Tim Cook: Apple Watch will become as essential as iPhone

“Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook touted the forthcoming Apple Watch as an essential device that will be driven by a host of personalized apps, setting it apart from anything else out on the market,” Dawn Chmielewski reports for Re/code.

“‘There are several things that are called smartwatches, but I’m not sure you could name any,’ Cook said in remarks Tuesday at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference. ‘Certainly, there are none that have changed the way people lived their lives. That’s what we want to do,'” Chmielewski reports. “Cook said consumers will be surprised at the breadth of what the Apple Watch can do. The device’s subtle notifications — like little bursts of information about, say, a sports score — appear with a turn of the wrist.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Dan K.” and “Sarah” for the heads up.]

41 Comments

  1. “…little bursts of information about, say, a sports score — appear with a turn of the wrist.”

    This is Tim’s example of how Apple Watch will change “the way people lived their lives”?

    I think Apple Watch looks extremely cool, but it doesn’t seem like even Apple knows what its killer apps are yet. It will be interesting to see what developers come up with this year.

      1. I skeptical about the iPhone, years ago, until a contractor made his first visit to my house. I asked if our rather obscure location was hard to find. He whipped out his iPhone 3 and showed me how he found the house. That was all it took: one use case. I’m guessing the same might be true for the Apple Watch.

        1. I’m with Thelonious, I was electrified by the iPhone from the second it was announced! It was what Palm devices and Windows CE devices should have been. It was an excellent evolution of the Newton concept.

          I saw how the iPhone would be an essential piece of tech. I’m not seeing how the iWatch will be essential, nice to have? Sure. But essential? – not seeing it.

          Essential items are bought by all classes (even if they have to save up for a while). Nice to have items are only bought by the rich.

      2. Yeah, I tend to agree with you about the hardware part but I think the proper apps could make all the difference in the world. I never thought a smartphone would be as useful as a desktop computer, but I was wrong. A smartphone is also a lot more handier to use. The reason I don’t feel the AppleWatch is going to sell in the tens of millions of units is because I haven’t seen any of the top apps that could be in the making. It’s really just too early to form an opinion.

        My only interest in AppleWatch is the collection of biometric data. If it does that function well, then I’m sold. I have no interest in checking the watch every few minutes so I’m sure battery life will be no problem for me during the day. If my initial fiddling with a new device, I’ll simply just let it do its thing of data collection. As a shareholder, I’m hoping the AppleWatch will be a huge commercial success, but if it has high initial sales and then poops out in a year, it won’t upset me at all because my expectations are low.

      3. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, TMac. Unlike some other people on this forum, you do not attempt to portray your opinion as indisputable “truth.”

        I, too, hope that you are wrong. The Apple Watch may start out slowly. You might recall that the iPhone started out that way, too, back in 2007. And the growth path of the Apple Watch may also be more gradual than that of the iPhone (after the early adopter bump).

        But I am looking at the longer term – a future in which the Apple Watch is far thinner and sleeker due to technology advancements, and there is a wide range of other wearables (many potentially designed into jewelry like pendants and earrings) that tie into the same ecosystem. Just like iTunes Music evolved beyond music tracks, Watch Kit will likely evolve to “Wearable Kit” (with a catchier name, of course).

        The Apple Watch is just the beginning.

      4. Hi Thelonious Mac,
        Just thought I’d add my two cents of reassurance. I look at Apple Watch and I think, but hey – what’s so good about glances?
        But I invite you to think about it a different way:
        You’d like an iPod Nano right? Well now you have one… Universal TV remote always on your wrist? Well sure there it is… Ever used a wristwatch as an alarm? Didn’t it just feel like it made SENSE somehow? Haptics will do that even more. Now imagine you’re out and about with someone else wearing an Apple Watch, you go one place, they go another, you’re running late, and so you draw them an 8-0-5 then you feel a smiley face in return and you didn’t have to get anything out of your pocket. Dinner time? No longer a choice between shouting up and ringing the family, with the right app they could be a double tap away… On a train? Get live updates to delays on your wrist. Unlocking doors or cars? In 2020 you’ll probably need a watch or a phone. Sharing contact details, why not airdrop them to the person you’re talking to with a couple of taps (and maybe a thumbprint for added security?) The question is – how much can you do in a tap or a glance that you don’t need your pocket for? Watch is there to make the answer “as much as possible” whilst also being a watch and a key and a mini IM client so that we need our iPhones less – only for meaningful tasks.
        Think of it this way:
        Mac = environments
        iPhone = apps
        Watch = commands/notifications
        What do you think? Am I imagining wrong/does this feel more like it has a purpose from my perspective? Feedback much appreciated!!!

