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Former Apple CEO John Sculley went on camera yesterday to give his thoughts on Apple's current product lineup and offered a couple of interesting tidbits on where he thought the Apple Watch could be improved.

In an interview with The Street, Sculley said he still loved Apple products and used his iPhone, iPad and MacBook daily, but that he'd so far passed on owning the company's smartwatch offering. "I think the Apple Watch is beautiful, but it doesn't have enough utility to be something that I feel I have to have at this point in time," he said.

jobs_and_sculley.jpg
Steve Jobs (left) and John Sculley (right) in 1984.

Asked what Apple would need to change to make it a worthwhile purchase for him, Sculley said that first the company needed to de-connect the hardware from the dependency it has on the iPhone. "When you go jogging, I don't want to carry my iPhone and Apple Watch to count the steps - Apple will solve this though, they are good at that kind of stuff."

Secondly, Sculley said Apple needed to take advantage of the "incredible excitement" over smart messaging which he called the "next big thing". "Whether it's WeChat or Facebook M, we are starting to see a move to an era where messaging could be an intelligent assistant, and that could be a perfect application for the Apple Watch if they can incorporate it."

"I don't think an Apple lover has to have every product, but the ones I have and use I love," continued Sculley, expressing a particular fondness for the iPad Pro. "I think it's a spectacular experience to read the newspaper on it every day and even read books, I much prefer it to a Kindle."


Sculley was vice-president and president of Pepsi-Cola before he served as Apple's CEO from 1983 to 1993, where he is famous for forcing out Steve Jobs from the company, something he has since called "a mistake". In 1987 he was named Silicon Valley's top-paid executive, with an annual salary of $2.2 million. When he left Apple, the company had $2 billion in cash and $200 million in debt.

He is widely considered an expert at marketing, and continues to speak and write about disruptive marketing strategies. He also has investments in a number of high-tech start-up companies, including Zeta Interactive and WorldMate. Jeff Daniels portrayed Sculley in the recent movie Steve Jobs.

Article Link: Former Apple CEO John Sculley: Apple Watch 'Doesn't Have Enough Utility'
 

diddl14

macrumors 6502a
Aug 10, 2009
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So it's a bit like John Sculley, waiting for a magical successor..
 
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smacrumon

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Jan 15, 2016
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Sculley's intervention and opinion is as off today as it was back then. Go back to selling sugar water please.
The problem with the Apple Watch is the battery duration and the software design, the interface is too complicated.
 
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Reason077

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Aug 14, 2007
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I think the Apple Watch has (or tries to have) too much utility.

Smartwatches that try to replicate the functionality of phones will always be compromised and overly complicated.

Instead, it should try to be more like, say, a Fitbit. Lots of health sensors, but keep everything else really simple. Pair it down to only the most essential functionality and keep everything else on the phone.

Make it beautiful and really light-weight. Give it a battery that lasts weeks so that you barely even need to think about it being there.
 
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antonis

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Jun 10, 2011
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Hmm...isn't he the one that led apple one step from bankruptcy due to bad product choices ?
 
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Loge

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Instead, it should try to be more like, say, a Fitbit. Lots of health sensors, but keep everything else really simple. Pair it down to only the most essential functionality and keep everything else on the phone.

That would really limit the market to those who want health features (who are already well catered for with dedicated devices). Instead, they need to ensure it has a very broad appeal.

Most of the issues can be solved as the hardware improves. Remember the early iPhones, immediately requiring iTunes on a computer before you could even set them up.
 
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Robert.Walter

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Jul 10, 2012
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That pic of them always cracked me up.

So 1980's. Hands on hips as if in an "large and in-charge" pose down. Clothing contrast in every way (except white shirt). Job's quizzical head tip and look. Scully's near deer in headlights look. Stanford campus arcade in background.
 
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smacrumon

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If you're going to be 30 minutes late to my restaurant or to my hair salon, you can rebook for another day, we have other timely customers to serve.
 
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Reason077

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That would really limit the market to those who want health features (who are already well catered for with dedicated devices). Instead, they need to ensure it has a very broad appeal.

