What Apple needs to do to make the iWatch a hit

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Fancy an apple iWatch? You do? Well according to the New York Times you might not have too long to wait.

The paper reported yesterday

In its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., Apple is experimenting with wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass. Such a watch would operate on Apple’s iOS platform, two people said, and stand apart from competitors based on the company’s understanding of how such glass can curve around the human body.

Firstly, tell us something we didn’t know. It would be inconceivable for Apple not to be experimenting with wrist watch type designs for a gadget or a phone for two reasons,. Firstly wearable gadgets are very hot at the moment and almost all its rivals are ploughing money into developing connected devices that you place somewhere on your body. And it isn’t just Samsung and Sony. Olympus, Google and Nike are all very active in this area..

More importantly the mobile phone is evolving away from the original design of the iPhone at a very fast rate. As it becomes less a tool for making calls and more a gadget for accessing the web so phone screen sizes have increased. But do you want to be putting a 7inch tablet type device to your ear each time you make a call? Or have to pull it from your bag each time you get a Facebook update?

Nope. So the market for smart watches is already starting to explode with the Pebble and the I’m Watch two key models. You can see all the latest smart watches here.

As smart as the Pebble watch is the field is still open for Apple to create a gadget that makes the market its own. This relies on the company pulling off the following

1 A really smart innovative design – Well the NYT says that the watch could be based around flexible glass which would have a bendy, yet large (1,.5inch display).

As the NYT reports

Last year, Corning, the maker of the ultra-tough Gorilla Glass that is used in the iPhone, announced that it had solved the difficult engineering challenge of creating bendable glass, called Willow Glass, that can flop as easily as a piece of paper in the wind without breaking.

2 It needs a clever new way of operating the watch – If the screen is small then Apple needs to create an interface that isn’t totally reliant on touch screen and finger prodding. That purchase of Siri’s voice based interface system a few years back, is starting to make a lot of sense now. Perhaps the watch will be largely voice controlled,.

3 It needs to replicate a lot of the features its rivals offer – The iWatch is only going to be successful if it offers a huge range of features. In this way it will compete with devices like the Nike Fuel Band. After all you aren’t going to wear a band that connects to your phone and then another that tracks your fitness levels.

If Apple does deliver an iWatch this year then it will be following the template it created for its other key devices. MP3 players had been available several years before the iPod arrived, while both the iPhone and iPad were enhancements of product formats that hadn’t quite captured the consumer’s imagination. What Apple did was to create something truly special that took each product format a huge leap forward. You wouldn’t bet against it pulling the same feat off again with the iWatch.

Pic – courtesy of this designer

By Ashley Norris | February 11th, 2013





Ashley NorrisWhat Apple needs to do to make the iWatch a hit