Knighthood For Apple's British Designer

Katie Stallard, media and technology correspondent

The British designer behind many of Apple's most popular gadgets will be knighted later at Buckingham Palace in recognition of his contribution to the industry.

Sir Jonathan Ive, as he will now be known, becomes a Knight Commander of the British Empire (KBE) for "services to design and enterprise".

Born in Chingford, Essex, he joined Apple in 1992 and is credited with helping to shape the company's distinctive, minimalistic look.

While the late Steve Jobs was for many years the front man of the Apple brand, Sir Jonathan, or Jony as he is known to his colleagues, played a crucial role behind the scenes developing among the original iPod, among other products.

Luke Westaway, editor of Crave at CNET, told Sky News: "Ive's design input has been an important aspect of Apple's success in the last decade or so, as he played a huge part in creating the distinctive, minimalistic look that makes Apple's products so popular.

"Ive notably helped design the iPod, which apart from proving a stylish and influential gadget, paved the way for Apple's iPhone."

Sir Jonathan is now senior vice president of Industrial Design at Apple, reporting directly to CEO Tim Cook.

He was named Designer of the Year by the Design Museum London in 2003, and awarded the title Royal Designer for Industry by The Royal Society of Arts , among his numerous honours.

Responding to news of his knighthood at the time, Sir Jonathan pointed to his British roots, saying: "I am keenly aware that I benefit from a wonderful tradition in the UK of designing and making.

"To be recognised with this honour is absolutely thrilling and I am both humbled and sincerely grateful."

He added: "I discovered at an early age that all I've ever wanted to do is design.

"I feel enormously fortunate that I continue to be able to design and make products with a truly remarkable group of people here at Apple."