It Won’t Be A Faster Horse

Everybody’s having fun speculating about Apple’s supposed iWatch. Bloomberg is telling us there’s already a team of 100 people working on it at Apple.
Over at The Atlantic’s new site Quartz, they went step further and are telling us some 18-year-old could beat Apple to market with his own iWatch. Ha! Take that!
It seems even Samsung is trying to preemptively copy Apple and release one of their own smart watches, which they’ll inevitably change in order to look like whatever Apple ends up shipping because, well, they told us they like to copy their competitors.
I was talking with Bryan about this over instant message earlier today and I agree with his view, “If I think it’s an ugly watch, I’m not wearing it.” I’m not wearing it either (OK, OK, maybe I’ll wear it.).
This is why Apple made the iPhone as much as an uncarved block as possible. Jony Ive’s philosophy is to distill a product down to it’s essence. Like a naked body, let individuals decide how to “cloth” their devices. Me? My view on cases for iPhones is the same as bras on beautiful cars.
But as Bryan pointed out in our conversation, there’s a big difference between a phone and a watch. A phone can go in your pocket. A watch goes on your wrist for everyone to see, all the time. A phone only has to be fashionable some of the time, but a watch is on the catwalk the whole day.
Which is why I think everyone is thinking about it wrong. Here’s the thing. The iWatch, if it is in-the-works, is as much a watch as the iPhone is a phone. It brings to mind the (unverified) quote attributed to Henry Ford, “If I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse.”
Everyone is thinking of a faster horse right now, while Apple (if they are working on something) are working on an automobile.