There’s no doubt Steve Jobs left a lasting legacy at Apple. One thing he didn’t leave behind: Any plans for a smartwatch.
The Apple Watch is entirely the product of Tim Cook’s Apple, according to a new profile in Bloomberg Businessweek.
With an Apple Watch wrapped around his hand brass-knuckle style, Ive reveals that the project was conceived in his lab three years ago, shortly after Jobs’s death and before “wearables” became a buzzword in Silicon Valley.
Apple design chief Jony Ive went into detail about the Apple Watch’s development, explaining why the touch-to-zoom feature standard on iPhones and iPads didn’t work out on the upcoming high-tech timepiece:
Ive’s team first tried using the same pinch-to-zoom touchscreen they’d invented for the iPhone, but the screen was too small and their fingers obscured the display. A year into the project, the group started toying with what became the Apple Watch’s defining physical feature: “the digital crown,” a variation on the knob that’s used to wind and set the time on a traditional wristwatch.
Apple isn’t releasing the Apple Watch until 2015, which means it will miss what would have been an insanely lucrative holiday shopping season. The reason why? Jeff Williams, the senior vice president for operations, told Bloomberg Businessweek it basically came down to quality above all.
Williams is unapologetic about the Apple Watch missing the 2014 holiday season. “We want to make the best product in the world,” he says. “One of our competitors is on their fourth or fifth attempt, but nobody is wearing them.”
So Apple is willing to exercise patience. But patience is meaningless if what is ultimately delivered tanks. People have wondered whether Apple could survive once the Jobs idea well ran dry. And since Jobs apparently had no role in the Apple Watch, it could be Cook’s first huge independent product triumph… or embarrassment. [Bloomberg Businessweek]