With the Apple Watch just months away, it seems that the PR machine is already in over drive. Not a day goes by without a new article in the tech press (and we’re also somewhat guilty of this) about the new wearable that’s expected to launch in April. Today, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke at length at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco, and revealed why the Apple Watch and Apple Pay will succeed, where others have failed.
“Apple isn’t a hardware company”, says Cook
First things first, you’ve got to give credit to Tim Cook – under his leadership the company is now the most valuable company on the planet and worth $700 billion as of close of business Tuesday. That’s got to be some vindication for Cook, and a poke in the eye to the naysayers who doubted him all these years. Congratulations!
Today, at the Goldman Sachs conference, Cook said that “Apple isn’t a hardware company. You’re buying an experience. It’s the integration of hardware and software”. Which is a bit like Steve Jobs’ old phrase that Apple represents the marriage of art and science.
He went on to compare the smart watch market to the MP3 and tablet markets before Apple got into the scene, in the sense that both were fairly small and niche markets, and would have remained so had Apple not entered the fray. Cook said that for people to embrace new technologies means the devices have to change the way you live, and that you “shouldn’t need a PhD to use them”. Very true, and that’s perhaps where Apple’s greatest strength lies.
“There are several things that are called smartwatches that are shipping,” Cook stated, adding none of them “changed the way people live.”
Apple Watch could change lives
The company’s CEO believes that the Apple Watch will change people’s lives, much as the iPod, iPhone and iPad arguably did. Cook stated that it’s “the breadth of what it will do,” that will impress Apple Watch users the most. Cook also focused on the style of the device, calling it a “precision timepiece,” and that “the variety is incredible — the customizable nature is incredible.”
Of course, he would say those things, but he said that the Apple Watch will also introduce new innovative ways to communicate that you didn’t use before – for example, voice control. He also revealed that he nows uses Siri in conjunction with the watch all the time.
Apple Watch – apps and health benefits
Much like the iPhone, it seems that third-party apps are going to be the lifeblood of the watch. Cook says that there are already many apps which have got him “super excited” because the watch will revolutionize the way we interact with our apps. Cook mentioned that the Apple Watch has become indispensable in his daily life, for notifications, but also for health benefits – he is a known fitness fanatic, and regularly wakes up at 4am before going to the gym.
“If I sit for too long, it will actually tap me on the wrist to remind me to get up and move,” Cook said. But why does he believe the Apple Watch will succeed where Android Wear has failed? The CEO says the reason is that Apple hopes to create a full, life-altering experience in every product.
“Apple isn’t a hardware company,” Cook said. “You’re buying an experience — It’s the integration of hardware and software.”
Aside from the Apple Watch, he also said that Apple Pay adoption is going at a rapid pace, but he says that of course this was only possible because “we could control and design the hardware, software, and service.”
“You can imagine doing this with several different companies,” he stated, in reference to the hard time that Google Wallet and PayPal have had. “You’d be pulling your hair out.”
We’ll see just how the Apple Watch fulfils the company’s ambitions when it’s released in April. The Thai Tech team intend to review it as soon as we can get our hands on one.