Apple's Chief Design Officer, Jony Ive, will leave the iPhone maker later this year to form an independent design company, after spending nearly three decades with the technology company.

Ive said his new company will be called "LoveFrom", according to a Financial Times report, adding "it succinctly speaks to why I do what I do".

Apple's shares fell 1.5% to $197.44 in after-market trading.

Ive worked closely with former Apple Chief Executive Officer, Steve Jobs, and is credited with making iconic designs that helped Apple rebound under Jobs.

Ive led Apple's design teams since 1996 and was behind many of the company's designs, from early iMacs that came in translucent jelly-bean colours to the first iPhone.

He took up his current role as chief design officer in 2015.

"Jony is a singular figure in the design world and his role in Apple's revival cannot be overstated, from 1998's ground-breaking iMac to the iPhone and the unprecedented ambition of Apple Park, where recently he has been putting so much of his energy and care," Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said.

Apple said it will be among the primary clients of Ive's new design company for a range of projects.

"I have the utmost confidence in my designer colleagues at Apple, who remain my closest friends, and I look forward to working with them for many years to come," Ive said.