Fitbit outsells Apple Watch by a huge margin. So which has the broad appeal?

The simplicity and elegance of a Fitbit combined with Apple's design, quality, technology, and integration would be a really great product!

Most of the issues can be solved as the hardware improves. Remember the early iPhones, immediately requiring iTunes on a computer before you could even set them up.

It's pointless trying to do things like messaging on a Watch screen. People are always going to reach for their phones for that. Any functionality that requires more than the most basic amount of information to be displayed on the screen needs to be reconsidered. Things like Apple Pay, Siri, and alarms do make sense, however.
 
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Robert.Walter

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Jul 10, 2012
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I think the Apple Watch has (or tries to have) too much utility.

Smartwatches that try to replicate the functionality of phones will always be compromised and overly complicated.

Instead, it should try to be more like, say, a Fitbit. Lots of health sensors, but keep everything else really simple. Pair it down to only the most essential functionality and keep everything else on the phone.

Make it beautiful and really light-weight. Give it a battery that lasts weeks so that you barely even need to think about it being there.

What's the weight savings in less software?

The phone functionality is super useful for a number of use cases.

Fitbit is not interesting because it does too little for me.
 
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psimac

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Jan 22, 2011
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His example of where the Watch could be improved is incorrect. It counts steps just fine without needing an iPhone connected to it. It would need an iPhone to give you walking directions, but not to count steps or tell time or to even play music. This is a misconception that so many get wrong.

Isn't Sculley the father of the Newton?
 
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djcerla

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Apr 23, 2015
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Clearly, he never used one.

You only need your iPhone when working out the first time, so it can record GPS data and understand your pace, then you can leave it at home.

If a Fitbit has "utility", then the Apple Watch has much more, even in the current 1.0 form.
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I think a lot of Apple Watch owners keep telling themselves this, but in reality - once the novelty has worn off - they usually reach for the phone. It's just easier and faster for most interactions.

Nope.

It's super useful when your hands are busy. And the other day I replied to a phone call under the shower.
 
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keysofanxiety

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Nov 23, 2011
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Hmm...isn't he the one that led apple one step from bankruptcy due to bad product choices ?

Ironically it was a saturated and confusing product line that partly contributed towards Apple's demise. Hopefully the Apple of today can learn from the mistakes of the past, and try to standardise product specs/update cycles a little more.
 
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djcerla

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As an Apple Watch user, the product is simply not there yet

Shockingly slow, making all apps useless. If the information isn't on the watch screen to see instantly it's too slow

The utility of the Apple Watch is all in the built in apps, and they're fast. The Apple Watch is fast in the things people use, and slow in the things people don't use (apps).
 
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djcerla

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Apr 23, 2015
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Ironically it was a saturated and confusing product line that partly contributed towards Apple's demise. Hopefully the Apple of today can learn from the mistakes of the past, and try to standardise product specs/update cycles a little more.

Steve Jobs had to streamline the lineup to the extreme for one reason: to save the company cutting inventory costs.

But the problem wasn't the lineup, the problem was Wintel dominance and lack of software support from developers.

Today's Apple operates just in time and it can manage an extended lineup in a breeze, with its excellent logistics.
 
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tuckerjj

macrumors member
Jan 6, 2010
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I think a lot of Apple Watch owners keep telling themselves this, but in reality - once the novelty has worn off - they usually reach for the phone. It's just easier and faster for most interactions.

So the use case there is when you're unable to reach for the phone, for whatever reason (kid in one arm shopping in the other, up a ladder painting a wall, etc, etc)
 
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Pakaku

macrumors 68020
Aug 29, 2009
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Clearly, he never used one.

You only need your iPhone when working out the first time, so it can record GPS data and understand your pace, then you can leave it at home.

If a Fitbit has "utility", then the Apple Watch has much more, even in the current 1.0 form.
A FitBit doesn't need to learn from another device. The problem with the watch is you need an expensive phone just so your expensive watch can accomplish its basic features. If you don't have an iPhone, your Watch is gimped from the start.

Fortunately the next Watch is going to be more independent...?
 
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