Apple has self-published a giant art book of Apple product designs, available exclusively though Apple and with the astounding price of $199 for the smaller version and $299 for the larger one.
A lot of people who are worried about Apple’s direction will point to this project and say it’s an example of how Apple has lost its way.
A lot of people will cite Steve Jobs, who was famously repelled by nostalgia and shipped off all of Apple’s internal archives to Stanford when he returned to Cupertino.
My guess is that this is a Jony Ive passion project, a summation of his two decades designing Apple products. It’s intended to be an ultra-high-end art book. In other circumstances Apple would probably print 500 of them and only sell them in Cupertino, but that would’ve just made them incredibly rare collector’s items, so instead Apple is making them more broadly available.
Also, how typical of Apple is it to tell its own story through its own book, published and editorially controlled by Apple itself? It’s the ultimate control move. That’s very Apple.
In the meantime, Iconic is also a very nice book about Apple design that costs $99. (Though it, too, has a pricey option: there are two $249 special-edition variants.)
Stephen Hackett has some interesting thoughts about this book project that are also worth reading.
—Linked by Jason Snell