Ben Thompson: Apple Watch: Asking Why and Saying No
While watching the unveiling of Apple’s Watch last week I was ‘feeling’ what Ben above articulates so well. Why do I want this device?
I now recognise that when I was studying Industrial Design at University, the best projects were the ones that really asked why something should exist, and the proposed solutions answered that question well. Unfortunately it was very common amongst students on my course (myself included) to go off on a tangent, creating great looking designs along with beautiful CAD renderings of solutions that had absolutely no solid answer to the why question. I hope Apple haven’t fallen into this trap.
I just can’t quite figure out how many people would want the watch. I didn’t see that Apple made a compelling need case for it. Say what you will about Jobs. But he always had a killer function — even for the iPad. Exercise seems to be the attempt for the watch, but even that isn’t that compelling given the limits of the watch itself.
I’m not a big jewelry wearer so I found myself coming to the watch from the fitness angle too. However when you find out that it relies on the GPS in your iPhone you know that it’s a non-starter. My iPhone is a bit big to take running with me, but to track runs and be a music player it’s my best option so I do. The Apple Watch doesn’t allow me to leave my phone at home, so that doesn’t help me. If Apple can move this way for version 2, then their watch plus a pair of bluetooth earphones could be compelling.