Tang Tan, the mind behind the design aesthetics of Apple’s iPhone and Apple Watch, is poised to depart from the tech juggernaut. According to a new report from Bloomberg, this departure is set for February, wherein Tan is set to join LoveFrom, a modern AI design studio founded by legendary designer Jony Ive, with software backing from OpenAI’s Sam Altman.
Tang Tan, currently serving as Apple’s Vice President of Product Design, has played an instrumental role in shaping the visual identity of some of the most consequential tech products of our era. His influence extends beyond the sleek contours of iPhones and Apple Watches, encompassing pivotal contributions to the design language of AirPods and other critical devices. The impending departure of Tan from Apple signifies the conclusion of an era, leaving behind a void in the design leadership landscape of the Cupertino-based tech giant. Apple has not released any official statement on the matter.
Tan’s professional journey takes a new trajectory as he embarks on a collaborative venture with Jony Ive at LoveFrom. Founded by Ive after his departure from Apple in 2019, LoveFrom positions itself as a design firm at the vanguard of innovative concepts. Tan’s role at LoveFrom is expected to transcend traditional design parameters; wherein he is expected to spearhead hardware engineering for an ambitious AI hardware project that stands at the nexus of aesthetics and technological innovation.
Tan’s collaboration with Ive at LoveFrom is not a solitary endeavor. The project is fortified by the involvement of Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, a powerhouse in the realm of artificial intelligence. Altman’s pivotal role lies in providing the software underpinnings that will constitute the backbone of the envisioned AI hardware, according to reports. This tripartite collaboration signifies a concerted effort to merge design prowess with cutting-edge AI technology, a synergy that holds promise for groundbreaking advancements.
While specifics about LoveFrom’s AI hardware venture remain under wraps, insiders suggest that the initiative is in its nascent stages. LoveFrom’s ambitions transcend the conventional boundaries of design; Ive envisions transforming the AI device work into an independent company. The current focus of the project revolves around talent acquisition and conceptualizing avant-garde design ideas seamlessly integrated with AI technology. The scope extends to the creation of devices tailored for home use, signaling a commitment to pioneering solutions that transcend the ordinary. Tan’s departure adds to the ongoing narrative of talent attrition at Apple, especially in the design domain. Since Ive’s departure in 2019, nearly 14 members of the esteemed design team have bid farewell, posing challenges to Apple’s endeavor to maintain its design-centric brand identity.
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