Apple’s design guru Jony Ive, who was interviewed recently by Bloomberg Businessweek and Vogue, on Thursday night appeared in a rare on-stage interview at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit in San Francisco, where he talked about design before and after Apple, and Apple products. Ive even showed off a strange looking phone he designed for a contest decades ago, a contest that he eventually won.

“The Thing looks really weird,” Business Insider wrote. “It had a microphone that you held in front of your face.”

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The Apple exec further added that when he first came to California to attend college, he just wanted to meet people, and lugged that “stupid model phone” around with him.

Since then, Ive became Apple’s design voice, having a say in many of the iconic products the company launched, such as the iPhone family. In fact, Ive added that the iPhone 6 was in the making for years, but Apple decided against launching big-screen handsets in the past as early effort “was a lousy product” that was “clunky like a lot of competitor’s phones are still.”

As for the iPhone 6’s design, the exec said that the rounded edges were needed to make it feel more substantial.

Ive also talked about the Apple Watch, saying the device is a departure from consumer electronics, but that his design team had to answer to many technology-related “what if?” and “how do we do this?” questions.

When asked whether he feels flattered when seeing competing devices such as Xiaomi’s imitating Apple’s design style, Ive took a harsh stance, saying that “flattering” is the last thing he’d label it. “All those weekends I could’ve been home with my family…I think it’s theft and lazy. I don’t think it’s OK at all,” he said.

Meanwhile, an image of Ive’s first phone design, that’s not likely to be copied today, is shown in the image below. A transcript of the interview is available at the source link.

jony-ive-first-phone

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