Why I think Apple won't do a watch

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Original poster
Nov 14, 2011
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Everyone seems to be anticipating an "iWatch" but I don't see Apple doing one for a couple reasons.

One, how many people wear watches these days, especially young people? Where is the market for it outside of tech geeks?

Two, Apple is a company that typically designs things they would want to use themselves. How would/could Apple design a watch that would come close to the type of watches Apple executives wear? I don't know if Tim Cook wears a watch (we know he wears a Fuelband), but Jony Ive wears Jaeger Lecoultre which sells for $10K+. How does Ive design something that looks like a fine piece of jewelry and sell it for, say, under $300?



Third, from what I've seen of the Google Wear smartwatch prototypes it's definitely function following form. Every one drooling over these prototypes are doing so because they look like a traditional watch. It's more about the aesthetic look than functionality. The approach I expect Apple to take is first deciding how they want their device to function, what features they want it to have and then deciding what form/shape it should take. And I wouldn't be surprised if that doesn't look like a traditional watch.
 

Arran

macrumors 601
Mar 7, 2008
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Atlanta, USA
It won't even try to look like a piece if fine jewelry.

It will be quite distinct and unobtrusive. Almost invisible. It won't try to compete with the expensive watch that could quite easily be worn in addition to it.

More like this:
 

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roadbloc

macrumors G3
Aug 24, 2009
8,779
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UK
Glad I'm not the only one who things this smart-watch thing is a load of nonsense.
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Original poster
Nov 14, 2011
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It won't even try to look like a piece if fine jewelry.

It will be quite distinct and unobtrusive. Almost invisible. It won't try to compete with the expensive watch that could quite easily be worn in addition to it.

More like this:
I'm amazed at how many people are getting a hard-on because the Moto 360 has a circular display and looks like a traditional watch. When Apple announced the iPhone it didn't look like a better blackberry or flip phone. It looked like something completely different. In a recent interview Ive was asked about the "iWatch" and said:

Obviously, there are rumours about us working on... and, obviously, I’m not going to talk about that. It’s a game of chess, isn’t it?
Why do I get the feeling everyone else is playing checkers while Apple is playing chess...
 

ElectronGuru

macrumors 65816
Sep 5, 2013
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363
Oregon, USA
What's needed is a killer app.

People wore watches because it was how to tell time while away from buildings with clocks (which used to be rare). As clocks became more ubiquitous, watches became more of a fashion or 'extra capability'. Now with cell phones, the function draw is gone and all that is left is the fashion.

For watches to make a true comeback, it needs to do more than a cell phone. It needs to do things not offered by phones or not possible by a phone alone. And those things must be important enough by themselves to warrant wearing a watch. For example, a device with sensors to monitor health vitals in real time.
 

Mousse

macrumors 68020
Apr 7, 2008
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Flea Bottom, King's Landing
For watches to make a true comeback, it needs to do more than a cell phone. It needs to do things not offered by phones or not possible by a phone alone. And those things must be important enough by themselves to warrant wearing a watch. For example, a device with sensors to monitor health vitals in real time.
Dunno. I'd be willing to buy a watch that has all the functionality of a cell phone, especially the making calls function. I grew up reading Dick Tracy, so how cool would that be to have a watch/radio?:cool:
 

Arran

macrumors 601
Mar 7, 2008
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Atlanta, USA
...For example, a device with sensors to monitor health vitals in real time.
I think you're onto something with healthcare.

Apple like premium prices and high margins. Healthcare has a lot of money sloshing around in it. Sounds like a match made in heaven.

HSA eligibility for the device would be icing.
 
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rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,409
I think you're onto something with healthcare.

Apple like premium prices and high margins. Healthcare has a lot of money sloshing around in it. Sounds like a match made in heaven.

HSA eligibility for the device would be icing.

Recent rumors and some Apple hires clearly point towards a device for healthcare.
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
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547
Shady Dale, Georgia
If it isn't an iWatch, it needs to be something. Apple needs to bring a new iProduct to the market that everyone will dive upon. Myself, I don't wear a watch and haven't since I started carrying a BlackBerry and later an iPhone. But I have considered the Pebble.
 

