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Jonathan Ive: For Apple, it's quality, not quantity

Apple's senior vice president of industrial design gives some tips on why Apple has been so successful. Surprise -- it's all about design!

Apple's iPhone 4S is noted for its high quality design.
Jonathan Ive Apple

Why is Apple successful? It all starts with the quality of its products, according to Jonathan Ive. The company's senior vice president of industrial design waxed eloquent on this theme during a talk about Apple's design focus at the British Embassy's Creative Summit.

"I refute that design is important. Design is a prerequisite. Good design -- innovation -- is really hard," said Ive, according to Wired. "We say no to a lot of things that we want to do and are intrigued by so that we only work on a manageable amount of products and can invest an incredible amount of care on each of them."

Ive insisted that when Steve Jobs came back to the company in 1997, Jobs' goal was to focus on superior products rather than financial performance.

"We are really pleased with our revenues but our goal isn't to make money," he said. "Our goal and what makes us excited is to make great products. If we are successful people will like them and if we are operationally competent, we will make money."

Alongside Jobs, Ive has been named one of the smartest men in tech by Fortune magazine and is known for making sweeping statements about Apple's products. In May, he cryptically said that the product the company is currently working on is the "most important" product yet.

In today's talk, he echoed this sentiment. "Really great design is hard. Good is the enemy of great," he said. "Competent design is not too much of a stretch. But if you are trying to do something new, you have challenges on so many axes."Apple iPhone 4S - 64GB - black (Sprint)