Will Tim Cook announce “one more thing” at today’s big iPhone event in Cupertino? Tim Bajarin says no:
One important thing to know about wristwatches is that while people do buy them for telling time, the majority are bought with an eye on fashion. In fact, fashion and design are the top criteria when purchasing a wristwatch, while functionally in most cases is secondary. Of course there are some exceptions: Divers want something that tells time but also allows them to monitor the amount of air that is left in their tanks or the depths of their dives. Pilots want a watch that tells time but also has info related to flying their planes. I am an international traveler and I often buy a watch because it can give me various time zones for when I am on the road. But whether it be a Rolex diver’s watch, a Breitling pilot’s watch or even a multi-time-zone watch, the way it looks is often quite important for those who buy them.
This is a key reason Apple has not jumped on the smartwatch bandwagon yet. Apple is known for design and is very conscience [sic] of fashion issues when designing all of its products. Given Apple’s history, I don’t expect it to make a smartwatch unless it conquers the fashion issue along with smart functionality.
My reason is simpler and can be summed up in one word: Batteries.
Samsung’s mostly-useless new not-quite-smartsmart watch is big and fugly, because you need one big-ass battery to power the thing for a full day. Even then, the hands-on previews couldn’t get more than a couple hours out of it under real-world usage.
Apple makes (OK, has made for them) custom batteries better than anything Samsung is likely to get hold of, but they aren’t that much better — not good enough to provide all-day use in a package slim and pretty enough to bear “Designed by Apple in California.”
Until that happens, don’t expect to see an iWatch.