Jony Ive: Apple Watch was ‘difficult and humbling’ design challenge

“Jony Ive, Apple’s chief designer, said he believes with ‘every bone in his body’ that the forthcoming Apple Watch will help establish a new category of computing device,” Daisuke Wakabayashi reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“Ive told an audience at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Thursday night that designing the smartwatch posed more challenges than the iPhone because of societal expectations around a wristwatch. The wrist, he said, is an ideal place for ‘lightweight interactions’ and ‘casual glancing,’ but not for heavy reading,” Wakabayashi reports. “‘Even though Apple Watch does so many things, there are cultural, historical implications and expectations,’ Ive said. ‘That’s why it’s been such a difficult and humbling program.'”

“In a wide-ranging discussion, Ive said he’s proud of Apple because it creates great products, not because of its surging revenue or world-leading market valuation,” Wakabayashi reports. “Profits follow the products, he said.”

Read more in the full article here.

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14 Comments

  1. One thing to note: I don’t think any Apple executive has ever used the term smartwatch and I don’t think they ever will. Since Watch confains a computer on a chip it certainly can be called a computing device. 😉

    1. Makes one wonder if they are tacitly acknowledging a distinction between a stand-alone device (smartwatch) and the Apple Watch, which (at least according to the information we have so far) requires a tethered iPhone for much of its functionality.

    2. The question is not: Can Apple compete in the luxury wristwatch market. The question is: Can the luxury wristwatch makers compete in the luxury wrist computing market …that Apple is about to create?

  2. I would say it’s the most challenging product Apple has ever created and if they can pull it off it will represent an incredible achievement in the post Steve Jobs era.

  3. Profits follow products. Well said.

    Jony Ive as a young designer could never in a million years imagine that he and Apple would be where they are today. It’s almost like a fairytale. Very few people are privileged to have a job they feel like they were born to do.

  4. I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist or something but I am slightly anxious to find out about any health concerns. Technology itself has radioactive health risks but when something is on your wrist all day every day, I just wonder if anything will happen.
    I typed this while wearing my pebble steel so I might be a hypocrite. . .a worried hypocrite.

    1. Don’t worry, if there’s even a hint of health risks associated with wrist worn computing devices, a category that will soon have Apple Watch as its face, then the New York Times will be all over it.

    2. How about just “misinformed.” There are possible effects from radio waves that have been discussed for years, but “radioactive hazard” implies ionizing radiation, which is not (NOT) an issue with any wearable technology I’m aware of. And since I teach radiation safety for a living, I’d be aware if such an issue existed.

      1. One has to venture back in time to find cases of wearable technology emitting ionizing radiation. Radium watch dials, anyone?
        The alpha particles are easily stopped, but not so the gamma rays.

        1. It’s true. Radium is a beta emitter. The radiation exposure you could receive from the dials was low, but measurable. It was low because beta is pretty well shielded by the materials used to build watches. The problem with radium dial watches was that the (mostly women) dial painters licked their brushes to make a fine point. A huge number of those women died of cancers of the bones and mouth.

  5. “‘Even though Apple Watch does so many things, there are cultural, historical implications and expectations,’ Ive said. ‘That’s why it’s been such a difficult and humbling program.’”

    And what about the humbling implications shit canning Steve’s spectacular and perfect iOS6 design for the visual starvation in 8?

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