Apple's rivals have 'wrong goals', says Sir Jonathan Ive

In a rare interview, he said Apple’s rivals were focused on novelty instead of creating better products.

“Most of our competitors are interested in doing something different, or want to appear new – I think those are completely the wrong goals,” he told The Independent.

“A product has to be genuinely better. This requires discipline, and that’s what drives us, and it’s not about price, schedule or a bizarre marketing goal to appear different – they are corporate goals with scant regard for people who use the product.”

Sir Jonathan, 45, heads Apple’s small team of designers and through his partnership with Steve Jobs is seen as a key force behind its renaissance over the past decade. He was knighted in the New Year Honours List for services to design and enterprise.

Since designing the colourful iMac range, which made its debut in 1998, Sir Jonathan has moved Apple’s products in an increasingly minimalist direction, using aluminium and glass, and a monochrome colour scheme.

“It’s a very strange thing for a designer to say, but one of the things that really irritates me in products is when I’m aware of designers wagging their tails in my face,” he said.

“Our goal is simple objects that you can’t imagine any other way. Simplicity is not the absence of clutter. Get it right, and you become closer and more focused on the object.”

Describing Apple’s design approach as requiring “fanatical attention to detail” and “remarkable focus”, Sir Jonathan said it was crucial to work collaboratively.

“I work with silicon designers, electronic and mechanical engineers, and I think you would struggle to determine who does what when we get together.

“We’re located together, we share the same goal, have the same preoccupations with making great products.

“The nature of having ideas is incredibly inspiring. There is an idea which is solitary, fragile and tentative and doesn’t have form. What we’ve found here is that it then becomes a conversation, although remains very fragile.

“But when you make a 3D model, however crude, you bring form to a nebulous idea, the process shifts. It brings focus from a broad group of people.”

Sir Jonathan, originally from the London suburb of Chingford, said he was “thrilled” and "humbled" by his knighthood, and paid tribute to British design heritage, “aware that I’m the product of growing up in England”.

“The emphasis and value on ideas and original is an innate part of British culture, and in many ways it describes the traditions of design.”

The Telegraph