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The design chief of the iPhone has joined forces with Sam Altman and Jony Ive to collaborate on a new AI device

Jony Ive and Sam Altman, in collaboration with a former Apple executive, are embarking on a new AI hardware venture. The project is still in its early stages but has garnered attention as it brings together the renowned designer of the iPhone, Jony Ive, and the visionary leader of OpenAI, Sam Altman. Tang Tan, a former Apple executive with expertise in hardware engineering, is leaving the company to join Ive and Altman in this new venture.

Jony Ive, who departed Apple in 2019 to establish his own design firm, LoveFrom, has a storied history of creating iconic products such as the iMac, iPhone, and iPad. Now, he aims to extend his influence to AI hardware, collaborating with Altman, the co-founder and CEO of OpenAI. Altman will contribute the software foundation for the new AI devices, while Ive will oversee design and aesthetics.

The departure of Tang Tan from Apple is seen as another setback for the tech giant, which has experienced a series of exits from design talent since Ive’s departure. About 14 members of Ive’s former team have reportedly left Apple since 2019. In contrast, LoveFrom has grown, welcoming over 20 former Apple employees and securing prestigious clients like Airbnb, Ferrari, and Moncler. LoveFrom’s consulting deal with Apple concluded in 2022 after a three-year collaboration.





Sam Altman, Jony Ive Enlist Apple iPhone Design Head to Work on AI Devices  - Bloomberg
Sam Altman, Jony Ive Enlist Apple iPhone Design Head to Work on AI Devices

While details about the new AI hardware project remain scarce, initial concepts suggest a range of devices for home use. The collaboration between Ive and Altman was first reported by The Information, indicating discussions about an AI device with the involvement of Softbank’s Masayoshi Son.

Altman has emphasized that the new venture does not aim to compete with smartphones, acknowledging the iPhone’s popularity. He expressed no interest in creating a device to replace the iPhone. However, speculations abound regarding the potential impact of the AI hardware venture on Apple’s dominance in the consumer tech industry, particularly in light of the buzz surrounding OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

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