Additional Thoughts on iWatch and Android Wear

Great piece by Ben Thompson on his site, Stratechery.

The potential problem with Android Wear I see is its focus on being a conduit for your phone – a more efficient distraction from the real world, as it were. I suspect the iWatch will go in the opposite direction: it will be a means of pulling the real world into your phone (think sensors) as well as a means of projecting your phone out (think payments, proximity, etc.).

I particularly agree with his take on Android Wear's focus. It all seems to be about notifications on your wrist, with a small nod to fitness. Basically, Google is acknowledging that it's slightly inefficient and potentially rude in some settings to check your phone notifications all the time by having to pull your phone out. The only problem they really seem to be trying to solve is that it could be possibly more convenient, efficient and maybe a little less rude to glance at your wrist rather than pull out your phone. On the rudeness point—if that is a goal of theirs—I think they are missing the mark. I wear a watch all the time and it's still rude to glance at your watch when you're with other people. In fact, it might be more rude than checking your phone. Looking at your watch in the company of others basically says "when will this conversation be over?" or sets you up for the "oh, look at the time. I've got to get going." excuse. Sure, you can look at your watch discretely, but I don't think having notifications on your wrist as the main selling point solves a real world problem.

Then Thompson goes on to speculate that Apple may be subtly ramping up its marketing efforts in advance of an iWatch-like device. It think he may very well be onto something there. He cites the recent fitness and wearable themed iPhone ad as the start of that ramp up. 

As countless commentators have noted, one of the central challenges of the alleged iWatch is that it’s not super clear how big of a need there is among the general population. What, though, is advertising? In many respects the best sort of ads make you aware of a need you didn’t realize you had. This sort of effect, though, is not achieved with a one-off spot or campaign. Rather, it’s a long slog that only sees results over time.
To put it more bluntly, it’s very possible that we just saw the first iWatch commercial. Oh sure, there is no iWatch to be seen, and there are benefits depicted in the commercial that accrue to the iPhone today, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this is Apple starting to set the table amongst the broader consumer market.

You should seriously give his whole piece a read. It's very well thought out.