Less than 10 years after Steve Jobs passed away, Apple is faced with another difficult transition. Sir Jony Ive, Apple’s design guru since the days of the Newton MessagePad, announced that he will be leaving the company as an employee to form an independent design company, of which Apple will be a client.
While he’s not leaving altogether, his departure from Apple Park will leave an indelible mark on the company, not unlike the iPhone, iPad, and iMacs he leaves behind. Here are 10 of Jony Ive’s most daring designs.
Back before the Blueberry iBook was a thing, Jony Ive designed a super-portable laptop with a curvy design, translucent case, and clamshell cover called the eMate 3000. Aimed at the education market, it was a short-lived outlier in a sea of boring beige and black cases, but it gave us a peek into the mind of the man who would blow our minds with the iMac just a year later.
Twentieth Anniversary Mac
To mark Apple’s 20th anniversary, Jony Ive truly let his imagination run wild. A machine that was so expensive it was delivered by tuxedo-wearing couriers, the Twentieth Anniversary Macintosh pushed the boundaries of what people expected from a PC in 1997. It had a vertically-mounted CD ROM, an all-in-one design the hid the motherboard behind the display, and a trackpad with leather palm rests. The height of luxury and extravagance, it proved that Ive wasn’t afraid to challenge conventions or wallets.
PowerMac G4 Cube
The best computer that no one bought, the PowerMac G4 Cube remains an enigma to this day. A beautiful mix of metal and clear polycarbonate that gave the illusion of suspension, the PowerMac G4 Cube was the height of industrial design, right down to the pop-up handle that let you remove the guts from the case. It stands as Apple’s most revolutionary design—and there hasn’t been a desktop that matches it since.
It seems so obvious now, but the iPhone could have gone…