    1. “…it doesn’t seem like even Apple knows what its killer apps are yet…”
      Yes. But that was true back in 2007 when iPhone debuted. I don’t think that anybody could have known the breadth of applications that a true smartphone could offer until developers started solving real world problems with apps.

      When I think about the dozens of things that I depend on my iPhone for, I truly never anticipated what it would mean.

      So, yeah, it makes sense that even Apples doesn’t know yet. And what they do know they are not yet sharing. I think we have a few major “oh wow” moments coming soon.

    2. Apple not knowing the “killer apps” is a good thing. Because the TRUE usefulness of Apple Watch is how it will make the EXISTING iPhone “killer apps” even more “killer.”

      When the Retina Display was introduced on iPhone, no one speculated about new “killer apps” for Retina Display. Instead, Retina Display enhanced all apps, as soon as developers updated their EXISTING apps to take full advantage of it.

      And that’s exactly how Apple Watch will succeed beyond all the typical predictions. There may be some great new apps that are exclusively for Apple Watch, but the real impact of Apple Watch is how it enhances all the existing popular apps. Once developers start adding desirable new features (to their existing already highly successful apps) that are specifically for Apple Watch, iPhone customers will NOT want to be “left out.”

      Remember, all potential Apple Watch customers are already Apple customers. They said “Yes” to Apple (at least) once, by buying an iPhone. Most predictions by “experts” are basically saying that less than 10% of existing iPhone (5 or later) customers will buy an Apple Watch during its first year. Come on now… These are the well-educated and financially-capable people who are already Apple’s loyal and happy customers.

  2. It’s not really possible for the watch to become as essential as the iPhone as long as the watch REQUIRES an iPhone in order to be useful. The iPhone would seem to set the ceiling for the popularity of the watch, no? That said, I think it will be immensely popular, and I would expect Apple to unyoke the watch from the phone as soon as it becomes feasible.

    1. I think Tim Cook phrased it appropriately, as the guy who is trying to sell it. He’s saying that Apple Watch will become an essential part of the iPhone user experience. So, in effect, it will become as essential as the iPhone itself.

      And I don’t think it will become “unyoked” from the iPhone. That’s not the plan; Apple wants customers to have an iPhone AND and Apple Watch. Apple Watch being integrally linked to iPhone is its greatest advantage versus the competition. Competing products are (and will be) limited in “smartness,” because there are technical limitations for a device that is “watch-sized.” And by necessity, they need to be stand-alone products some with limited external interactions, because no one else owns and controls a consolidated mobile platform featuring iPhone.

      Apple Watch’s “smartness” is only limited by iPhone’s “brains” and the imagination of developers. It’s an open-ended proposition precisely because it is integrally linked to iPhone. As iPhone gets ever more powerful, so will the usefulness of Apple Watch. Over time, Apple Watch becomes optimized as iPhone’s wrist-worn interface, by becoming sleeker and lighter. Plus Apple (and third-party partners) will release more wearable devices (Apple Watch is just the first) that perform other functions, with iPhone acting as the “hub” of Apple’s emerging wearable computing ecosystem.

    1. These old eyes are never going to replace a handheld phone with a <42mm watch. Never. There's no point in Apple even trying to miniaturize and thin out stuff beyond what humans can comfortably use.

    2. Agree. It wasn’t that long ago a digital hub centered around a Mac. Not too long in future somebody will fit LTE chip and wristband antenna in a watch. Hopefully it will be Apple.

    3. This seems inevitable. Even if most people want to use it with their phone at some point there won’t be a technical reason to make it dependent.

      For starters, anyone using their watch to track their running with GPS might like to do so without having an iPhone bouncing in the pocket or strapped to them, and would still like to get important phone calls or messages.

  3. The Apple watch will be indispensable! To whom? I haven’t worn a watch in 15 years. And I don’t own, intend to buy, or otherwise need an iPhone. I have a flip phone for…well, making phone calls. Isn’t that the purpose of a phone? Oh, yeah…it does tell time, too.! And guess what, I only have to recharge me flip phone about once every two to three weeks: What a bargain, considering that it was free!

  4. I’m not impressed with version 1 iWatch’s bulkiness, but with an Apple designed processor, etc. as the guts, as they scale it down to …what is it…14 nanometers? It has huge potential to soon be very powerful and use much less power than the iPhone and eventually stand alone…not replace the iPhone, but yes, replace many of the simple functions we rely upon quickly. It has just GOT to get slimmer and curved and streamlined in future versions. We all know a major jacked up AppleTV is coming, so the iWatch
    is easily the TV remote solution that Jobs talked about. You can’t put a thick flat square on a wrist…it has to be curved to be comfortable. I anxiously wait for version 2.

