Steve Jobs’ obsession with $45m Gulfstream Jet inspired quirky Apple design

Who would've thought?
  • Apple completely changed its design language between 2012 and 2013
  • Before 2012, Apple used something called ‘Skeuomorphism’ to give digital objects a real-world look
  • One feature in particular was inspired by Steve Jobs’ private jet

Published on Apr 24, 2024 at 7:28PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Apr 24, 2024 at 7:28PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Tom Wood
Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs lived a relatively frugal life but there was one very expensive thing he was ready to make an exception for.

The late CEO of Apple was in love with the Gulfstream Jet he used on a regular basis.

In fact, he loved it so much he used a specific feature of the jet as an inspiration for an Apple product.

READ MORE: This is Jeff Bezos’ brand new sailing yacht, ‘Koru’, and it is worth half a billion dollars

Like other CEOs in his position, Steve Jobs didn’t really spend a lot of cash on fancy things, perhaps with the exception of his car.

However, he did spend a lot of money on personal security and private jets.

His jet of choice was a heavily customized Gulfstream jet, which reportedly cost him at least $45 million.

But what’s truly fascinating, and most people may not know this, is there’s one element of the jet design that served as the inspiration for an old Apple feature.

Apple’s design is minimalistic and simplified today, but it wasn’t always thus.

In the past, Apple would often use something known as ‘Skeuomorphism’, which is a design language where digital objects mimic the look of their real-world counterparts.

The design language changed completely with the release of iOS7 in 2013 but before then, a lot of the features on an Apple iPhone would follow Skeuomorphism.

Specifically, Apple’s iCal, a feature that combined a calendar and an agenda, was adorned using a tridimensional leather-like decoration at the top.

According to Apple’s former chief of design, the iCal design was 100 percent inspired by the seats of Steve Jobs’ private jet.

Between 2012 and 2013, when Jony Ive was appointed Chief Design Officer, Apple changed its approach completely, resulting in the design we’re familiar with today.

This also affected the iCal feature, which is now simply known as ‘Calendar’, and looks totally different today.

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