Apple design chief Jony Ive might be best known for designing the iPhone, but according to the man himself, it was the Apple Watch which posed the greatest design challenge of his creative career so far. Speaking to a crowd at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art last night as he accepted the accepted the 2014 Bay Area Treasure Award for lifetime achievement, Ive called the Apple Watch a "difficult and humbling program."
As The Wall Street Journal notes in its coverage of the events, Ive says that difficulty springs from the "cultural, historical implications and expectations" associated with making a product that has its origins in the wristwatch. Watches are usually highly personalized devices, and thus the design for the Apple Watch led him to design what will ultimately be Apple's most customizable device. Not only does the Apple Watch allow its users to select their own straps, but it extends choices to watchfaces and sizes as well.
That desire for customization, Ive says, partly grows out of the fact that the device is designed to be worn. "As soon as something is worn, we have expectations of choice," said Ive. Ive said the device underwent three years of development before he and the company decided it was ready for its official announcement in September.
That's just one of the subjects Ive tackled. Notably, Ive also stated that his job keeps him so focused on design that he's more occupied with creating great products than making great profits, and as such he claims he wasn't aware of the specifics numbers surrounding Apple's profits (which amount to $40 billion so far this year).
"I honestly don’t know the numbers," said Ive. "But I know they are high."