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Apple bags design guru, days before iWatch launch

Marc Newson may have contributed to look and feel of forthcoming Apple wearable

Apple bags design guru, days before iWatch launch
Newson: What Google have done thus far, I wouldn’t be seen dead wearing.

Apple Inc has hired award-winning Australian designer Marc Newson just days before the company is due to launch its first wearable device, the Financial Times reported yesterday.

Newson, is reportedly a long-time friend of Apple's head of design, Sir Jonathan Ive. He is the latest in a series of designers poached from high-end fashion and luxury brands, including Angela Ahrendts from Burberry and Paul Deneve from Yves Saint Laurent.

Newson, 50, was born in Sydney, but is currently based in the UK. He has a background in furniture and airline interiors, but also in a number of watch brands.

On 9 September, Apple is widely expected to introduce what fans and commentators have called the iWatch, along with the next generation of iPhones. The iPhones are believed to include a large-sreen version to compete in the Samsung-dominated phablet sub-category.

The iWatch will also enter a Samsung-ruled space. The South Korean firm has launched two generations of its Gear companion watches, which must be twinned with smartphones, but at the end of August it introduced the Gear S, which is a standalone gadget. The iWatch is thought to be a companion device.

"I'm full of admiration and respect for the extraordinary design work that has been produced by Jony and the team at Apple," Mr Newson said in an interview with Vanity Fair.

The article also reported that Ive and Newson had already collaborated on "some designs for Apple" in the past year, which could mean that Newson had a hand in the look and feel of the iWatch.

Talking to design magazine Dezeen earlier this year, Newson hailed wearables as "certainly the future" but criticised the aesthetic of Google's Glass, saying users would look like "a bit of an idiot".

"What Google have done thus far, I wouldn't be seen dead wearing. It really looks pretty stupid," he said.

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