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Tim Cook explains why Apple Watch and Apple Pay will succeed where Google failed

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Apple’s CEO Tim Cook dropped a whole host of hints about the Apple Watch and celebrated Apple Pay’s success at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco. He also revealed why he thinks Apple’s Watch and mobile payment system will succeed where Google’s efforts have failed.

“Apple isn’t a hardware company. You’re buying an experience. It’s the integration of hardware and software.”

Cook compared the smartwatch market to the MP3 player and tablet markets prior to Apple’s arrival on the scene. Both were niche markets and would have remained obscure devices had Apple not entered the conversation, Cook contended. He explained that in order for people to accept and embrace new technologies, the devices have to change the way they live. You shouldn’t “need a PhD to use them,” he said.

“There are several things that are called smartwatches that are shipping,” Cook stated, adding that there are still “none that have changed the way people live.”

Related: Apple sells record-breaking number of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus phones

Apple’s CEO firmly believes that the Apple Watch will change people’s lives the same way the iPod, iPhone, and iPad did. According to Cook, it’s “the breadth of what it will do,” that will impress users the most. In keeping with Apple’s previous statements on the Watch, Cook emphasized the style of the device, calling it a “precision timepiece,” and reiterating that “the variety is incredible — the customizable nature is incredible.”

Cook teased that the Apple Watch will introduce “new innovative ways to communicate that you didn’t use before.” Of course, the only one he mentioned was the same one Google has tried to incorporate into its Android Wear platform for smartwatches: voice control. However, Cook asserts that the Apple Watch will do it better, and revealed that he talks to Siri all the time now.


Based on his statements, the Apple Watch will even know when you’re looking at it and turn on, so you don’t have to press a single button. Apparently, it will also turn off when you look away, which is something that no Android Wear watch can do. Third-party apps also have Cook “super excited” because the watch will revolutionize the way we interact with apps. He can’t wait to see which apps become everyone’s favorites.

Related: Apple Watch app aims to monitor glucose levels for people with diabetes

Cook briefly mentioned that the Watch has become indispensable in his daily life, not just for the notifications, but also for the health benefits.

“If I sit for too long, it will actually tap me on the wrist to remind me to get up and move,” Cook said. He said that when meetings at Apple run over an hour, everybody seems to spontaneously stand up and move at the same time, thanks to the light tap from the Watch.

As for why he believes the Apple Watch will succeed where Google’s Android Wear has failed — how it will get people to buy and keep wearing a smartwatch every day — Cook says it’s because Apple aims to create a full, life-altering experience with every product it makes.

“Apple isn’t a hardware company,” Cook said. “You’re buying an experience — It’s the integration of hardware and software.”


The same goes with Apple Pay, which is “going faster than I thought it would,” though he concedes that in his mind, “this was only possible because we could control and design the hardware, software, and service.

“You can imagine doing this with several different companies,” he said, jokingly referring to the struggles of Google Wallet and PayPal without naming a single name. “You’d be pulling your hair out.”

Related: Apple Pay is flying high, thanks to new JetBlue partnership

The main difference between Apple and others is the company’s high privacy standards, according to the CEO: “We believe that customers have a right to privacy, and the vast majority of customers don’t want everyone knowing everything about them. You are not our product – that is our product … We think that’s how customers want the world to be.”

That’s why Apple doesn’t look into your Apple Pay transactions or HealthKit data, Cook said.

He then touted the security of Apple Pay in particular, joking that credit cards can’t possibly be secure; After all, they have our name, card number, and security code printed right on them.

Apple’s “role is to make the best — not the most,” Cook concluded, adding that the company “won’t do something that’s only second rate,” no matter the market it’s meant for, because “people everywhere in this world want a great product — That doesn’t mean that everyone can afford one yet, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t want one.”

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