Menel

macrumors 603
Aug 4, 2011
6,199
1,050
I suspect it won't necessarily be a watch. But a much more elaborate extremely high tech fuel band, beyond anything on the market now.

Just look at the healthbook app rumors.
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
One, how many people wear watches these days, especially young people? Where is the market for it outside of tech geeks?
Interesting question. I'd really like to know the percentage of people wearing watches. (I still do for its convenience.)

Wristwatches became popular after WW I, when vets returned wearing them. I suspect a lot of current vets still do.

They're very useful in a military environment where you need coordination between units without breaking radio silence... and especially without yanking something bright out of your pocket.

Pilots also wear watches, for redundancy and convenience.

I'm amazed at how many people are getting a hard-on because the Moto 360 has a circular display and looks like a traditional watch.
I agree with you that Apple might not do a watch-like device. I think you've often mentioned an iBand (correct me if wrong), which seems quite possible.

When Apple announced the iPhone it didn't look like a better blackberry or flip phone. It looked like something completely different.
While the iPhone case was indeed different than a Blackberry or flip-phone, its look wasn't that much different from other touch based devices of the time, which were evolving towards a large display and finger friendly UIs.

touch_evolution.png

In fact, the later iPhone 4 case looked a whole lot like early iPhone concepts, which themselves were shaped much like the 2005 Pidion from Korea.

The point is, just as in nature, form often evolves similarly because of common functional needs. So whatever Apple brings out, might not be that radical... although we'd all obviously like for it to be so.

I'd love to see Apple's slap-on patent design with the wrap-around display come true, for instance. (Just as I'd also love for Samsung to sell their foldable tablet-phone design.)
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Core
Original poster
Nov 14, 2011
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22,741
Interesting question. I'd really like to know the percentage of people wearing watches. (I still do for its convenience.)

Wristwatches became popular after WW I, when vets returned wearing them. I suspect a lot of current vets still do.

They're very useful in a military environment where you need coordination between units without breaking radio silence... and especially without yanking something bright out of your pocket.

Pilots also wear watches, for redundancy and convenience.

I agree with you that Apple might not do a watch-like device. I think you've often mentioned an iBand (correct me if wrong), which seems quite possible.

While the iPhone case was indeed different than a Blackberry or flip-phone, its look wasn't that much different from other touch based devices of the time, which were evolving towards a large display and finger friendly UIs.

View attachment 466734

In fact, the later iPhone 4 case looked a whole lot like early iPhone concepts, which themselves were shaped much like the 2005 Pidion from Korea.

The point is, just as in nature, designs often evolve similarly because of common functional needs. So whatever Apple brings out, might not be that radical... although we'd all obviously love for it to be so.

I'd love to see their patent with the wrap-around display come true, for instance. (Just as I'd also love for Samsung to sell their foldable tablet-phone design.)
I'm reminded of this Jony Ive Blue Peter video. The brief for kids was to design an all-in-one backpack, lunchbox and pencil case. They asked Ive how he would approach the task and the first thing he said is to be careful with the words you use (like box) as they can pre-determine the path you go down.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLUn7xCuQxo

Of course in the wearables space fashion will play a huge role. But I still think the number one priority should be what functionality you want the device to have and then figure out what form would best deliver that functionality. It seems to me in the current smart watch space everyone is preoccupied with the word "watch" and making the device look like a traditional watch. When the Moto 360 renders came out The Verge went nuts because the face was circular and the device looked like a traditional watch. Functionality and battery life didn't matter. All that mattered was the render looked like a nice timepiece. I do hope Ive is following his own advice and Apple is not focusing on the word "watch".
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
I'm reminded of this Jony Ive Blue Peter video. The brief for kids was to design an all-in-one backpack, lunchbox and pencil case. They asked Ive how he would approach the task and the first thing he said is to be careful with the words you use (like box) as they can pre-determine the path you go down.
A very good point.

... I do hope Ive is following his own advice and Apple is not focusing on the word "watch".
I'm sure he's not.

However, my question is, why do so many people seem to diss the watch form, versus, say, a bracelet or band?

Is it simply because it's "old"? Is it because it's not a big enough display?
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Original poster
Nov 14, 2011
20,714
22,741
A very good point.



I'm sure he's not.

