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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

In a wide ranging interview with Bloomberg covering culture changes at Apple, Tim Cook's personality, the company's move into Apple Pay, and the development of the Apple Watch, Tim Cook, Jony Ive, and Jeff Williams share some fascinating details on the work that went into creating Apple's new wearable device.

According to Jony Ive, Apple first began developing the Apple Watch three years ago, before wearables caught on in Silicon Valley. The Apple Watch, he says, is "probably one of the most difficult projects I have ever worked on." A huge amount of research was conducted for the watch, which was touched on at Apple's introductory keynote event.

Apple invited several watch historians to speak at Cupertino, with one, French author and antique expert Dominique Fléchon saying that discussion centered around "the philosophy of instruments for measuring time." Ive himself delved into horological history, studying clocks and watches throughout time.
Clocks first popped up on top of towers in the center of towns and over time were gradually miniaturized, appearing on belt buckles, as neck pendants, and inside trouser pockets. They eventually migrated to the wrist, first as a way for ship captains to tell time while keeping their hands firmly locked on the wheel. "What was interesting is that it took centuries to find the wrist and then it didn't go anywhere else," Ive says. "I would argue the wrist is the right place for the technology."
Ive and his team experimented with a variety of interface interactions for the Apple Watch, including pinch-to-zoom, which the company joked about during the keynote as an unsuitable way to use the device because fingers cover the small screen. The team settled on the "digital crown" a physical button that can be used for a variety of tasks, including scrolling through options and accessing the home button. Ive went on to develop high-quality wristbands and unique packaging that "doubles as a charging stand."

A staggering number of employees with various specialties worked on the Apple Watch, under the direction of Apple's VP of operations, Jeff Williams. Hundreds of designers and engineers came together to design the S1 processor in the device, the heart rate sensor, and the special alloys used in casings and bands.

According to Williams, while Apple could have launched a watch in time for the holiday season, it wouldn't have been "at the fit and finish and quality and integration of these products." Apple wanted to make "the best product in the world" and is "willing to wait."

Apple's first wearable device is expected to be available to consumers in early 2015. Pricing details remain largely unknown, with the company stating that pricing will start at $349.

Cook and Ive's complete interview with Bloomberg, which also has several details on how Apple runs under Cook, Cook's personality and values, Jobs' ongoing influence, recent hirings and acquisitions, and Apple's partnership with IBM, is well worth reading to get a glimpse inside the walls of Apple's Cupertino headquarters.

Article Link: Ive on Apple Watch: One of the Most Difficult Projects I've Ever Worked On


macrumors member
Dec 10, 2012
No wonder the iPhone 6 rear design is bad (despite what many of you say), all his time went on this watch that nobody will buy!


macrumors 68000
Jul 7, 2007
The hood
Glad to hear he really studies whorology. Now I know where his AAPL is going to.
Anywho, as much flak as apple gets, it's always good to hear they are willing to wait for a finished product, instead of a quick holiday money grab.


macrumors 68040
May 6, 2011
No wonder the iPhone 6 rear design is bad (despite what many of you say), all his time went on this watch that nobody will buy!

If all his time went to the watch, he failed that more than the iPhone 6 rear.


macrumors 6502
Nov 19, 2012
Hardest project you've ever worked on because you didn't have a visionary to tell you what to do.


macrumors regular
Sep 3, 2014
You still need to have an iPhone on you to use the best parts of the watch. Jobs would never allow this.


macrumors 65816
Mar 7, 2011
You think it's hard now-wait until you enter the world to make it non-reliable on the iPhone.

captain cadet

macrumors 6502
Sep 2, 2012
It just shows you how much work has gone into the watch - it hasn't been simply put a screen, a crappy processor and a variant of IOS like the iPod nano had so you had to use pinch to zoom. It sounds like its be thought of carefully.


macrumors G3
Feb 23, 2010
I'm worried Ive will style the Body of the Apple Watch in relation to his ever increasing body size.

Never to see a slim model!


macrumors 604
Oct 5, 2008
it's bulky, Steve wouldn't like that.

Now, you know the Apple Watch 2 is going to be one of the thinnest watches in the world. Apple is obsessed with thinness. I'm surprised the Watch isn't thinner, but then again, Apple needs to give us a reason to upgrade to the Watch 2. Lol.


Jun 18, 2014
I still wish the watch is bit more responsive to your location

You arrive at the mall. You're at the entrance and the moment you raise your watch, the directory of that specific mall launches.

Or you arrive at a popular restaurant, and boom: a deal appears on your watch.

of course there should be a way to disable this feature incase it gets a bit spammy, but still a feature I'd like to see.


macrumors 6502
Jul 5, 2011
Hardest project you've ever worked on because you didn't have a visionary to tell you what to do.

Leave Ive alone... when Steve died, I was afraid of many things (some of them I am still afraid of), but one. That Apple products will always look beautiful as long as Jony is the chief designer.


macrumors regular
Jul 8, 2002
You still need to have an iPhone on you to use the best parts of the watch. Jobs would never allow this.

Yes, because Steve could have just conjured up watch battery that can power a GPS, cell, and Wifi antenna all day.


macrumors 65816
Aug 13, 2002
Western Spiral
Amazing how Steve was such a unique visionary, yet so many around here know exactly what his decisions/visions would/wouldn't have been today.
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