I enjoy collecting watches. I’m not a big Rolex guy—it’s simply not my style—but I do like watches made in Geneva. They’re stylish and elegant, and with many of them you can easily open up the back and actually watch the gears move as they keep time—which I think is cool. Something else that’s cool, and little-known, is that a watch that’s certified as Geneva-made is one in which every single component is made in that great city—making them feel special, intimately constructed and cared for.
A watch is something that has specific connotations—whether you’re into Geneva watches, Rolexes, or whatever else. That’s what makes the name of Apple’s long-rumored iWatch product a little bit of a red herring. Yes, it’s likely that the company is hard at work on a new piece of wearable technology—though Tim Cook has been characteristically coy and secretive on the issue—but make no mistake about it: Apple isn’t actually making a watch. Apple is not in the time-keeping business—and really, why would it be?
My guess is that Apple is developing something far more groundbreaking and significant—a potential game changer for the company and for the industry.
But let me back up for a minute. Is the iWatch even really a thing? Not yet it isn’t, at least not one that you can buy in stores—but it’s something that has been long speculated, and something that most industry experts feel sure is coming down the pipeline. Tim Cook plays things close to the vest, but there is plenty of buzz to suggest that an iWatch announcement may be made as soon as this year. (This recent Huffington Postarticle is as good a primer as any on this particular topic.)
Like I said, though, I don’t actually think the iWatch is going to be a watch. It may tell time, but it’s not a watch like the ones I get from Geneva. Instead, I think Apple is developing an epochal new piece of wearable technology—and for an insight into what it might be, look no further than to Nike.
For a little while now, Nike has been selling a health-monitoring product—a piece of wearable technology—called the FuelBand. Recently, it was announced that the FuelBand was being discontinued. The question is why.
Now, I’m not privy to any insider secrets here, and this is just speculation—but I feel it’s more likely than not that the answer has something to do with Apple. Nike and Apple enjoy a close, positive relationship, and I believe Nike has discontinued the FuelBand because it has seen the future—a future in which Apple leads the way with a pioneering piece of wearable technology. I believe, in short, that the so-called iWatch is actually an advanced health-monitoring tool that could effectively redefine Apple’s relevance in today’s technology industry.
It makes sense, doesn’t it? Apple doesn’t want to get into the time-keeping business, but it probably does want to get into the healthcare field; our country spends more money on healthcare than on anything else, save the military. Apple is working on a piece of wearable technology that will collect metabolic data and present the wearer with a range of advanced health tracking and monitoring options.
And Nike, evidently, has decided it just doesn’t want to compete—which suggests no small amount of optimism that Apple’s product will deliver.
I could be wrong—but I’m pretty sure I’m not wrong about this: Apple isn’t making a fancy watch. A watch is something you buy from Geneva that helps you know what time it is. Apple has set its sights on something much bigger and more advanced—and it could change everything.