back to article Jonathan Ive is knighted in New Year Honours list

Apple’s chief designer Jonathan Ive has been appointed a Knight Commander of the British Empire (KBE) in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list. Ive said he was "both humbled and sincerely grateful" for the award for services to design, and said the news was "absolutely thrilling." He told the BBC: "I am keenly aware that I …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. ideapete

    He already did that

    The fasting, purification and prayer and then the Jobs came back to the company and all was well , now look at our boy . Go SirJon

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How Dare You!

    How Dare you indeed suggest that anyone but St Jobs had ANY influence on ANY Apple Product.

    All Hail The Steve.


    Here Have A Brain Slug.


    Those Macbooks sure do looks nice.

  3. Hemisphere

    ...good timing, too. Buckingham is right due for a hardware re-think; and, the 12 knights are off-contract and need new kit. Word has it, though, Guinevere now has it out for Siri Jon. If so, all bets are off.

  4. Evan Essence
    Thumb Up


  5. Nick Kew Silver badge

    British Empire?

    So there we have it. Our powers-that-be have a cunning plan to get rich again: declare Apple to be of the British Empire!

  6. David 45

    I've got the pip!

    I have to ask - why? What has he (together with Jobs) ever done for the UK, apart from con. folk into buying over-priced, over-hyped pretty kit that most other manufacturers have produced for a considerably lower sum and does much the same job. People have been mesmerised by the style, 'koz that's all you're really paying for, folks.

    1. Chris 3

      And you see...

      ... that's your problem. You honestly believe that industrial design is unimportant. And that people who take build quality, design or fit-and-finish into account are simply dupes.

      . "A keyboard that detects low-light conditions and automatically provides a keyboard backlight? ludicrous, I can buy a perfectly good head-torch for £3". You'll go on believing that people are being conned or technically stupid, irrespective of the fact that usage of Apple products is reasonably high amongst the technically clueful. You'll then become increasingly frustrated that people keep considering design important.

      Meanwhile Apple will keep on coining it in, providing easy-to-use, robustly built and nicely designed bits of kit.

      1. Steve Graham
        Thumb Down

        Good design is good, but design that addresses only "style" isn't good design.

        For example, fed up with crap keyboards, I bought an Apple one, thinking the higher price would be justified by the promised higher quality.

        And, yes, it was robust and stylish, but the "design" to get the "look" had resulted in keys that had the responsiveness of a 1980s calculator. You couldn't actually type on it.

        In an additional Apple touch, the supplied USB extension cable had a non-standard notch on the shell to stop you using it with any other manufacturer's equipment.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Indeed. Apple keyboards are among the worst I've ever used and generally poorer than the crap they package with new PCs or that PC World flog for a tenner.

          I'm not averse to an honour for Ives, but a knighthood seems a bit excessive.

        2. John 62

          each to their own

          I really like typing on the Apple keyboards of my MacBook and MBP.

          I also liked the Dell one with minimal casing round the keys.

      2. Homer 1

        Backlit keyboards...

        ...were not invented by Apple either:

        Personally I've no problem with people being recognised and appreciated for doing a good job, but a knighthood? Seriously? This is toy gizmos we're talking about here, not the Sistine Chapel or the Difference Engine. It's like awarding a knighthood to some guy for designing a nice coffee table. Very attractive, I'm sure, but not exactly an historic event. It's neither a work of art nor any sort of invention, so why the fawning accolade?

        The only award Jonathan Ive deserves is the same as any other working man, a pay cheque, and I'm fairly sure he already gets one that's highly disproportionate to his actual contribution to society, so surely that's more than enough. I bet it's far more than your average GP earns, and frankly any one of them is more worthy of consideration than a "keyboard designer".

    2. twilkins

      I'm no Apple fanboy - not owning a single Apple product - but I have to respect the contribution Ive has made to popular culture and the world of industrial design.

      The vast majority of people who receive a knighthood get one for reasons other than charity work.

      Also, Samsung would be a poorer company were it not for the work of Ive.

    3. nation of stupid



      con. folk into buying over-priced, over-hyped pretty kit that most other manufacturers have produced for a considerably lower sum and does much the same job. People have been mesmerised by the style, 'koz that's all you're really paying for, folks.

      So do we presume you drive a Perodua, Kia or Hyundia? After all they do the same job as a Ford, Volkswagen or BMW for a "considerably lower sum."

      Just because someone wants to use different criteria than you in their buying decisions doeasn't make them idiot paying over the odds.

      Well, unless they buy Sony.

    4. Philip Lewis

      F**k I am tired of this sort of crap comment

      The heading says it all!

      No one was conned. APPL have very high customer satisfaction levels.

      There is more to consumer products than the technical specifications.

