The iPod could have been banana-shaped and still have succeeded, says Apple head of industrial design Jonathan Ive.

Ive was talking to Sheryl Garratt of the Sunday Times, which credited Ive as being "probably the best industrial designer in the world today, a man who is literally shaping our future".

Ive discusses how he and his team at Apple conceive of and create new objects. He said: "It's about trying to take a leap from your understanding of it [the object] to [being] someone who doesn't have an understanding and who, quite rightly, doesn't care.

"Who just wants to listen to music? It takes a real confidence in design to be happy to get design out of the way, and not be constantly wagging your tail and saying, 'Look, it's been designed.' Because it's about listening to music, and that's what's important."

Of the iPod mini Ive said: "They're nice, aren't they? Especially when the backlight's on. A lot of products only work at one distance. This has an interesting icon that people now understand is synonymous with the iPod. But I think that, as you get it closer, there's a resolution and detail that's pretty intriguing."