Apple design chief leaving to work on AI products with Jony Ive

Apple’s chief product designer is leaving the company to go and work on new AI products with former Apple design chief Jony Ive.

That’s the claim being made by Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who has a pretty solid tack record on such things.

According to the report, Apple’s Tang Tan will leave his position overseeing Apple’s iPhone and Watch hardware design to work for LoveFrom, the design consultancy company Jony Ive left Apple to set up back in 2019.

Interestingly, it seems Tan is being signed up to work with Ive and OpenAI’s Sam Altman on a new artificial intelligence hardware project for the home.

More than 20 former Apple employees have joined the company since its inception. It’s a somewhat concerning time for Apple, which has seen a number of experienced designers jumping ship of late. That included Ive’s own successor, Evans Hankey, who left Apple earlier in 2023.

The company’s next big design gamble is expected to be seen in January when it launches the Apple Vision Pro. This pricey ($3,499) mixed reality headset will be the latest to attempt to sell the public on the idea of virtual reality in the home.

It’ll be the company’s first major entry into a new product category since the Apple Watch introduced it to the smartwatch market back in 2015.

That one went pretty well, of course, but the elevated pricing and the potentially isolating nature of the Apple Vision Pro – not to mention the challenging optics involved in actually wearing the thing – means that its success is far from assured.