      Nerds and geeks take careful note. Apple is in the consumer products business.

      Guys, get over it and stop cluttering this space with you're puerile, supercilious and ignorant drivel.


  7. Jean-Paul

    David 45

    You are even more daft than your spiteful message, it is for design you dummy even in your spiteful message you are not slating them for that ;)

    1. Anonymous Cowerd
      Thumb Down

      I agree with David

      He hasn't done anything to deserve a knighthood.

      People doing massive amounts of charity work are getting paltry CBEs, MBEs and OBEs, yet he gets a knighthood for making lots of money for a US company?


      P.S. If you want to look intelligent (instead of looking like a rabid fanboi), you could try using the reply function under David's post instead of starting a new thread.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I'm sorry.

        A logical fallacy is and always will be a logical fallacy. The honours system isn't just for people that do charity work.

        1. Anonymous Cowerd

          What logical fallacy?

          I said he didn't deserve a knighthood ahead of others doing work of much more benefit to the country. All he's done is help an American corporation make a lot of money. Is it wrong to question that?

          Where is the logical fallacy? Be so kind as to explain yourself rather than making glib, unbackedup statements.

          1. Prag Fest

            @ac etc

            His designs are used and loved by hundreds of millions of people every day. I know the apple haters on this site flatly refuse to ever remove their heads from the sand, but fact is his work has had a significant impact on a lot of lives. I thought this was an engineering / technology website? You should be proud that a UK engineer has done so well.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              What about Alan Turing? Never knighted, and never pardoned for the criminal charges of being gay that ultimately led to his death.

              1. Richard 12 Silver badge

                Turing has been officially pardoned

                The Government also formally apologised for the disgraceful way he was treated.

                Several decades too late unfortunately.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              I wouldn't say he was an engineer

              He's a designer - engineers implement designs or advise where implementation is not possible or practical.

              The idea of what constitutes an 'engineer' these days is laughable.

              1. GitMeMyShootinIrons


                I couldn't have said it better. Both are seperate and respectable occupations that (more so in the engineering case) are too often overlooked and devalued in the UK.

                Compare the number of jobless graduate sociologists, media studies and other 'trendy' but generally useless qualifications.

                Giving Ives a knighthood for his example is far more deserving than has-been footballers, comedians, union leaders and donors to political parties (left or right).

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward


                  IIRC, IKB rated in the top 5 most important Englishmen of the 20C in someone's poll.

                  I am too lazy to chase the reference. So, not all engineers have disappeared into the shadows.

                  For the non-UK people, IKB is perhaps Britains most famous engineering son, known to young and old alike by his famous initials.


              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward


                He's and industrial designer. The keyword there is industrial. Industrial designers are product engineers. They concern themselves with the manufacturing and functioning of a product as much as they do the overall aesthetic. As to your description of what an engineer does in the process, it can be summed up with one phrase; he *designs* solutions to problems.

                To the chap making the rather trite rebuttal to my accusations of employing a fallacy; there are a couple, but I was going with appeal to emotion. Thought that was self evident, clearly not.

                1. Stephen 10

                  Nice display of ignorance as fact

                  I look forward to you driving over a bridge designed solely by an industrial designer.

                  Industrial design is an arts based qualification with a drafting/technical drawing component. It is not a technical qualification.

                  An engineer is a recognised and certified title, like a medical doctor, it takes a minimum of 4 years of study at a recognised institution and is highly protected due to the consequence of the work and its potential failure. While bunging another word in front is fashionable it doesn't make anyone a real engineer.

                  A friend of mine just finished her Engineering PhD in plasma physics after 9 years of study then original, ground-breaking work, she's an engineer, Ive is not.

                  1. Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Nice display of ignorance as fact

                    "I look forward to you driving over a bridge designed solely by an industrial designer." different kind of engineering. Would you like to drive over a bridge designed by and electrical, mechanical or software engineer? Tit.

                    "Industrial design is an arts based qualification with a drafting/technical drawing component. It is not a technical qualification." Funnily enough, the University that I went to begs to differ, but who are they next to an internet troll? I have a BSc Hons and an MSc in the subject, as well as a successful (though not as successful as Sir Jonathan Ive's) 15 year career.

                    Engineers do not need to be registered to practice as an engineer, unlike say Architects (RIBA and ARB), Doctores (GMC), Surveyors (RICS) etc. What you are referring to is a CEng and is *not* a requirement to practice.

                    1. Prag Fest


                      Correct mate, you are amongst the few whom speak sense,

                      Lots of muppets going off on one about what defines an engineer. I'm an engineer, a real one, all the qualifications etc etc, so I'm in a position to say. Yes Ive is at heart a designer, but his involvement in the materials and manufacturing process goes way beyond the norm, requiring an intimate involvement in engineering issues.

