Jony Ive: Societal Expectations Made Apple Watch Design a Challenge

Jony ive

The Apple Watch will help establish a new category of computing device, said Apple’s design chief, Jony Ive, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art while accepting the 2014 Bay Area Treasure Award, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Designing Apple’s take on the wearables’ market posed more challenges than the iPhone, because of the high expectations surrounding a wristwatch and the different form of interaction compared to other devices. As he pointed out, the wrist is the ideal place for “lightweight interactions” and “casual glancing”, but not for heavy reading.

“Even though Apple Watch does so many things, there are cultural, historical implications and expectations,” Ive said. “That’s why it’s been such a difficult and humbling program.”

“As soon as something is worn, we have expectations of choice,” said Ive. Only “in prison,” he joked, do people all wear the same thing.

Looking at the wearables market, we find that none of the players have managed to go mainstream, due to the limited set of features, and they are mostly focused on fitness. Also, they mostly work only if paired with a phone.

Apple watch

Here is what Horace Dediu of Asymco thinks about the market Apple is targeting with the Apple Watch:

The market for Apple Watch is not the Swiss (or Chinese) watch market. The market for Apple Watch is the number of wrists in the world. To the extent that those wrists will be covered with Apple hardware will determine whether it is successful or not.

The Apple Watch will launch early next year at a starting price of $349.

Image credit: WSJ

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