Tim Bajarin: Apple Watch vs. the Google Glass debacle

a glasshole
A Glasshole
“Apparently, Google found out the hard way how tech products get adopted. They lost hundreds of millions of dollars on this [Google Glass] project and, worse yet, they soured the consumer market for similar products,” Tim Bajarin writes for Tech.pinions. “Even those with disposable income who could afford to be a Glass Explorer have to feel taken as Google used them as beta testers at their personal expense. I have seen a recent private report that details the damage in consumer minds about Google Glass and, even if a competitor came to market with a cheaper product better than Glass, they would have a hard time getting anything but vertical users interested.”

“Even if Google Glass 2.0 comes out or others create glasses similar at cheaper prices, I see them as being dead in the water for consumers for quite some time,” Bajarin writes. “While Google was playing with Glass, Apple brought out the ideal extension of your smartphone in the form of a watch.”

“I was a Google Glass Explorer and the experience was horrible from the start. Google Glass now sits in my office museum of failed products. The UI was terrible, the connection unreliable, and the info it delivered had little use to me. It was the worst $1500 I have ever spent in my life,” Bajarin writes. “During the Google Glasses hype I saw many people suggesting Apple jump in and do glasses of their own. We now know the Apple Watch had been in the works well before Google Glass came out and Apple already knew the best way to extend the info from a smartphone to a wearable would be via the wrist, not through glasses.”

Much more in the full article – highly recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: Bajarin is bang on target as usual.

While Apple was being accused of sitting around, resting on their laurels and not innovating for years, Google was fleecing their usual cadre of clueless beta testers to the tune of $1500 per head. While getting pummeled by clueless pundits and analysts, Apple was actually doing the hard work of refining user experiences, feature sets, UIs, and APIs for Apple Watch, Force Touch, Taptic Engine, Apple Pay, Watch OS, WatchKit, etc. You know, all of the sort of work that Our Lady of Perpetual Beta had, as usual, skipped to the detriment of their users.

The difference between Apple and Google is the difference between Apple Watch and Google Glass. Far too many people make the mistake of thinking that the difference is between iPhone and the best Android phones. That is a false comparison. Without iPhone, there would be no Android as it exists today as a blatant iPhone knockoff, it would instead be the BlackBerry knockoff it was originally intended to be.

Google is a search engine and online advertising company. They gather data from wherever possible and use it in order to better target the online ads that they sell. Google is not Apple. They never will be.

“Holy crap! I guess we’re not going to ship that phone.” – Google’s Android chief Andy Rubin, moments after Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone on January 9, 2007

Here’s what Google’s Android looked like before and after Apple’s iPhone:
Google Android before and after Apple iPhone

Related articles:
Apple to ITC: Android started at Apple while Andy Rubin worked for us – September 2, 2011

Mossberg recommends the Apple Watch: ‘A very good product, with a chance to be great’ – May 12, 2015
BGR reviews Apple Watch: ‘A major technological achievement; you won’t want to take it off’ – May 7, 2015
The Telegraph reviews Apple Watch: Object of desire – May 7, 2015
Cult of Mac reviews Apple Watch: ‘Futuristic, fun and fan-flipping-tastic’ – April 28, 2015
PC Magazine reviews Apple Watch: ‘The best smartwatch available’ – April 28, 2015
Apple Watch owners shame so-called professional reviewers – April 27, 2015
The 2:26 Apple Watch review (with video) – April 9, 2015
Tech.pinions’ Ben Bajarin reviews Apple Watch: ‘Powerful’ and ‘completely new’ – April 8, 2015
WSJ’s Stern reviews Apple Watch: ‘Good looks and coolness’ – April 8, 2015
The Verge’s Patel reviews Apple Watch: ‘A masterpiece of engineering’ – April 8, 2015
WSJ’s Fowler reviews Apple Watch: ‘The first smartwatch worth buying’ – April 8, 2015
Yahoo Tech’s Pogue reviews Apple Watch: ‘Magical’
New York Times’ Manjoo reviews Apple Watch: ‘A power you can’t live without’ – April 8, 2015
Bloomberg’s Topolsky reviews Apple Watch: ‘The world’s best smartwatch’ – April 8, 2015
USA Today’s Baig reviews Apple Watch: ‘Second to none; I want one’ – April 8, 2015″>Daring Fireball’s Gruber on a week with Apple Watch – April 8, 2015
Tech.pinions’ Ben Bajarin reviews Apple Watch: ‘Powerful’ and ‘completely new’ – April 8, 2015
WSJ’s Stern reviews Apple Watch: ‘Good looks and coolness’ – April 8, 2015
The Verge’s Patel reviews Apple Watch: ‘A masterpiece of engineering’ – April 8, 2015
WSJ’s Fowler reviews Apple Watch: ‘The first smartwatch worth buying’ – April 8, 2015
Yahoo Tech’s Pogue reviews Apple Watch: ‘Magical’
New York Times’ Manjoo reviews Apple Watch: ‘A power you can’t live without’ – April 8, 2015
Bloomberg’s Topolsky reviews Apple Watch: ‘The world’s best smartwatch’ – April 8, 2015
USA Today’s Baig reviews Apple Watch: ‘Second to none; I want one’ – April 8, 2015

24 Comments

  1. Unlike SJ and Apple, Sergey Brin has become incredibly wealthy almost overnight. He can afford to spend a few hundred million $ on his pet project. It will have undoubtedly led to developments in wearable technology that will have beeter application elsewhere and would otherwise have not been made.

    Not all development ends in a positive outcome – but it was worth exploring – andhe isn’t exactly broke as a result.

