Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak certainly doesn’t shy away from speaking his mind about the latest technology. Recently, Woz expressed his views on smartwatches in general and gave his two cents on Apple’s iWatch in an email exchange with a CNet reporter.
“I feel that wearables are a hard sell,” Woz said. “They are go-betweens for your smartphone but are an extra piece and need special advantages that the smartphone doesn’t have, in my opinion. If they are just a Bluetooth go-between then it could wind up in the category of Bluetooth headsets: Fun to wear and show off for a day.”
Sure enough, smartwatches like those in Samsung’s Gear collection, the G Watch, and Sony’s smartwatch line have faced tough criticism from users and reviewers alike who find them too big, too bulky, and impractical. Recently, companies have invested more in design, but even the round Moto 360 is now criticized for being too thick. So far, only watches like the Martian Notifier and the upcoming LG G Watch R seem to garner positive feedback.
Even though Woz doesn’t like the smartwatches that currently exist, he does think that Apple could potentially transform the category like it did smartphones when it launched the first iPhone.
“Apple works very hard to produce exceptionally great products and doesn’t quickly release things like a wearable. So if one is introduced I expect it to have a chance to set the direction and make the product category finally viable,” Woz said.
He added that Apple’s focus on fitness is likely to put the iWatch in a league of its own. One thing Woz thinks smartwtach makers should reconsider immediately is the small screen size.
“The small 1.5-inch by 1.5-inch screens don’t hack it for me,” he said. However, in this regard, he may be on his own. Typically, people criticize smartwatches for being too big — not for being too small.