Ask Steve Wozniak what he thinks of smartwatches and he’ll tell you that he doesn’t care for them very much. In a recent interview with CNET, the beloved Apple co-founder mused on the landscape of the wearable market, saying the devices on offer right now just aren’t very compelling. But when asked whether or not he believes Apple will make a successful wearable, Woz said he thinks the iPhone maker has the talent to really revolutionize the industry.
“Apple works very hard to produce exceptionally great products and doesn’t quickly release things like a wearable,” Woz said. “So if one is introduced I expect it to have a chance to set the direction and make the product category finally viable.”
Some of Apple’s competition, meanwhile, have released new wearable products as if they were going out of style; they haven’t even been in-style to begin with. A company like Samsung has released the Galaxy Gear, Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, Gear Fit, Gear Live and Gear S in less than a year. That’s either a remarkable achievement or a really misguided attempt to get ahead in the wearable market.
Woz pretty much nails why the existing crop of smartwatches haven’t yet become must-have items. “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.”
So, in Woz’s opinion, what does a smartwatch need in order to be successful?
“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.”
It’s unclear how, if at all, Apple’s wearable will differ from smartwatches you can purchase right now, but it’s become clear over the past few months that health will be a major focus. Aside from that, we’re not really sure what to expect. But we don’t have much longer to wait to find out; Apple today sent out invites confirming its Sept.9 event.