Friday Chronicles #4: Smart watches, episode one?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

In less than a week time, Apple will old its famous WWDC or keynote. June and September are moments in which Tim Cook get the scepter and the crown of a living god to bring the holy message of the new products. Generally, the expectations are high as the spirit of Steve Jobs seems to fly over the centre stage. Really.
So everybody expects a new iPhone, a new iPod and the most desired launch of all: the iWatch. Unfortunately the iWatch might not be for this time. People say that Tim Cook will reveal the iPhone 6 and the iWatch will come in September’s conference. What do we miss from Steve Job’s era? The secrecy. In deed when they launched the iPhone 1, we were so mind blowed that we felt like if we have made contact with Aliens. The iPhone 1 surprised the entire world. And when you realized that the iPhone 1 was a 10/15 years old project and the decade delay was because technology did not exist at that time to accomplish the idea…. It makes me feel nostalgic. Any way, the iWatch is expected like Santa Claus in Christmas time and Apple needs to be as brilliant as they have been. It is like Star Wars. After the initial episodes of success, this is Episode One. It needs to be good otherwise, Apple is dead. No pressure.

Apple, the return of the Jedi

The launch of a smart watch by Apple should represent the proof that this company is superior to others when it comes to user experience and innovation. LG was the first company to create and commercialize a touch-screen smartphone. It was the Prada phone in partnership with LG. Yet, it was the iPhone who killed it. Sony launched the first tablet under the Vaio line with a 13″ ultralight laptop in which the screen would spin in 360 degrees and to be used with a stylet. Yet the iPad got it. Even the Apple TV, considered as a failure in terms of marketing and positioning, is still selling and has completely its purpose in today’s living rooms.
So Apple is like Disney in the glorious years or like Pixar. They have this ability to surprise people and somehow to have it right for what matters to people. Apple does not sell technology. They sell experiences. And that’s what makes Apple unique. It is probably not the best devices in the world from a technical point of view, yet, it seems to fit your needs magically. Actually, this magic is not magic. It is talent and vision. Unfortunately for Apple, most of this vision left the company when Steve Jobs passed away so now the boat needs a new direction.

The iWatch, a new hope

The iWatch, if Apple is really going to call it like that, is a key launch for the company. Not because they need to make sales. Apple has billions of dollars in cash today. They could buy any company. It is not about the money. The launch of the iWatch should be the symbol that Apple is still Apple, meaning completely different from competition. It is an important move because for the first time they are moving towards an existing saturated and not so successful market that is the smart watches market. You can read our full review of this market here.
Why other brands like Samsung are not so successful? There are several arguments that contributed to the non-success of these 2nd generation (already) of smart watches. The main point is the fact that technology still ruled design. Technology should always be and remain a mean to achieve something, not the main purpose. So if a wrist watch looks like a wrist watch, there is a reason why. There is a history behind and decades of creativity and optimization. So, when a high-tech company tries to make a watch ou get a high-tech device, not a watch.
When it comes to men’s watches, there is also another expectation that needs to be addressed, it is the prestige and the look of your watch. A man’s watch is probably the only element in a man’s look that you can really customize and align with your look. An electronic gadget stays an electronic gadget. So probably the solution is to build a watch that offers certain extra features rather than build a mobile device that by the way gives you the time. The approach is completely different.
Apple observed a lot and is trying to have it right. Unfortunately we do not know if our expectations are matching the company plans.
Everybody’s dream is to wear an elegant true watch in which you xan see emails, sms, weather conditons, phone calls and that will be so nice to wear that you might change your elegant chronograph for it. I am not sure that Apple is trying to go that way.
So far and based on recent patents and companies acquisitions, Apple would try to follow the road of Health planning and prevention. In the USA, the health market is huge. Modern diseases like Diabetes or Blood pressure is killing millions of people every year. So Apple would probably follow the road of helping people to better monitor their health rather than making them look successful and trendy. Apple by providing millions of people to better take care of them might even create a new market for iWatch health insurance policies. Health insurance companies could propose cheaper policies if you wear a iWatch.
When Apple launched the iPhone, phone operators would get the iPhones almost for free. The deal for them was to push the iPhone into their subscribers. That’s how Apple built not only a huge phone business but also the AppStore.
What if they apply the same logic with the iWatch but this time towards health insurance companies?

The battle for the wrist

Will you replace your Tag Heuer or Rolex watch by a iWatch? This question has often appeared in the press. Actually, this question is not the good one. The right question is: who is going to win the battle for the wrist? In deed, there is only one place for your watch, there is only one wrist. Nobody is going to wear 2 watches. So who is going to get the golden place? Hard to say but if you think that people would replace their nice watch by an electronic gadget, you are wrong. But they would replace it by a true watch with extra features.
Let’s see what Apple will bring but I am afraid we will all be disappointed.
Watch out!

LA

Info sourced at Mashable, Wired, techcrunch. Featured image source at mensquare.com. All content is copyrighted with no reproduction rights available.

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