    1. I hear that. I’m buying one (sport model) realizing I’ll probably by another one next year. This happened to me with the iPad. But I’m wearing a Pebble now, and I put up with it rather than love it. I want more from the watch than I am getting. I think Apple Watch will fill that gap.

  5. iCal me if you wish, but I do not see $300 worth of value in a device that essentially duplicates in a very limited way the functionality of my iPhone,

    In my car the iPhone integrates into my car using voice command, turn signal stalks or steering wheel buttons with a display right in the middle of the instrument panel between the Tach and the Speedometer.

    The rest of the time the Phone is fine without a watch like device.

  6. Apple Pay is the killer app. For me the ability to use the Watch as a remote viewfinder for the camera in the phone is very exciting. Haptics as a new interface for subtle communication or notification also holds promise. The Health features are not my main interest. But I’m excited about the imaginative apps that third party developers will bring to the Watch. I am psyched.

  7. Just looking in a jewellery store yesterday and I was surprised at the bulkiness and heft of the most popular and expensive watches (A$500+). The Apple watch won’t be out of place on that front and they will do a lot more that said $500 watches. (Until a few years ago I used to wear a $100 Swatch to tell the time, day and date at a glance but found it of less and less use since the ascent of the cell-phone, etc.).

    1. What you grokked at the jewelery store is a good point I haven’t heard made in the din of speculation. Jewelry watch buyers are already willing – and many prefer – to put some massive stuff on their wrists, stuff that won’t do 1% of what an Apple Watch will be able to.

      (I’m not one, lacking the need to dress to impress and think bulky watches are mostly wretched excess, but I’m outta the target demo anyway, so no matter – there’s a good business case for Apple here.)

      In terms of their current competitors like MS, GOOG and the great pan-Asian OEM product machine, seems clear the thing’s gonna leapfrog Android Wear by at least a gen, hardware and OS-wise… …altho’ Asia will start their Xerox machines and there will be commodity watches with this device’s general functionality + some others within one-two years… ….i.e., plausible knockoffs and work-kinda-likes. Even if most makers get slashed up in margin wars.

      But it’s not just the solid gold one that’s also a jewelry and watch play in a way Android Wear isn’t yet as most writers have been saying – it’s all three models and all of their accessories that are going after new shelf space in jewelery stores, department stores and more places “where finer products are sold.”

      And represents a new melding of “life style products” to the whole Apple digital life style (which will also sell more iPhones, Pads, Macs and TV to those who enter the ecosystem through the attraction of the watch.

      And even in gen 1, I agree the gizmo’s not too big to succeed. It’s practically diminutive already compared to a butt-fugly Rolex Oyster (lolz).

      (Android, et al will pile in at the low end and will move units – if not in jewelery stores, at Wal-Marts and the like – but will likely never be a real force at the higher or highest, i.e., precious metal version) parts of this new market. I mean I’m just not seeing a $5,000 18K Samsung Tizen watch on the near horizon – are you?)

      And there will be endless looks to be had with even the $350 version.

      That is, seen in this light, the improvement and re-think of how classic band hardware works and fastens is brilliant and alone will spawn a sizable cottage industry – with mostly much higher prices and margins over iPhone and iPad cases…

      …For one example, band makers will likely design special software watch faces to uniquely fuse the look of the watch to the look of the band (both original and licensed themes), include one or more with the band… …and offer additional “face packs” on the Watch Store.

      Switch bands and faces between “safe for work” (or the ‘rents) to whatever your predilections are. Like the original Swatch concept on steroids with a wrist super-computer tossed in.

      A watch – whatever your budget – is a personal and almost always visible fashion statement as much as it is a horological (and now computing) device. And this one can be a whole new kind of technological/fashion chameleon – as many watches in one as you can outfit it to be.

      And this is why Apple paid Angela Ahrendts multiples of Cook’s salary to come on board, and brought others of her ilk with her. ‘Cos it wasn’t just for new employee tee shirts in the Apple Stores.

      So if it works out like this, it will def have been worth it, and Apple will be a major force in a whole new arena that won’t stop with watches.

      And – beyond the obvious ties with Apple Health – this is the first time I’ve seen a notion that makes me think this thing really might be a bigger hit than I’ve previously thought.

      So yeah, s’gonna be interesting to see this “end-around” play develop once the release arrives.

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