One of the nicest things about Jonathan Ive, chief designer of the iPod, the iPhone and just about every other Apple (AAPL) product since the original candy-colored iMac, is that he has displayed absolutely no ambition to rise to the top of Apple Inc. He seems content to lead a design team that is without equal in the world of consumer electronics.
Which is what makes the two questions at the top of the long profile of Ive in today’s
of London so bizarre:
Does Rupert Murdoch’s Times know something we don’t? Is Apple PR paving the way for Steve Jobs’ succession?
No, no, no and no. If you read the Times story closely you will see that it is what journalists call a write-around — a profile written without the cooperation of the main subject or his handlers.
“Jony feels his time would be better spent doing his job than doing interviews,” an Apple spokesperson tells the Times’ Chris Ayres in the last sentence of the piece.
With nothing new to say and no access to Ive, why run the story at all?
Why indeed. If there is a Murdochian agenda at play here, it seems to be to stir the embers of the nearly dormant Apple stock option backdating case, a train of logic that starts in paragraph 10 and leads to Ive by the most circuitous route:
Strip all that away and what you have is a local-boy-does-good story served up for The Times‘ homegrown readership. The fact is, Ive shows no appetite for the spotlight that shines so brightly on Apple’s CEO, as even Ayres must concede:
As it happens, Jonathan Ive does make a rare video appearance on YouTube, which
has kindly dusted off and which we have pasted below the fold.
Is this the next Steve Jobs? You be the judge.