Apple’s Senior Vice President of Industrial Design, Jony Ive, believes that the projects that the company is currently working on what feels like the “most important and best work” it has done, something that is almost certain to intensify speculation over the release of a future Apple television set or an overhauled iPhone.

Ive has returned to the UK to receive his knighthood from the Queen, having been named in the New Years Honours list. When he receives the accolade he will become a Knight Commander of the British Empire (KBE) recognising his “services to design and enterprise”.

During his time back in his native country, Ive took the time to speak with The Telegraph, sharing his thoughts on Apple’s design ethos and operations.

One of the most key questions in the interview (we urge you read both part one and part two) calls for Ive to name one design that he would be remembered for. Slipping quickly into Apple PR mode, Ive gave the following reply:

“It’s a really tough one. A lot does seem to come back to the fact that what we’re working on now feels like the most important and the best work we’ve done, and so it would be what we’re working on right now, which of course I can’t tell you about.”

You wouldn’t expect any other answer, Ive is hardly going to say Apple’s best work is behind it.

It would be easy to speculate that Ive is referring to the much-hyped Apple television set, but the truth is that Apple is set to overhaul its smartphone and Mac products in the coming months. In typical Apple fashion, information is offered but it cannot be attributed to a specific plan or product.

Apple has already been tipped with the launch of a new 4-inch iPhone in the fall, increasing the display size of its smartphone for the first time since it launched. The company is also rumoured to be developing new Retina-enabled MacBooks, fusing the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lines to create a sleek but powerful notebook range.

However, there is considerable consumer interest in a new Apple television, which many believe will feature Siri voice-control. In Walter Isaacson’s official Steve Jobs biography, the Apple co-founder is quoted as saying he ‘cracked it,’ fuelling rumours of Apple’s expansion into the TV market and the eventual release of the product.

Ive also disagreed with analyst remarks that suggest that with Steve Jobs no longer leading the company, the appointment of new CEO Tim Cook would lead to Apple’s decline.

He told Shane Richmond:

“We’re developing products in exactly the same way that we were two years ago, five years ago, ten years ago. It’s not that there are a few of us working in the same way: there is a large group of us working in the same way.”

“We have become rather addicted to learning as a group of people and trying to solve very difficult problems as a team. And we get enormous satisfaction from doing that. Particularly when you’re sat on a plane and it appears that the majority of people are using something that you’ve collectively agonised over. It’s a wonderful reward.”

Apple is to hold its annual WWDC event in June, detailing its latest plans for its upcoming Mountain Lion operating system. It is there that Apple is expected to unveil its latest Mac and MacBook products, or perhaps something a little more unexpected.