iWatch or iNot?

We have been privately musing that Apple’s iWatch might just be a head fake, a way to throw off the rivals (and even insiders at the company) and send them on a wild goose chase. Our theory is that we might see something else that is along the lines of a watch, is wearable on a wrist and is focused on health. Why? Because we think that is a bigger market, regardless of what techno-watch wearing friends of ours say.

Apparently we are not alone in our conspiracy-theory like thinking. Jean-Louis Gassee (formerly of Apple) also mused about this on Twitter. He was of course reacting to this article about Google’s watch plans, just like Samsung’s watch plans. Not to be mean or anything, one has to wonder why Samsung (and Google) have not invented (or reinvented) a new category since you know, the iPad launch. Maybe waiting for Apple to announce something?

From my weekly GigaOm Reads column that looks back at the week in tech

Responses

  1. Brad Gibbs says:

    March 26th, 2013 at 6:57 pm Reply

    I think the press got too hot on AppleTV as an actual, physical, mount-it-to-the-wall product. When the press got too hot on the iPad 6 months prior to its launch, Apple’s competitors paused or canceled their tablet plans to wait and see what Apple would do. Apple doesn’t want to provide them the same opportunity this time around.

    Personally, I don’t believe Apple is going to release a TV, or at the very least, not just a TV. Anything they can do in software will run just fine on an AppleTV (the hockey puck, not the 60″ that’s supposed to be mounted to the wall) connected to a 27″ LCD or a 140″ cinewide projector. Why limit iTMS to their IGZO display at three sizes? And, have you seen the margins on flat panels these days? There’s not much money to be made there. Six to ten percent, versus Apple’s typical 30-40%.

    On the other hand, Apple did hire Tomlinson Holman, inventor of the Dolby THX standard nearly two years ago. What’s he been up to? Probably not pro audio apps.

    it would be far more Apple-like for Apple to reach for not just the living room, but the entire home. I think they have a keen interest in, and I know for a fact that they’ve been exploring, home automation. How about an Apple device to replace your receiver, that has AppleTV with surround sound modes (developed by Holman), can distribute audio and video to X number of other rooms in your home, and can control your lights, doors and thermostats? That’s thinking on the grand scale that Apple has historically taken to transform industries.

    Whatever Apple releases in the next 9 months will be much more than just a TV with a built-in AppleTV. Maybe there will be a licensing option, like AirPlay, for other manufacturers to get in on the game. I doubt that they’re trying to lock-down residential audio and video. I think it’s much more likely that they want to be the centerpiece of residential A/V, while allowing others to manufacture hardware that integrates with Apple’s core components.

  2. Noel Walling (@noelwalling) says:

    March 26th, 2013 at 11:46 am Reply

    I tend to wonder the same thing – I don’t think flexible displays are there yet, and I suspect that’s what Apple’s vision of a wrist device would require.

  3. Kevin Stagg says:

    March 26th, 2013 at 10:24 am Reply

    Others have noted Google has introduced/is introducing: Google Glass, Chrome OS, Self-Driving Cars… These are new categories, are they not?

  4. mikemchargue says:

    March 26th, 2013 at 8:55 am Reply

    Your criticism that Goole is not inventing new categories isn’t supported by the data. Glass may be strange and unwieldy, but it is certainly a new category and not something Apple has tried.

    1. Om Malik says:

      March 26th, 2013 at 10:01 am Reply

      Mike see my answer above. Also thanks for your comment!

  5. John Mahoney (@jamhoney) says:

    March 26th, 2013 at 8:27 am Reply

    Didn’t Samsung say that it wouldn’t release it’s watch until after Apple did? How could it say that when it doesn’t know Apples plans? Shameless copycat?

  6. Adam Meller (@mellerad) says:

    March 26th, 2013 at 8:14 am Reply

    “Not to be mean or anything, one has to wonder why Samsung (and Google) have not invented (or reinvented) a new category since you know, the iPad launch.”

    One might argue that Google is trying to do just that with Glass.

  7. Otto VonBrunno says:

    March 26th, 2013 at 7:56 am Reply

    Like Glass?

    1. Om Malik says:

      March 26th, 2013 at 8:13 am Reply

      Read previous comment. Sorry for not being very clear about this…

  8. David Wunderlich (@Year2) says:

    March 26th, 2013 at 7:39 am Reply

    Would Google Glass not count as a new category? Sure, it hasn’t reached wide commercial availability, but it appears on its way there. It is not anything like any Apple product and first came to light last year. Would you count that as such or not?

    1. Om Malik says:

      March 26th, 2013 at 8:12 am Reply

      @David

      Only when Google Glass becomes commercially available — and I am ready to buy that one asap. I am a big fan of Glass and I have written many times that is precisely the kind of big swing Google should take. More of these writings on GigaOM. :-)

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