Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products

Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products

by Leander Kahney
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Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products by Leander Kahney

“Different and new is relatively easy. Doing something that’s genuinely better is very hard.” —Jony Ive

In 1997, Steve Jobs returned to Apple as CEO with the unenviable task of turning around the company he had founded. One night, Jobs discovered a scruffy British designer toiling away at Apple’s corporate headquarters, surrounded by hundreds of sketches and prototypes. It was then that Jobs realized he had found a talent who could reverse the company’s long decline.

That young designer was Jony Ive. 

Jony Ive’s collaboration with Jobs would produce some of the world’s most iconic technology products, including the iMac, iPod, iPad, and iPhone. The designs have not only made Apple a hugely valuable company, they’ve overturned entire industries, built a loyal fan base, and created a globally powerful brand. Along the way, Jony Ive has become the world’s leading technology innovator, won countless design awards, earned a place on the 2013 Time 100 list, and was even knighted for his “services to design and enterprise.”

Yet despite his triumphs, little is known about the shy and soft-spoken whiz whom Jobs referred to as his “spiritual partner” at Apple. Jony Ive reveals the true story of Apple’s real innovator-in-chief.

Leander Kahney, the bestselling author of Inside Steve’s Brain, offers a detailed portrait of a creative genius. He shows us how Jony Ive went from an English art school student with dyslexia to the man whose immense insights have altered the pattern of our lives. From his early interest in industrial design, fostered by his designer father, through his education at Newcastle Polytechnic and meteoric rise at Apple, we discover the principles and practices that he developed to become the designer of his generation.

Based on interviews with Jony Ive’s former colleagues and Kahney’s own familiarity with the world of Apple, this book gives insight into how Jony Ive (now senior vice president of design) has redefined the ways in which we work, entertain, and communicate with one another.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781591846178
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/14/2013
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Leander Kahney has covered Apple for more than a dozen years and has written three popular books about Apple, including Inside Steve’s Brain and Cult of Mac. The former news editor for, he is currently the editor and publisher of He lives in San Francisco.

Table of Contents

Author's Note ix

Chapter 1 School Days 1

Chapter 2 A British Design Education 13

Chapter 3 Life in London 30

Chapter 4 Early Days at Apple 62

Chapter 5 Jobs Returns to Apple 101

Chapter 6 A String of Hits 138

Chapter 7 The Design Studio Behind the Iron Curtain 159

Chapter 8 Design of the iPod 172

Chapter 9 Manufacturing, Materials and Other Matters 187

Chapter 10 The iPhone 211

Chapter 11 The iPad 232

Chapter 12 Unibody Everywhere 240

Chapter 13 Apple's MVP 251

Acknowledgments 271

Secrecy and Sources 273

Notes 275

Index 295

Photo Credits 306

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“An adulating biography of Apple’s left-brained wunderkind, whose work continues to revolutionize modern technology.”
—Kirkus Reviews

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Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book tells the extremely fascinating story of one of the behind-the-scenes engineer/designer for Apple, Jony Ives. Ives majorly contributed and helped produce some of Apple's most important products such as; the iMac, iPod, iPad, and iPhone. Not only did he contribute greatly to the success of Apple as a whole, but also revolutionized the industry. For most companies base their products off of Apple's original products. Ives and Jobs' partnership started in the late 1900s, specifically around 1997. The book is a biography so it is told by Leander Kahney about Ive. Kahney has studied Apple for over 12 years and has written 3 books on the company. This was an extremely well-written and eye-opening book. It's main purpose is to expose the people who deserve enormous credit in large scale companies that usually end up not getting the credit. Jony Ive was an exceptionally inspirational man who completely changed the way technology is now thought of. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PierresFamily More than 1 year ago
Very interesting behind-the-scenes look at one of the most innovative companies of our day, and the devices that have changed many of our lives. I would love to read more about this company and its engineers. We hear a lot about Mr. Jobs, and to be sure, he was a tallented salesman. However, without people like "Woz" and Mr. Ive, he would have had nothing to sell. He couldn't have done it without the "worker bees" and "Brains" of the company. More books like this, please! : ) 
punctuation More than 1 year ago
A good book that goes some way to penciling in some of the background of the slightly mysterious Jony Ive. The book focuses a lot on the rise of Apple's design department but, curiously, much is written almost at arm's length with very little first-hand accounts of Ive's career. It reads, at times, a little like a dossier of background information rather than an autobiography and there is a slightly disproportionate amount of mention of IDEO although this is forgivable since they appear to have supplied many of the key design team of Apples greatest product design hits. That said, it's a must-have for Apple fans as well as anyone who is either considering a career in design, especially (as the book calls it) ID or industrial design. Definitely worth getting.