                      I would make a punt that most of the commentards lining up to take a pop at Ive have no idea what he actually does or how he is involved in the work. There is a little more to it that knocking up a pretty CAD picture and handing over to some blokes to make for you...

                      And for the record, it has generally been my experience that 'engineers' who obsess over qualifications are usually shit. The good ones are too busy getting stuck in and producing things.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Better yet, he now outranks Alan Turing twice over, and he didn't even have to invent anything from scratch or beat nazi codes.

      3. twilkins

        He was already a CBE (awarded in 2005).

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Anonymous Coward



  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    thank Apple for the generous gift of the 10 iphones, 10 ipads and 10 Mac books you have sent her for Christmas.

    Her Majesty appreciates this gift and sends her best wishes.

    "Phillip, cancel the Amazon order, we've got some freebees we can give the grand kids!"

    1. LarsG

      ONLY 10 OF EACH.......

      "Good God Lizzie, you should have asked for a few more, what about all the cousins and the rugby player chap!

      "Calm down Phillips, think of you blood pressure this stress is not good for you....... I'll make the call!"

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The fanbois are up early today

    See title

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I hate Apple. I hate their hideous monoculture, their practice of outright stealing FOSS and rebadging it, their awful control-freakery, their lawsuits, their anti-competitive practices and most of all, I hate the unbearable _smugness_ of the entire Apple cult. If Apple and all its products ceased to exist at midnight, I would breathe a sigh of relief and praise Kibo that people might start thinking for themselves again. Apple are filth.

      Jonathan Ive, however, is a bloody great designer. Credit where it's due.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What kind of country is this, Golgafrincham?

    A telephone designer (knighthood) is considered more valuable than a cancer research scientist (MBE) ?

    You people disgust me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The difference is that Saint Ive has produced a result

      If and when the cancer researcher comes up with a cure for cancer then no doubt he/she will get a K and also a Nobel Prize.

      Or looking at it another way, the researcher *may* discover something that will bring relief to cancer sufferers whereas Ive *has* designed something that relieves the gullible of their cash.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: disgust

      Well said, sir.

      Couldn't agree more.

      1. GitMeMyShootinIrons

        But at least he's accomplished more than any number Sir Bruce Forsyth, Sir Sean Connery or other celebs.

    3. Richard Gadsden

      Two Physics and one Chemistry Nobel Prize-winners, OTOH

      got knighthoods. So, priorities, not entirely out of order.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Congratulations to Jonathan on his award!

    It's a shame that we don't have more UK companies to nurture talent and skill in technology industries.

    And speaking of which - why on earth hasn't Sophie Wilson ever received an honour...?

  14. kcwookie

    In this day and age of technology, he can live where he wants. I'm sure Apple has no problem with that. He might just have to travel a bit.

  15. Will Godfrey Silver badge


    So someone involved in the appearance of a TOY get's a knighthood eh.

    Says a lot about values. Pffft!

  16. Andrew Newstead


    The British honours system is strange and quite arcane at times but there is usually a reason behind the nomination. In this case I suspect that it is to draw attention to the fact a world class designer ( and Ives is that what ever you think of Apple) is British and was trained in Britain.

    Personally I say congratulations to Jon Ives.

    1. farizzle
      Thumb Up


      What ☝ said...

  17. Andrew Newstead

    Honours addendum

    Just to add to my previous post, I've just had a look at the honours list and there seems to be a lot of tech and science knighthoods this year. I detect a pattern.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Honours addendum

      It's highly possible a roundup will be done after the NYE weekend, give or take a hangover.


  18. pctechxp

    Who wants to bet

    That the codename for the next Apple product will now be Excalibur?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Also from Chingford

    Don't forget that David Beckham (and myself) all went to the same school in Chingford!

    1. Lord Lien

      David Beckham....

      I used to work with a guy who's claim to fame was calling him "David Beckham farty pants" & watch him run home crying to his mum when they were kids. It seems plausible as they are both the same age & came from the same area.... slightly off topic but quite a funny story :)

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mourning Band Wagon

    I'm sure that if Jobs was still alive Ive would not be getting this gong, at least not now.

    It feels very much like UK.GOV is jumping on the Jobs mourning band wagon and doing the most public thing it can do, to the only high ranking British citizen at Apple.

    Does Ive deserve a 'K' for his work? I'd say no.

  21. Pete the not so great

    for services to shiny toys?

    No doubt

  22. Zot
    Thumb Up

    When I opened my Mac Mini to upgrade the RAM... was very well designed and compact. And I didn't realise there was an actual fan in there, as it was so quiet when running. An amazing piece of work, just soooo f**king expensive! :)

    Well done Jon! You deserve it!


