On September 27, 2023, The Information reported that Jony Ive, the former chief design officer of Apple, and Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, are in talks to develop a new AI hardware device. SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son is also said to be involved in the discussions, but it is unclear if he will remain involved.


The report did not disclose any details about the AI hardware's appearance or purpose, but sources said that the two companies hope to collaborate to create a new hardware for the "age of artificial intelligence." The market speculates that the new product will combine ARM chips, Apple hardware, and OpenAI software. Analysts believe that this move could give OpenAI a competitive advantage in the race to change the way consumers live with AI in the coming years.

For Jony Ive, this could be his most challenging and innovative project since leaving Apple. As Apple's former chief design officer, Ive led the design of many of the company's most iconic hardware products, from the iMac to the iPhone to the iPad to the Apple Watch. All of these products reflect his commitment to beauty and function.

Ive was born in London, England, in 1967. His father was a renowned silversmith and teacher who emphasized design and technology. Ive was deeply influenced by his father, and he once said, "I've always known the beauty of making things by hand, and I've come to realize that what's really important is to put your heart and soul into a product, and I have a deep contempt for products that reflect the carelessness of their creators."

Ive's design skills were evident even in high school. At a small student exhibition, the general manager of London-based design firm Roberts Weaver Group discovered Ive's talent and later sponsored him to attend the University of Northumbria.

Ive officially joined Apple in 1992. In 1997, he became Apple's senior vice president of industrial design, leading the industrial design team responsible for most of the company's major hardware products. That same year, Apple CEO Steve Jobs commissioned Ive's team to design the iMac. Notably, Apple was already on the brink of bankruptcy at the time.

On May 6, 1998, Jobs unveiled the first-generation iMac to the world. The iMac had a blue, translucent, spherical exterior, and the internal circuitry could be seen through the shell. It was this unique-looking computer that helped Apple "resurrect" itself and become one of the best-selling desktop computers in history at the time. It can be said that it was one of the most important moments in Apple's history, and it also made Ive one of Jobs' closest collaborators.

"He's not just a designer," Jobs told his biographer Walter Isaacson. "He's got more operational power than anyone else in the company except me."

Ive was the "creative soul" behind many of Apple's most iconic hardware designs, creating one classic after another. In addition to the iPod, iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, iMac, he even helped with the design of Apple retail stores and even Apple cars.

After Jobs' death in 2011, Ive led the development of the Apple Watch. Although the product initially failed to meet sales expectations, it created a wearables business that generated $38 billion in revenue for Apple in 2021.

In addition to hardware design, Ive also participated in many software designs. In 2012, he was promoted to Apple's senior vice president of design and oversaw the design of iOS 7. In 2015, he began serving as Apple's chief design officer.

In 2019, Ive officially left Apple, founded his own design studio LoveFrom, and signed a long-term collaboration agreement with Apple worth over 100 million US dollars. In 2022, Ive ended his collaboration with Apple.

If this collaboration between Jony Ive and OpenAI is successful, it will be a historic event that will unite the world's most famous designer with the most celebrated CEO of a tech company.

Cover image: Jony Ive Twitter

Editor: Alexander