Jony Ive talks design challenges & more as iPhone X is named one of the top 25 inventions of 2017

Following an in-depth interview with Wallpaper* earlier this month, Jony Ive also recently sat down with TIME Magazine. Ive talks more about the iPhone X design in the interview, as well as some of the challenges Apple faced during the development of the device…

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The iPhone X marks a major shift in design and functionality for the iPhone, and Ive explains that it didn’t come without challenge. “There were these extraordinarily complex problems that needed to be solved,” he says.

When the design team would hit a roadblock, Ive says they would look back at what had been successful in the past for inspiration and hope that they would eventually find a solution:

“Paying attention to what’s happened historically actually helps give you some faith that you are going to find a solution,” says Ive, a soft-spoken 50-year-old Englishman. “Faith isn’t a surrogate for engineering competence, but it can certainly help fuel the belief that you’re going to find a solution. And that’s important.”

Ive also touches on how Apple is often the first to move away from technologies as they become dated. This includes the floppy drive in 1998, but more recently, the headphone jack and the Home button. Ive says he views clinging to outdated features as something that always leads to failure:

“I actually think the path of holding onto features that have been effective, the path of holding onto those whatever the cost, is a path that leads to failure,” says Ive. “And in the short term, it’s the path the feels less risky and it’s the path that feels more secure.”

Ive notes that, while designing, he takes pride in the small details that users might not even notice, but that prove critical to the user experience:

“There are certain things that you’re very conscious of as a user, and other things that you’re aware of but subconsciously,” says Ive. “Perhaps the subconscious example is just the nature of the way the iPhone X’s display is integrated into the stainless steel and glass body.”

TIME also talked with Dan Riccio, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware engineering, about the iPhone X. He remarks that the iPhone X “really sets us up well for the next 10 years,” while he also says that Apple doesn’t design for the lowest price, but rather for the best experience. “Our goal is always to provide what we think is the best product possible, not always the lowest cost,” says Riccio.

TIME’s interview with Riccio and Ive comes as the iPhone X is named one of the magazine’s 25 best inventions of 2017. Neither Apple exec would comment on what the future holds for the device, other than saying they have a “clear vision,” with Ive teasing that “this is just in some sense a completion of a chapter.”

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