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Tim Cook at D11: Wearables Are 'Incredibly Interesting', Nothing Great on the Market

At this year's annual All Things Digital conference hosted by AllThingsD, Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher asked Apple CEO Tim Cook about wearable devices, such as Apple's much rumored smart watch, which has been dubbed the "iWatch."

Tim Cook mentioned that he found wearables to be "incredibly interesting" and went on to say that it could be a "profound area." Cook himself is equipped with a Nike Fuelband, but believes that there's nothing "great" on the market, and that wearables are an area "ripe for exploration."

The Pebble smart watch

Of course, when pressed on whether Apple will be developing a wearable device, Cook declined to answer, though he did hint that it was an important area of potential development, and that while both glasses and watches had drawbacks, the wrist was "natural."
There's nothing that's going to convince a kid who has never worn glasses or a band or a watch or whatever to wear one. Or at least I haven't seen it. So I think there's lots of things to solve in this space, but it's an area where it's ripe for exploration, it's ripe for us all getting excited about. I think there will be tons of companies playing in this.

I see it as another very key branch of the tree.

I think from a mainstream point of view [glasses] are difficult to see. I think the wrist is interesting. I'm wearing this (Nike Fuelband) on my wrist, it's somewhat natural. But as I said before, I think for something to work here, you first have to convince people it's so incredible that they want to wear it.
With the growing popularity of smart watches like the Pebble, the Jawbone UP, and the Nike Fuelband, rumors about Apple’s own smart watch have ramped up in recent months. Most recently, reliable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that Apple's rumored iWatch will debut in the second half of 2014.

The watch, which will integrate with Apple's existing mobile lineup, is expected to feature a 1.5–2.0 inch display. The New York Times has suggested that Apple is experimenting with curved glass, and according to a February report from Bloomberg, Apple has a team of 100 product designers working on the smart watch.

MacRumors has full coverage of the interview with more of Tim Cook’s comments on the iWatch.

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Top Rated Comments

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84 months ago
Who wears a navy jacket with a black dress shirt? This guy is nuts. :mad:
Rating: 6 Votes
84 months ago
He's right about the glasses. People who've never worn glasses before are certainly not going to jump at the opportunity.
Rating: 6 Votes
84 months ago
"Nothing great." Translation: "We won't acknowledge great work done by a much smaller company that has delivered a product while we sit around and talk about "incredibly interesting profound areas."

I've had my Pebble for weeks and absolutely love it. I received my Boombot REX bluetooth speaker today (another Kickstarter). Holy ***** it is fun. The REX has great sound. I can control the playlist from my Pebble for music streaming on the REX. I can use Siri on the REX and use it for speakerphone.

Both pair up really well to my 4S at the same time. Hey Tim Cook, "incredibly interesting" just arrived and it's great. Check it out sometime.
Rating: 4 Votes
84 months ago

None of us know if this market for "wearables" has any potential for huge profit, but I can most certainly bet Apple will jump on if it expands. I just hope that they will be one of the first - if not the first to introduce such technology.

The only problem is that Apple seems to be afraid to do anything really. They're afraid of risk.

I did not hear that from the interview.

I only heard Tim Cook talking positively about TV and Watches. The fact that he was unprepared to go into details and say "yes we are going to make a watch" does not translate to being afraid.

Apple were not first with MP3, tablets or even computers. This should tell you everything you need to know....
Rating: 3 Votes
84 months ago
How boring. Borrowing a page from Steve Jobs, Cook bashes other's products, so as to make Apple look good when they pump out iWatches by the millions.
Rating: 3 Votes
84 months ago
Pebble should register patents for their watch - all of it, as SJ would say - and then drag Apple through endless lawsuits. Including the way it fits on the wrist and the bands to hold it. :D

Perhaps that'll bring more innovating engineers instead of patent trolling lawyers to Apple.
Rating: 3 Votes
84 months ago

Sensors are exploding.

That just happens on the bridge of the Enterprise. ;)
Rating: 3 Votes
84 months ago

Oh, I don't know. I see plenty of hipsters wearing glasses they do not need.

Yes, and it's because they are fashionable in appearance. There is nothing fashionable about Google glass. Myself, I wear glasses on a daily basis. I switched from contacts. And the only reason I do so, is for aesthetic reasons. They look great.

And that brings up another problem. If I wanted to wear GG, would I have to put them over my glasses? So, the hundreds of millions of people in this world cannot wear GGs without putting on contacts? If so, that's a collosal fail.

Plus, I don't think I like the idea of stuff popping up in my field of vision. Definitely could drive with these on.


Am I going to be stating the obvious here about people who don't wear glasses won't wear a glasses based device because of this, yet the majority of these people will also wear sunglasses so Mr Cook is pretty wrong, because in effect everyone wears glasses.

Good point. But are GG going to offer a tint so they can be used as sunglasses? Probably not because you need to see stuff on the screen. So the functionality of GG will be limited.

I do think GG will sell a bunch. But I see them fizzling out after a couple of years as the fad fades away.
Rating: 2 Votes
84 months ago

Be curious to find out if people will care enough. People likely stopped using watches to any great degree because they do not do enough so what is the point. If they release something that does a lot that can be looked at with ease it could do well.

Two words.

Dick Tracy.

Rating: 2 Votes
84 months ago
Smartwatch? No, thank you. My Omega Seamaster is all I need on my wrist.
Rating: 2 Votes

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