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Apple design guru Jony Ive explains why Apple is so secretive: 'It would be bizarre not to be' (AAPL)

Rob Price
apple chief design officer jony ive

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for WIRED25


  • Apple's chief design offer Jony Ive says "it would be bizarre" for Apple not to be secretive.
  • The British-born exec spoke at a conference about why the Cupertino, California tech giant jealously guards its secrets.

Apple is famously, insanely secretive — and according to its head design guru, that's because it'd be weird not to be.

On Monday, Apple's chief design officer Jony Ive appeared at the Wired 25 conference in San Francisco, California, where he was interviewed by legendary fashion journalist Anna Wintour, who probed Apple's urge for secrecy.

"I actually think it would be bizarre not to be," Ive said. "I don't know many creatives who want to talk about what they're doing when they're halfway through it."

Wintour interjected: "Really? Then I obviously know very different people."

Apple jealously guards its secrets, tightly keeping its unannounced products under wraps and hiring an army of ex-NSA agents to police its workforce for leakers. Its practices have since become a model for other tech companies looking to emulate the Apple magic — to greater or lesser degrees of success.

Ive frames this urge towards confidentiality as necessary to not add "noise" to the process. 

"I know lots of PR departments who want to talk about something that’s been worked on," he said. "I’ve been doing this long enough where I actually feel a responsibility to not confuse or add more noise about what’s being worked on because I know that sometimes it doesn’t work out.

"I think its just in our nature when were working on a difficult problem — and so many of the problems we’re working on now are so complex — it just seems rather odd to be telling everyone what you’re doing."

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