Just like the iPhone and iPad, the Apple Watch is set to fail

Let’s rewind the clock, and take a look at what people were saying about the iPhone in 2007 and iPad in 2010


“That virtual keyboard will be about as useful for tapping out emails and text messages as a rotary phone. Don’t be surprised if a sizable contingent of iPhone buyers express some remorse at ditching their BlackBerry when they spend an extra hour each day pumping out emails on the road.”

When the iPhone launched, it was on the wave of huge success that the iPod had generated. Apple was, as it seemed, on the peak of a mountain. It had re-established itself as a leader of consumer tech products, and new product launches would be under extreme scrutiny.

The iPhone, if you followed tech blogs and financial publications at the time, was set to fail.

The iPhone will not substantially alter the fundamental structure and challenges of the mobile industry.

A cynical thought might be that publications use anti Apple articles as click bait, a way of generating increased page views and in turn advertising revenue. Perhaps that’s the case, but many of these opinions come from ‘analysts’ in the field, and with that comes the tight association of their reputation to predictions.

The iPhone will be a major disappointment.

Three years after the iPhone launch, Steve Jobs took to the stage to unveil the iPad.

Riding the wave of success the iPhone had generated, Apple were once again apparently at the peak of their growth and were struggling to innovate.

After all, the iPad was just a big iPhone right?

But perhaps the biggest hurdle to iTablet success is the netbook. Lightweight and sleek, today’s units have all of the advantages of a notebook PC — including nearly full-sized keyboards — and none of the disadvantages.

Netbooks? Ah yes, the minidisc of the computing world. Nice idea, wrong time. They were the established benchmark, and the competition Apple had to beat with the iPad. Looking back, it’s obvious that it was never going to be a close fight.

What Steve Jobs showed us yesterday was in fact little more than a giant iPhone. A giant iPhone that doesn’t even make calls.

If history is anything to go by, the Apple Watch will be a success. Not just a success for Apple, but a success for the entire industry. Wearables, until now, have been something only a select few find attractive as a product category. Even with the launch of Android Wear last year, and all the power that comes from Google, the uptake of wearables has been slow.

Apple are positioning the Watch differently, they aren’t going after the relatively small market of wearable users. They are going after fashion. The Apple Watch is seen as a piece of jewellery as much as it is a piece of technology. Wearing one will be a fashion statement, pairing the differing bands from both Apple and third party manufactures to create a look suited to you.

I’m excited for the Apple Watch launch. It offers us, as developers and creatives, a great opportunity to interact with users on a much more personal level. Screens have traditionally always been viewed at distance, creating a separation between user and device. But wearables, and the Apple Watch, are different. It’s almost as if that small screen on the wrist is a part of the user, an extension of them as a person. Creating applications and experiences at that level is a challenge, but it could unlock a whole new level of connection.

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