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The Street
The Street
Ian Krietzberg

Apple has a fierce new competitor: a rising tech mogul

Bloomberg reported Tuesday that the Apple (AAPL) -) design executive Tang Tan would be joining fellow Apple veteran and iconic designer Jony Ive's design firm, LoveFrom, after he leaves the Cupertino tech giant in February. 

The firm, fueled by the combined efforts of Tan and Ive, will be working with OpenAI CEO Sam Altman to develop an artificial intelligence hardware project. LoveFrom will design the look and abilities of the devices, while Altman will be providing the underlying AI software. 

Sources told Bloomberg that Ive hoped to eventually turn the work on AI hardware devices into its own company. 

Related: Key investor says one Magnificent 7 stock will be valued at $4 trillion next year

This comes in the wake of Altman's dramatic removal and subsequent reinstatement as chief executive of OpenAI. 

The projects, Bloomberg reported, are currently in an early concept phase. Some early concepts include devices for the home. 

Neither Apple nor OpenAI responded to requests for comment. 

Tan's jump to join LoveFrom marks the latest in an ongoing Apple exodus. The firm's roster includes more than 20 former Apple employees. 

LoveFrom works with a number of other clients, including Airbnb and Ferrari. The company had a three-year consulting deal with Apple that expired in 2022. 

Related: Apple Wants to Crash ChatGPT's Party -- Here's Why It Might Succeed

Analyst Gene Munster: 'Not an iPhone Killer'

Deepwater's Gene Munster, in response to the report, called news of LoveFrom's latest project a "big deal." 

If OpenAI was "just another customer," Munster told CNBC, then Ive wouldn't be hiring this level of talent. 

"Think of this as magnets that are starting to get into each other's gravitational pull," he said. "They want to make a run at this."

The most logical result, according to Munster, is that nothing happens. He added, however, that chances were 1 in 3 that the project would succeed and morph into a new company for Ive. 

Ive is "not in this to kill Apple; he wants to change the world," Munster said, adding that the project would likely take years to come together. "I don't think this is the iPhone killer. I see this as yet another device, and Apple's going to have to respond in kind."

Munster added that he expected the iPhone would be "just fine" for at least the next five years, if not longer. 

Shares of Apple, up around 50% for the year, were flat before the market open Wednesday. 

Related: Human creativity persists in the era of generative AI

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