However, my question is, why do so many people seem to diss the watch form, versus, say, a bracelet or band?

Is it simply because it's "old"? Is it because it's not a big enough display?
To be clear, I'm not dissing it. I'm just doubting whether Apple will go down that route because they typically design things they, themselves would want to use. I can't see Apple being able to design a high end timepiece at a competitive price point.
 

east85

macrumors 65816
Jun 24, 2010
1,342
494
A watch isn't out of the question, Tim Cook at D11 (2013) said in his interview that the wrist is a very interesting idea for wearables. However he also said that it doesn't just have to be the wrist, which brings other ideas to mind. He also mentioned that as sensors get better the space will probably become more clear to him through "the arc of time". I'm not sure that Apple is going to rush anything out, Tim Cook clearly understands that a wearable will have to be compelling, extremely useful and good at doing multiple things for the market to respond en mass.

At this point in time from what we know health is going to be a priority regardless of what it is. BTW, if by "render" you mean that the 360 was animated with software, it was not. The Moto 360 shown was actually the product in the real world.
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
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547
Shady Dale, Georgia
The problem is that Apple has not released a new product since the iPad on 4/3/2010. There have been updates and upgrades but not a new product. Several people have introduced Smart Watches. Google has the new Google Glass. What is next for Apple that is new and innovated enough for everyone to jump on board?
 

Armen

macrumors 604
Apr 30, 2013
7,375
2,207
Los Angeles
Everyone seems to be anticipating an "iWatch" but I don't see Apple doing one for a couple reasons.

One, how many people wear watches these days, especially young people? Where is the market for it outside of tech geeks?

Two, Apple is a company that typically designs things they would want to use themselves. How would/could Apple design a watch that would come close to the type of watches Apple executives wear? I don't know if Tim Cook wears a watch (we know he wears a Fuelband), but Jony Ive wears Jaeger Lecoultre which sells for $10K+. How does Ive design something that looks like a fine piece of jewelry and sell it for, say, under $300?



Third, from what I've seen of the Google Wear smartwatch prototypes it's definitely function following form. Every one drooling over these prototypes are doing so because they look like a traditional watch. It's more about the aesthetic look than functionality. The approach I expect Apple to take is first deciding how they want their device to function, what features they want it to have and then deciding what form/shape it should take. And I wouldn't be surprised if that doesn't look like a traditional watch.
There is absolutely no doubt that Apple is developing a wearable tech gadget that contains health related monitors and sensors. Will it actually look like a watch? It is difficult to say but then again why hire someone from St. Laurent's Luxury division if you're designing a medical bracelet?

See this Article:

http://9to5mac.com/2014/05/05/reuters-summarizes-a-years-worth-of-our-apple-iwatch-healthbook-medical-hires-reporting-adds-fresh-insight/
 

the8thark

macrumors 68040
Apr 18, 2011
3,990
837
Third, from what I've seen of the Google Wear smartwatch prototypes it's definitely function following form. Every one drooling over these prototypes are doing so because they look like a traditional watch. It's more about the aesthetic look than functionality. The approach I expect Apple to take is first deciding how they want their device to function, what features they want it to have and then deciding what form/shape it should take. And I wouldn't be surprised if that doesn't look like a traditional watch.
What you say about google I agree with. What you say about Apple I slightly don't agree with. I don't think Apple will design the supposed iWatch that way. I believe they will design the form and function aspects of the iWatch simultaneously. As we both know form and function are linked and changing one has an impact on the other.

The thing I am mist interested in here is what is their target audience with this product if it was to happen and what would the price be.
 

smoledman

macrumors 68000
Oct 17, 2011
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The whole iHealthBand thing just wont' go anywhere because most people do not want to be constantly reminded of their poor vital statistics.
 

Pakaku

macrumors 68020
Aug 29, 2009
2,168
2,159
If they're going to do a watch, it'll be in the verb sense. That's all I have to say on that.
 

Armen

macrumors 604
Apr 30, 2013
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Los Angeles
The whole iHealthBand thing just wont' go anywhere because most people do not want to be constantly reminded of their poor vital statistics.
It's quite possible this product is intended to be marketed to Hospitals, Clinics and other health organizations. It is arrogant for us to assume it's for our personal use. I guess we'll see soon enough.