Apple’s eternally outspoken co-founder, Steve “Woz” Wozniak has weighed in on Apple’s much-rumored “iWatch”, and while he says wearables are a “hard sell”, he has confidence the company can make them compelling to the mass market.
“Apple works very hard to produce exceptionally great products and doesn’t quickly release things like a wearable. So if one is introduced I expect it to have a chance to set the direction and make the product category finally viable,” Woz said Wednesday in an email exchange after a report that Apple may introduce a new wearable device in September along with new iPhones.
“I feel that wearables are a hard sell,” Woz added. “They are go-betweens for your smartphone but are an extra piece and need special advantages that the smartphone doesn’t have, in my opinion. If they are just a Bluetooth go-between then it could wind up in the category of Bluetooth headsets: Fun to wear and show off for a day.”
Apple’s possible entry into the wearable technology market comes as its competitors, such as Samsung and LG, have struggled to find a niche in the wearables marketplace.
What type of wearable device appeals to a Woz?
“I personally want a larger screen that can do more of what my iPhone does,” Woz said. “The small 1.5-inch by 1.5-inch screens don’t hack it for me. If it serves as a speakerphone, the speaker had better be good. My Martian watch is usable for phone calls but not my Galaxy Gear, for this reason.”
It’s basically accepted that if/when Apple introduces their wearable, it will include health and fitness features. Wozniak concurs with that outlook. “I would not be surprised to find some personal health aids built in, Fitbit style,” Woz said, adding that he would be “turned off slightly” if Apple became just another company that built an EKG display into the wearable.
For now, Woz says that just like the rest of us, he’s holding his breath to see what Apple will announce on September 9th.