That Ive is a great technology designer should not be an argument. Apple’s products are considered the design icons that competitors copy ad nauseam. PC notebooks look like Macs. Tablets look like iPads. Smartphones look like iPhones. Clearly, Ive has favorites. The Mac does not appear to be on his list.
Ive recently gave a lengthy and informative interview to Hodinkee Magazine. Hodinkee is about watches. Samsung and Fitbit’s efforts notwithstanding, watches are about design and craftsmanship.
I don’t look at watches for their relationship to popular culture, which I know is so much of the fun – but rather as somehow the distillation of craft, ingenuity, miniaturization, and of the art of making.
Clearly, Sir Jonathan Ive loves the design and effort that became Apple Watch. Without question, Watch is another hit product for Apple, and though not on the same scale as iPhone, clearly disrupted the smartwatch industry and put some visible dents in the entire watch industry.
Apple is a watch leader. Ive is a watch designer. His business mentor, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, did not wear a watch, and Apple Watch itself did not become much of an idea for a future product until after Jobs’ death in 2011.
I can understand why a writer for Hodinkee Magazine would discuss Watch and design ad nauseam. What I want to know, and the writer didn’t bother to ask (for obvious reasons), is– what about the Mac?
Seriously. What about the Mac?
Don’t get me wrong. I love the look and feel of every Mac in the family arsenal– iMac, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, et all– and I lust for an iMac Pro and yearn for a Mac Pro that doesn’t look like a device that captures and grinds rubbish into gold dust. Apple’s designers put effort into Watch, iPhone, and, uh, well, what else?
iPad is same old same old. The Mac mini is just old. MacBook Air? Old, too. Even iMac– despite my lust for the power in the Pro model– has become a little long in the tooth, and not one of the consumer grade Macs sports Intel’s latest Inside. I am saddened by the lack of design attention given to the Mac.
That made me wonder if design has an end– a zenith, a utopia, a nirvana– and I wonder if Sir Jony thinks that his creations cannot be improved. Maybe the reason we haven’t seen any truly madly deeply new Macs in recent years is because Ive thinks they have reached perfection and cannot be improved.
Maybe so, maybe no, but even if the outward appearance design remained the same, couldn’t Apple at least upgrade the damned thing to something with newer technology inside?
Dear Sir Jony, “What about the Mac?“