With all the speculation that has gone on around the rumors of the iWatch, the most surprising revelation, to me at least, has been the number of tech pundits who don’t wear watches. The same people who love the Jawbone Up and the Nike Fuelband don’t wear watches? Makes it seem like they might not be horribly qualified to discuss the watch market, doesn’t it.
It seems that there is a divide between people who are into the “quantified self” and those who are watch wearers. The watch wearers, the very people who make up the market that it’s claimed Apple would be selling to with the iWatch, are very different people than the people who are putting up with the looks and design of the smart tracking devices. Watches are a form of jewelry, and in the case of men’s watches, one of the more socially acceptable forms. The tracking devices often have watch features, but they are focused almost solely on the data gathering and the design is a secondary goal.
The way I see it, for Apple to succeed in with this type of device, it would need to build in the tracking features of some of these devices, but with the looks/design of the more traditional watches. This would probably mean a smaller screen than most people are expecting, and less of a iPhone on your wrist and more of a remote sensor for your iPhone. Maybe the iWatch would function more like the Pebble, but either way, the build quality and design would have to be ratcheted way, way up.
The long and short of it is that I can’t see this being anything but a hobby, similar to early Apple TV, but even smaller. Unless… I get my wish and this is all an elaborate prank to get Samsung to make a shitty pedometer watch.