iPhone Killer: The secret history of the Apple Watch

“In early 2013, Kevin Lynch accepted a job offer from Apple. Funny thing about the offer: It didn’t say what he would be doing. So intense is Apple’s secrecy that all Lynch knew was his vague title, vice president of technology, and that he’d be working on something completely new,” David Pierce reports for Wired. “It was odd that Apple even offered him a job. During his eight years at Adobe, most recently as chief technology officer, he was best known as the only person dumb enough to publicly fight Steve Jobs over the iPhone’s lack of support for Flash videos. When Lynch announced his move, the reaction was immediate: They want this guy? Apple blogger John Gruber called Lynch ‘a bozo, a bad hire.'”

“Lynch had a lot to prove—and, apparently, a lot to do. When he showed up at 1 Infinite Loop on his first day, he was instructed to skip the usual new-employee orientation,” Pierce reports. “His boss at the time, hardware czar Bob Mansfield, said to head straight to the design studio and get to work. He could learn about his 401(k) later.”

“As soon as he walked into the studio, he found out the project he’d been hired to run was already on deadline. In fact, it was behind schedule. There was a design review in two days, he was told, with the Apple brass. Lynch had better be ready,” Pierce reports. “There were no working prototypes; there was no software. There were just experiments—the iPod crew had made something with a click wheel—and lots of ideas. The expectations, however, were clear: Apple’s senior vice president of design, Jony Ive, had tasked them with creating a revolutionary device that could be worn on the wrist.”

“There were MP3 players before the iPod, but Apple made you want one. The iPhone transformed the smartphone from business gear into pop culture. The iPad brought tablets in from the fringes, blowing past years of work by the likes of Nokia and Microsoft. For its fourth act, Apple chose a watch. This was to be the next step in a dynasty—the first without the guidance of Steve Jobs. Expectations and scrutiny would be impossibly high; the watch had to be, in the company’s parlance, insanely great,” Pierce reports. “No pressure, Kevin.”

Read more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Note: How we reacted to Lynch’s hiring is here.

Asymco’s Horace Dediu estimates Apple Watch revenue of US$8.4 billion on 21 million units in year one alone. To put Apple Watch’s performance in perspective: For the first nine months of 2015, LVMH’s “Watches & Jewelry” segment generated US$2.623 billion in total revenue.

SEE ALSO:
Apple looks poised to sell 21 million Apple Watch units generating $8.4 billion in first year – December 10, 2015

[Attribution: Fortune.]

6 Comments

  1. What can be learned from the aforementioned article:

    1 The reason Apple’s Human Interface has gone from successful to suck is that they hired a graphic artist to lead the group rather than a qualified HIG specialist.

    They let designers do jobs that engineers should be doing.

    Oh, and Gruber is an asswipe

    1. You are confused, perhaps? Graphic artist? Designers? Which is it? You do know the difference, right? Engineers should design UI and UX since when? Mechanical engineers? Electronic?

      Your post raises so many questions, like, is your user name an amusing non sequitur, or a successful attempt at irony? No need to answer, unless you have more of this “non delusional ” banter on tap for our amusement.

      Perhaps you haven’t yet applied to Apple, or they haven’t called you yet, but I’m sure as soon as you begin work as their new head of “graphical engineering”, things will improve for all of us. Thanks for sharing, can’t wait for your next “instalment”!

      Cheers,

      dmz

  2. So long story short, is that Apple wasted $millions on creating a pointless device that still needs a phone to work, because they failed to grasp that a phone that replaces an iPod and adds new features to it is not the same as a watch that still needs a phone to function. Got it.

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