Former Apple designer Jony Ive and Sam Altman of OpenAI are reportedly in advanced talks with SoftBank to start a $1 billion venture. Their common goal is to create an “AI-powered iPhone”.
According to the Financial Times, Altman wants Jony Ive, or rather his design studio LoveFrom, to help develop the first consumer device based on the ChatGPT language model. The report goes on to say that Altman and Ive are holding creative meetings in San Francisco about what such a product should look like.
All stakeholders hope to create a naturally intuitive user interface for interacting with AI, similar to what the first iPhone did. At that time, Apple took full advantage of the potential of touch screens and at the same time showed the possibilities of using mobile internet.
The process of identifying the design should be at an early stage of development, and many different ideas and thoughts should be on the table. Even Masayoshi Son, founder and CEO of Softbank, who sees a huge opportunity in the project, joined the joint discussions. Son reportedly suggested that they use the services of British chip designer ARM, which, by the way, his Japanese conglomerate holds a 90% stake.
Jony Ive designed, among other things, the first iPhone, and he also had a major influence on its subsequent generations
Jony Ive is concerned about how we use smartphones
Jony Ive is said to be concerned about the way we use smartphones, or rather, he would like to create a completely new way of interacting with a computer that is less dependent on working with a screen. Although the discussions are of a serious nature, no concrete agreement has yet been reached. People familiar with the situation add that we will probably have to wait several months for an official announcement. At the same time, it follows that the launch of the final device will not take place before the next few years.
So the question is what the iPhone will look like at that time and whether it will be Apple’s flagship product at all. Next year, the Vision Pro AR/VR headset is set to launch a game that is poised to fundamentally change the way computing electronics are perceived. Assuming that users accept this product and Apple starts selling more affordable headset options, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if smartphones as we know them today lose their appeal.
From iPhones to space. Jony Ive designed the seal for the space project for Britain’s King Charles III.
Jony Ive left Apple in 2019 and at the same time founded the design studio LoveFrom. He recruited several former colleagues who had previously worked with him to join the company. Ive has been one of Apple’s key figures for many years. He was at the birth of a number of iconic products, including the iMac G3, iPod, iPad and Apple Watch.