Re: Design ...
> I guess FEA is used on Apple's cases, too. But I have a suspicion JI is not involved in that side of it.
No. Ive isn't programming the FEA directly. But then, he's not much of a CAD jockey in general, preferring working with materials by hand. The standard disclaimer on FEA software is "This software is not intended to replace real physical testing, but only to reduce it". Apple will still build prototypes at all stages of the design process (Ive's studio has a couple of CNC machines at one end of the room) and test them. In any case, you can think of a product designer as a project manager - co-ordinating individuals from a wide range of disciplines.
However, Ive is very interested in what FEA and real testing can tell him about materials and manufacturing processes. This is evident in the variety of manufacturing processes that Apple employ - machining, extrusion, forging, deep drawing, laser cutting... and that's just their aluminium parts.
This isn't unique to Ive. The good product designers have never been the ones who hand a magic-marker pen drawing to an engineer and say "Now - you build this!"