“Smartwatches are stupid,” says Hartmut Esslinger, Apple’s first head of design and creator of the company’s Snow White design language. “Why would I put cheap electronics on my wrist as a symbol of (my) emotion?” Esslinger also calls Fitbit, the popular fitness tracker, a gimmick. “I know when I am tired,” he says, referring to the device’s value proposition of counting calories through the day. Esslinger’s remarks about wearable tech may seem provocative but they represent a fundamental design problem in the industry.
Hartmut is right. The current crop of smartphones does suck. This is what makes this fall even more exciting—when Apple is likely to announce whatever it is they’re going to announce. Historically, Apple is never first to market, but it’s always best to market.