In Tim Cook's interview yesterday, the topic of wearable computing came up, unsurprisingly. Cook called the market 'ripe for exploration', dropped some possible hints about the iWatch, and criticised Google Glass.
Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage at the D11 Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, on Tuesday night for a Q&A with journalists and hosts Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. It was the Apple executive's second year in the famous red chair, where company co-founder Steve Jobs was also interviewed several times.
As expected, Cook didn’t elaborate on any of Apple’s specific plans for new products, but he did share a few interesting titbits, starting with the fact that new versions of iOS and OS X are likely to make their appearance at the upcoming WWDC conference, which will take place in San Francisco in mid-June. He added that the recent management shuffle has allowed the company to sharpen its focus on the synergy between hardware, software, and services, with design chief Jony Ive taking a key role in the next evolution of the company’s products.
On the topic of emerging markets, it’s clear that television is on the company’s collective mind. Although Apple has so far limited its participation in that market to the Apple TV—which, as Mossberg noted, is not all that different from its competitors—Cook said the folk from Cupertino share a “grand vision” for changing what they consider to be an outdated medium.
Along the same lines, when asked for his opinion of wearable computing, the executive mentioned that it is an area “ripe for exploration,” with “lots of things to solve,” again refusing to say whether Apple is researching any specific products.
Citing Google’s Glass specifically, however, Cook pointed out that wearable technology must find its space by catering to consumers in a way that is meaningful to their lives. “I wear glasses because I have to. I don’t know a lot of people [who] wear them that don’t have to.”
In what could be perhaps seen as an oblique reference to the rumored “smart watch” that Apple is reportedly working on, Cook called the wrist “interesting,” noting that he owns one of Nike’s Fuelband wrist straps, calling it “a nice job.” Still, he noted that most young people don’t wear a watch, and that any wearable computing product would have to be carefully positioned in order to convince its intended buyers to wear it.