When we first heard that Jony Ive was leaving Apple we weren't very happy. Rumors have persisted for years that one of the reasons that he was removed from the executive team was so that the company could pay him even larger sums of money without it being made public. As a member of the executive team, his renumeration would be public record as filed with the American SEC. We assumed that his move to leave Apple was part of a decision to pay him as a contractor or vendor rising his stratospheric salary even higher.
But then we had a change of heart. Don't let the door hit your arse on the way out Jony. Apple does plan on hiring Ive for design consulting etc, but we hope that the bulk of the work will be done by the in-house design team that Jony is leaving behind. We're sure that they are more than capable of taking up the slack left by Ive's departure.
The Wall Street Journal published an article that suggests that Ive was on his way out already and really has not done much other than draw a paycheck since the Apple Watch was released (Our interpretation). This means that everything since the Watch have been mostly non-Ive.
We actually see this house cleaning as hopefully a good thing. Apple has suffered since Steve Jobs' passing. Steve was the Yin to everyone else's Yang. He was the counterbalance to people like Ive and Cook. The scales did remain somewhat balanced after his death, but slowly things have gone off-kilter. We assume that this is due to the 'weights' that were left slowly doing more what they wanted and less in the spirit of what Steve would have done. Jony had unrestricted ability to make whatever design / UI changes that he wanted with no one to say - "maybe that's not the best idea".
This does create a somewhat larger problem that Tim still needs to deal with. Not only is the Yin dead, but the Yangs are kinda hanging. Someone on the design team will need to step-up and provide some clear definition to products going forward. If they rely upon their former boss telling them what to do from a 'consulting' standpoint, then nothing changes and we still have batteries and storage that can't be swapped out.
Our Wish List going forward
Now that Jony is gone we have a few things that we think Apple should seriously look at changing.
No more camera bump - That ridiculous protrudance on the back of every iPhone needs to go away. Yes, we know, Apple can state that the phone is 1/2 a millimeter thinner by not counting the camera bump but it's a complete annoyance and it needs to go. Flat back, no bumps, no dimples, just a flat surface for the phone to rest on. The world won't stop spinning and people will still buy your phones even if they are 1/2 millimeter thicker.
No more soldered RAM - in Apple's world, you buy your computer in whatever configuration you want. If at a later time after you've changed jobs or you've upgrade Adobe's rented bloatware you need more RAM to do your work, then you just need to buy a new computer. We're all millionaires like Tim and the rest of Apple executives - right? Schiller and the others have forgotten that 'the rest of us' don't have Amex black cards and can't just buy a new Ferrari because the other one got dirty.
No more soldered storage - (see above)
We want the charging port on the Magic Mouse 2 to allow operation during charging or put the AA batteries back in.
User replaceable batteries - One of our staff members has a 2009 MacBook Pro. Still works like a champ, but he's on this third battery and now has to buy them third party since Apple no longer manufactures them. We get the idea that you can't keep making parts for 10 year old computers, but you have to give people longer than the five years that Apple usually gives. What happens when Apple EOLs their current lappys and people want to keep using them after the batteries have either expanded or no longer hold a charge? Jony-boys idea is to just force them to buy a new one since designing a door or mechanism to allow a battery sway takes up space and just doesn't look good.
Planned obsolescence seems to be Apple's dirty secret. They come up with any number of excuses for why they do what the do, but the reality is (we believe) they just want to force people to keep buying stuff.
So what does this all mean?
Well, that depends on what direction the remaining design team takes. If they just go along with what Jony started, we're screwed. If however they grow a pair and a backbone to connect them we might see better products that we can continue to use and upgrade for years to come. A hopeful hint comes in the form of the new Mac Pro. It certainly doesn't look like a Jony designed product.
Goodbye Jony. We actually do wish you well - just somewhere else. Your days at Apple have come to an end and we're glad of that. You have several hits and misses over the years and Apple certainly is the better for your hits. But when you lost sight or touch with the consumer and what they need and expect, it was time to say goodbye.