siracusa's take on it, which I take the liberty to quote:

And so we come to the most common criticism of Ive's work. With so few limitations on his power and skills, the spark that animates his creative philosophy has been allowed to burn so brightly that it has overwhelmed everything else. Symmetry overrides utility. Simplicity overrides flexibility. Purity of form overrides quality of function.

A few more assorted thoughts before jumping to another topic:

  • Many insiders talk about how Jony sort of left a few years ago

  • Angela Ahrendts left the company after five years. Pure chance, obviously, but they worked together closely in the new direction for the Apple Stores.

  • I talked about the state of the Stores some weeks ago: pretty, yes, but insufficient.

  • I think Apple fell a bit into the design for the sake of looking good in the last years. See: MacBooks, cylindrical Mac Pro, Pencil, Magic Mouse, and so on.

  • The design/function balance wasn't ideal.

  • WWDC 2019 felt to me like a benign coup d'état from the engineering side of the company. 


Talking about balance from function and design...

The Butterfly era is over. The next MacBook Air will come in the fall and will bring back the scissor switches for the keyboard made by Taiwanese firm Sunrex. — Fair to assume all the MacBooks will eventually adopt it.


iPhone in China is slowly turning back after price cuts, the installed base is growing again. — Tim Cook already talked about this inflection point.


Apple hired long time ARM chip genius Mike Filippo. He's seen as the father of the A57, A72 and A76 cores, that other companies can use or modify. Big hire


Tim Cook met with Donald Trump to talk about tariffs. Trump came out of the G-20 with a more dialoguing position.


Apple yields to China again, this time in podcasts. The company started removing shows that weren't approved by the country’s media regulators. — With autocratic regimes, you can only follow the law so much.


More from the orchard


Apple Not-So-Weekly

This publication hasn't live up to its name for the last month, and I'm sorry about that. I'm switching jobs after three years at the newspaper and going independent, all while keeping my sanity taking care of three young kids for the summer.

I cherish writing this newsletter. It makes me sit and take a perspective in some really interesting affairs. I hesitate between going daily and staying true to its original mission. What are your thoughts?