  23. Paul

    designer not engineer..

    ..because an engineer wouldn't have fscked up the antenna

  24. Paul

    held it wrong!

    He wasn't able to read the writing on his gong because he was holding it wrong, luckily Her Maj had a rubber ring to put round it so he could hold it better.

  25. sam tapsell
    Thumb Up

    hating apple is believing in santa

    I had a thought this christmas. Being a person who hates apple products is like being the last person in class to realise Santa not real. Apple make nicely designed stuff, better than most PC's or phones, but they can cost more too. Were not morons for liking their stuff. The iMac, iPad, iPhone, macbook air and mac mini are all just lovely products, best in class to my eyes. Thats all. Good work jon and all the team.

  26. sysconfig

    So many begrudging remarks... as if Sir Jonathan's knighthood changed anything for you. He'll be knighted, you probably won't (and me certainly neither). So what?

    Congratulations, Sir Jonathan!

  27. Anonymous Coward

    iDub thee Sir jonathan..

    ...iRise, Sir Jonathan

    [January sales: two crap jokes for the price of one!]

  28. Dan 55 Silver badge


    Good for him, but I hope he wasn't responsible for the Mighty/Magic mouse.

    1. Sean Baggaley 1

      His team was...

      ... but nobody's perfect.

      Note the word "team". Ive is the senior vice president of industrial design at Apple: he does not — contrary to what lazy journalists would have us believe — design everything Apple make single-handed. It's a team effort.

      But the knighthood is well deserved: it's a good advert for British creativity. That is about the only industry the country has left—as many of the famously "creative" British accountancy firms will attest.

  29. the-it-slayer

    Anyone want to continue using consumer PC plastic?

    We could of just whipped Apple out of history and used boring PC boxes with lines of code only the IT geek could get to grips with or browse the web with just lines of text? To any anti-apples here, we could all live in dire world of sub-standard boxes of electronics? Copying or not, they don't sell millions of electronic devices a month for nothing.

    Fortunately, designers like Jon inspire to create products that anyone can use and make them as practical as possible. He may not be someone who does engineering, but you must have an understanding of engineering to imagine up products which we've come out of Apple's den in the last decade.

    An knight-hood well deserved. Shame most of our manufacturing/designing in the UK has gone abroad.

  30. NogginTheNog


    I'm just impressed a lad from a POLY did so well for himself! Well done Jonathan, and no old school tie or Oxbridge leg-up involved either.

  31. Mike Flex

    @sam tapsell

    > Apple ... stuff ... can cost more too.

    Can? Feel free to list the Apple kit that's cheaper than equivalent non-Apple products.

    >The .. iPhone... just lovely products, best in class to my eyes.

    Superior to mobile phones that can actually make calls?

  32. Mike Flex


    > We could of just whipped Apple out of history and used boring PC boxes with lines of code only the IT geek could get to grips with or browse the web with just lines of text?

    Apple invented neither the GUI nor the WWW.

  33. micheal

    I wonder if, at any point

    HM actually has any input in this list? just a thought.

    The PM has an honours list too, as possibly some others, Blair took good care of his "mates" with his departing one.

    It just suprises me that HM knows and can choose single people from the 56 or so million UK residents and also knows the whole sum and names of UK nationals living abroad....or does she only get to sign the list and it's passed off as hers?.

    Thatcher declined a hereditary one on grounds that it's not right, lennon handed his back, Piggot and many other crooks keep theirs....the honours list is worthless nowadays, when someone like Norman Wisdom waits 80 years for his, yet Beckham gets it in less than 30.

    what an idea, Simon Cowell's new show, see which nobody they can big-up to get an honour in the new years list, to fill in after the hyped to Xmas number one slot.

  34. John H Woods Silver badge


    So the Queen has publicly acknowledged Ive's abilities more than the late King ever did.

    I've no objection about Ive getting a Knighthood. But I'm pretty sure Ronnie Corbett should have got one. Was it just because he played a crack-addled version of himself alongside Ricky Gervais that time?

  35. Aberdeen Angus

    A deal

    This is a deal between the UK government, Apple and Jonathan Ive - Ive gets a K, Apple get senior employee with a K, Ive now allowed to locate design dept in UK, UK gets major tech company design dept.

  36. Blubster


    "Fortunately, designers like Jon inspire to create products that anyone can use and make them as practical as possible. "

    Even these typical fanbois.

  37. Ant Evans

    Go on, son

    You can take your iPod out of Essex, but you can't take the Essex out of your iPod.

  38. Iain 25

    Location, Location, Location

    Point of pedantic order -- by the time Ive was born Chingford was no longer in Essex but was in London, having become part of the London Borough of Waltham Forest with the creation of that Borough in 1965.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019