“This week Pebble announced the launch of a new face in its smartwatch lineup: The Pebble Time Round,” Theo Priestley writes for Forbes. “The new addition joins a growing number of smartwatches that favour the classier rounded look such as the LG Urbane and G Watch R, Moto360, Withings; with G-Shock, Swatch and even higher end watchmakers like TAG Heuer launching their own versions soon.”
“Apple bucks this trend with its square design, but it feels like a forced attempt to alter how wearers perceive what it means to own a watch, and to show that a square smartwatch can carry its own chic,” Priestley writes. “Consumers prefer round watches, whether a traditional timepiece or a smart variant. 80% of watch sales on sale are made on round faced timepieces, according to Ruth Faulkner, the editor of Retail Jeweller.”
“Apple is no stranger to playing with designs over the lifetime of a product,” Priestley writes. “Remember the iPod Nano? Here Apple changed the iPod Nano in 2007 during its 3rd iteration making it more like the original iPod Classic with a squared off design before returning to the familiar candy bar shape again.”
MacDailyNews Take: Yes, we remember the iPod nano. Every iPod nano’s screen — and mini, classic, and touch, for that matter — was/is square. Every. Single. One.
“With the Apple Watch I predict the same will happen and Apple will release two styles side by side to grab a larger consumer share against the proliferation of rounded Android watches,” Priestley writes. “Apple will have to release a future version, whether Gen-2 or Gen-3, in both variants due to consumer pressure.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: As if the very first question Apple asked themselves in designing the Apple Watch wasn’t “should it be round or square?” No, Apple just chose square without any consideration at all in a reckless act of industrial design neglect. Because this is how Apple works, they never carefully consider anything during the design of their products. Jony Ive just assigns new category products to the newest intern and that’s how it all gets done at Apple Inc.
It’s really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them. — Steve Jobs
The majority of consumers today think they want a round-faced smartwatch because the majority of wristwatches through history have been round since basically all they have done/continue to do is to tell time and, ta-da, most clocks are round. Obviously, Apple Watch is much more that just a clock. Consumers thought they needed a beard of plastic keys on their phones and floppy drives in their computers, too. Because that’s all they knew. And then, somehow, they learned to Think Different™.
Just because “this is the way it’s always been done,” doesn’t make continuing to do so valid.
If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses. — Henry Ford
And, of course, Apple is renowned for bowing to consumer pressure to rush ill-considered designs to market. Happens all the time. That’s why Apple had large screen iPhones on the market so early instead of at least two years late (they didn’t release larger phones until they could do them right). And why they released that Apple netbook. And why they make $49 feature phones for third world countries in an empty quest for market share, too.
Android watch makers [still have to] figure out they need to make square displays (lists are square, not round, and lists dominate smartwatch uses)… — MacDailyNews, August 14, 2015
Round is wrong. — MacDailyNews, September 9, 2015
Theo Priestley doesn’t understand Apple Inc., Steve Jobs, Jony Ive, the Apple Watch, smartwatch design, or product design in general.
Furthermore, if Apple ever does release a round Apple Watch, it will be because they thought of something new that required it to be round, not because of consumers’ ingrained behaviors, misperceptions, or pressure.