Apple boss Tim Cook took to the stage at the D11 conference in California Tuesday, answering a wide range of questions put to him by seasoned tech reporters Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher.
Of course, with Apple famous for revealing little to nothing about future products, any interview with Cook – or anyone connected with Apple, for that matter – is always an interesting if not challenging affair, with observers listening carefully for subtle hints or clues as to what the tech giant’s R&D facility might be getting up to behind its firmly closed doors. A slip of the tongue would be welcome, but it never seems to happen. Perhaps Cook’s brain incorporates some kind of 10-second delay system where any accidental revelation is quickly erased before it has a chance to make its way to his vocal cords. Anyway….
As you would expect, among Tuesday night’s topics was wearable technology, something Apple is rumored to be getting into with the development of its own wrist-based device, the so-called iWatch.
While Cook described the wrist as “interesting” (the iWatch! the iWatch!), he appeared to give a thumbs down to any kind of high-tech head-based AR gear (Google Glass).
Of the current selection of wearable gadgets that do more than one thing, Cook said up to now he’s seen “nothing great”, adding that he didn’t think Google Glass would be a mass market item – though wearables as part of a broader market is “ripe for exploration”, he said.
“I’m interested in a great product,” Cook told the audience. “I wear glasses because I have to. People generally want glasses to reflect their fashion, style, etc. So this is difficult from a mainstream point of view.” He said people need to be convinced that a gadget would be worth actually wearing.
He continued, “I think the wrist is somewhat natural. I think there are other things in this space that could be interesting. Sensors are exploding. It will become clearer over time.”
‘Interesting’ and ‘natural’
So, for Cook, when it comes to the subject of wearable tech, the wrist is not only “interesting”, it’s also “natural”. Coming from Apple’s top man, the use of those two adjectives alone in relation to a rumored gadget is surely tantamount to a full admission that Jony Ive and his crew have over recent months been busying themselves with a multitude of smartwatch designs in an effort to come up with the Cupertino company’s next big thing. Or am I just jumping to conclusions here?
Some recent reports have suggested Apple has already made significant progress in developing its much talked about iWatch, with a Bloomberg report a couple of months back suggesting the company is “beyond the experimentation phase in its development”.
More recently, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo – a man noted for his reliability when it comes to forecasting Apple’s product plans – said the tech giant will launch a smartwatch in the second half of next year.
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