      1. I don’t think so. All technology has to have a starting point and someday specs will be a good way to convey information. When wandering into a mall have the specs show virtual signs above sale items. Lost? Follow an arrow, in a museum, get information about a piece of art, etc. The applications would be endless, but all this will require vision tracking built into the device, plus significantly smaller and more numerous sensors, plus a large investment in infrastructure. There’s a very long way to go.

        1. actually eventually the mall wouldn’t let the Goog Goggle Guy walk in,
          invasion of privacy issues, irritate the rest of the customers etc. You have a bunch of kids in shorts in the mall court and pervert in Google Glass leering at them maybe videotaping ….

          doing all the stuff you say like following directions is actually easier with a phone or watch, it’s (according to users) horrible to navigate with images in front of your eyeballs (for example the stupid ‘arrows’ might actually be blocking what you want to look at and focusing at the screen and distance is headache inducing).

          1. I’m the last guy who wants to see Glassholes in public places. What I’m talking about is far more passive with no recording capabilities and a long time in the future. Low power transmitters in steering wheels or doorways to deactivate them when necessary, and other measures to keep them from being abused. As I said, There would have to be a lot of infrastructure in place for something like this to work and be useful without being obnoxious. Nothing like Google’s implementation of Google Glass.

      2. All the patents that came about through the Glass project will be quite valuable to Google in about 5-10 years. Computer glasses will be a big thing; it’s inevitable. Battery technology, component miniaturization, augmented reality and artificial intelligence technologies need to improve first, but they should be where they need to be in about 5 years to make computer glasses practical. But the only company that’s going to be able to make them stylish, comfortable, and easy enough that people actually want to wear them is Apple. And as usual, once Apple shows everyone how it’s done, then Google and friends will be able to enter the market with their cheap and shoddy imitations. It doesn’t work in reverse. (See: MP3 players before iPod, laptops before PowerBook, desktops before Mac, smartphones before iPhone, tablets before iPad, smartwatches before Apple Watch, mobile wallets before Apple Pay)

  2. Yep the true state of innovation exposed. Its not about glory products that look good to non users through subjective demonstration that don’t work in real life its about products that offer real advantages and improvements to your life in everyday use be it directly or indirectly.

  3. Wall Street and tech pundits are always giving Google a free pass. Everything Google does is said to have some huge effect on the future of tech. As it is, Google is seen to dominate the Internet of Things years from now. It’s really odd how Google is always said to have success and Apple is said to fail.

    I don’t see how Google has any great edge over Apple when it comes to the Internet of Things. iBeacon tech isn’t very expensive and large stores could have hundreds of those tiny devices. I suppose you could say they’re internet connected to some degree. So, I’m not sure if they mean domination by way of number of devices or usefulness to users. Apple currently has the technology to create tens millions of those SoC processors found in AppleWatch and they could probably be used in all sorts of devices and be easily programmable. It damn sure has more processing power and connectivity than a Nest thermostat.

    It’s hard to compare AppleWatch to Google Glass because they functionally different, but Apple is going to sell far more AppleWatches than Google could ever sell of Google Glass devices.

    1. As history has shown, execution in a finished product is the hard trick. Any company with billions of dollars at their disposal can R&D to it’s heart’s content but it’s no guarantee of success without proper vision, taste and application.

      Google is the snake oil Ghostbuster Dr. Peter Venkman of tech whereas Ackroyd’s Raymond Stantz keeps reminding that private industry eventually expects results – like Apple.

      So far it’s mostly been a Googlebust’rs!

    2. The street likes Google; they understand Google. Google sells a product; they steal your information and sell advertising space to companies who want to sell you junk you need (based upon your demographics), or junk you don’t need; they don’t care as long as the money keeps rolling in for advertising. Sales is becoming very cutthroat and desperate. Wall Street understands and welcomes cutthroat and desperate.

      Apple wants to create something you cannot live without; they want to make your life better. Apple appears non-cutthroat (though internally that may be quite different) and is definitely not desperate. The only desperation is within each customer awaiting his next product “fix”. Love for products, services, or a company, is unfathomable to Wall Street. “Love” is unfathomable to Wall Street.

  4. What makes your miscalculated & frivolous hearsay about the Watch anywhere near the truth? It’s more your wishful delusion that flies in the face of Apple history and well-thought out recent offerings.

    We can quote endless doofus doomsayers about previous Apple devices where history proved them spectacularly wrong too. As far as Apple Watch goes – so far so FANTASTIC! Spectacular beginning.

    Unnecessary premature foolish denunciations and faux prognostications are only issued by the Apple Haters & Fragmendroid doofus class. Seasoned and rational adult users wait for the actual results instead of rushing in which, as you know, is the realm of fools.

  5. Here is the bottom line with the Goggle Glass product: when you are using it or even just wearing it, you are ALWAYS being offensive to others around you. With that camera always pointing at SOMETHING, the perception is that you are ALWAYS spying on people. Given the nature of Google’s business this will ALWAYS be true. Google will ALWAYS “mine” what that camera sees for SOMETHING. There isn’t away around this.

    In contrast, I doubt very seriously Apple will “mine” anything from what the Siri “hears” from the Apple Watch microphone. Likewise, Apple has no interest in what the camera on your Mac sees when using FaceTime.

    1. The Siri tech has to be pretty impressive to ‘learn’ and produce every more relevant results if it doesn’t get to mine the data it ‘hears’.. After watching “The Imitation Game” you can get pretty paranoid about whether someone is lying about how secure an uncrackable system really is to allow continued surveillance on the unaware.. 😛 This is even more effective if the number of device types you need to keep track of is low.

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