By Greg Mills, Associate Editor
Apple could be known as the dread industrial giant killer. They tackle major industries that are “not doing it quite right,” innovate, then destroy the established competition with a far better solution, making billions of dollars along the way. They did it with the music industry and iPod, they did to the dumb phone with the iPhone, they have really undercut the profits of PC market with the higher quality Mac, and the list goes on.
If the iWatch stories in the press are true, Timex is in even deeper trouble. I used to wear a watch. Just about everyone used to wear a watch. My watches are at the bottom of a drawer somewhere with the battery run down.
Slowly millions of us began to not wear watches. I have heard rumors that even Android phones have built-in clocks, but I never checked that out, since I really don’t care.
Incidentally, I was quite embarrassed this past week by an alarm going off on my iPhone during a meeting with 50 people in the room. You know the drill: everyone looks around to see who just turned red and is fumbling with their pocket. Note: turning off the ringer with the little button on the left side of iPhone kills the phone ringer and puts the phone on vibrate, but alarms still work just fine!
I have a daily alarm at 8:30 p.m. to remind me to take my medicine. I am normally not in a meeting at 8:30 at night, so this was the first and last time I will have that happen. Turning down the volume works better for alarms, while vibrate mode works for the phone ringer.
As I think about the advantages of an Apple iWatch over the Timex notion of what a watch is, my imagination begins to scroll through science fiction. Dick Tracy had a FaceTime sort of two-way TV feature. Phone, video, Bluetooth connection to your other devices, email, calendar, apps — who knows outside of Apple, what they have in store or if they really are even doing iWatch?
Don’t expect the Dick Tracy sort of thing, as the form factor of a watch isn’t big enough for the current generation of electronics to pack all that in the much smaller space. There isn’t room to spare in an iPhone. Microprocessors, flash memory, controllers, ringers, battery, GPS, radio chips all take space.
Expect an iWatch to rely upon an iPhone or iPad for BlueTooth connected functions. I figure the iWatch will be sort of like a BlueTooth headset for your arm. I think technology will allow the iWatch to be waterproof.
Will an iWatch be fashionable? You bet. Will Apple make ton of money on it? You bet. Will dumb watches make a come back? Frankly, we will have to wait and see just what magic our friends at Apple are up to. The price point for an Apple iWatch will depend on the features and what the market will support.
That is Greg’s Bite.