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Jony Ive: Steve Jobs film hijacking his life story

Apple design chief Jony Ive has criticised the recent Steve Jobs film for having “hijacked” his late friend’s life story.

There has been as much criticism for the new film’s portrayal of the Apple founder from those who knew him as there has been praise from critics. Now one of the people who knew Steve Jobs best has had his say on the matter.

Jony Ive is arguably second only to Jobs himself in terms of the imprint he has made on Apple’s current identity. He has led design on all of Apple’s major products since Jobs returned to the company in 1997, and he counted Jobs as both a friend and mentor.

All of which is why Jony Ive’s view on the current Steve Jobs film hoo-hah is of much interest.

Talking at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit in San Francisco (via Yahoo), Ive expressed his concern that such films and books have “hijacked” Jobs’s life story.

Ive said that he didn’t recognise the person being portrayed by those who didn’t really know him. “He had these triumphs and tragedies, like most of us, and he’s having his identity defined and described by a whole bunch of other people,” he said.

Just because someone like Jobs could be exacting and blunt, said Ive, “it doesn’t mean you’re an asshole.”

Rather, Ive put Jobs’s often abrasive style down to a “very simple focus on trying to make something beautiful and great.”

“And it really was simple,” he continued. “There wasn’t this grand plan of winning or a very complicated agenda. The simplicity seemed almost childlike in its purity and its truth. That stands in such stark contrast in how he’s frequently discussed at the moment.”

Related: ‘Steve Jobs’ screenwriter slams Apple’s Tim Cook over ‘opportunistic’ snub

Of course, Ive’s argument is undermined somewhat by the fact that he hasn’t actually seen the film, which was directed by Danny Boyle from an Aaron Sorkin screenplay based loosely on Walter Isaacson’s biography. However, he knows some who have.

“There are sons and daughters and widows and very close friends that are completely bemused and completely upset,” Ive said.

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