iWatch difficulties: Apple accepts their limitations & begin hiring 'aggressively' - Gadgets and Tech - Life and Style - The Independent

iWatch difficulties: Apple accepts their limitations & begin hiring 'aggressively'

The smart watch is a difficult concept for any company; if you have Apple's high standards then your problems are doubled

In a move that suggest that Apple have accepted their own limitations the tech company have begun hiring “aggressively” to tackle the challenge of developing the iWatch. Although the device has yet to be confirmed it would constitute a new direction for the company and a departure from the sort of expertise they’ve assembled during the creation of the iPhone and the iPad.

Sources familiar with the company’s plans spoke to the Financial Times, stating that designing such a product involves “hard engineering problems that they’ve not been able to solve”. The fact that Apple are running into problems also mean that it’s likely that device won’t be launched “until the latter part of next year”.

As the FT notes, this is disappointing for investors in the company. Apple’s stock dropped from a high of $700 in September 2012 to less than $400 in April of this year and currently trades at around $430. Financial analysts have speculated whether the company is past its prime with many suggesting that an entirely new product line is needed to halt a perceived decline in creativity.

The smart watch market is certainly set to explode over the next couple of years. What started out as an icon of crowd-funding success - the MetaWatch and Pebble are notable examples - has become an attractive target for virtually any tech company with a hardware arm. Dell have been the latest company to suggest they’ll be joining the boom, but everyone from Microsoft to Sony to Samsung have hinted at a project or already brought a device to market.

The problem for Apple then is to differentiate themselves from the rest of the market and create a product equal to their high standards of design and functionality. Smart watches are popular right now but they’re consistently hamstrung by the limitations of current hardware and the need to operate at such a small scale.

Devices are dogged by inadequate battery life, low-resolution screens and under-developed apps that fail to sync, have difficulties displaying on small screens or just plain don’t work. Consumer tech review site The Wire Cutter summed up the myriad difficulties of the form by declaring that the current crop of devices are just “all kind of crummy”.

Another difficulty to navigate is the social status of the watch. Whether you choose to wear a Patek Philippe or a Casio F-91W will reveal something about your character (and your income) – be it aspirational or apathetic. The caché carried by a phone is similar in kind, but not in degree: smartphones have all trended towards the black-slice-of-glass aesthetic and remain hidden in your pocket anyway – a watch is on display all the time.  

Apple’s recent hire of former Yves Saint Laurent boss Paul Deneve suggests that they’re sensitive to this issue. The 53 year-old Belgian even worked in Apple’s sales and marketing division back in the 1990s before moving to high-end fashion. Although his role in the company has yet to be confirmed (CEO Tim Cook says Deneve will be reporting directly to him to work on “special projects”), his expertise in selling image and brand seems a canny play from Apple.

It’s to the consumer’s benefit and to Apple’s credit that the company is content to mull over their products, and ti seems that the iWatch will be no different. Whilst Cook’s only comments on the topic have been that the area is “ripe for exploration” this most likely means exploration, Apple style: let other companies rush off into the undergrowth – you just hang back, keeping note of your competitors' cries for help as they flag up potential pitfalls by conveniently falling into them.

News
Residents of James Turner Street such as White Dee will have a chance to share their experiences of benefits on a Channel 4 spin-off show
peopleBenefits Street star says mixed-race children were subjected to trolling
Sport
Angel Di Maria
Football
News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
news
Life and Style
techIndian model comes with cricket scores baked in
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
News
i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game
film
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script
tv'Thomas comes right up to the abyss', says the actor
News
newsIn short, yes
Extras
indybest
News
Denny Miller in 1959 remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man
people
Sport
BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
Life and Style
Jourdan Dunn gave TopShop’s Unique show some added glamour at London Fashion Week
fashion week
News
Groundskeeper Willie has backed Scottish independence in a new video
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor poses the question of whether we are every truly alone in 'Listen'
tvReview: Possibly Steven Moffat's most terrifying episode to date
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    McAfee Security Engineer

    £42000 - £48000 per annum + Site allowance: Ashdown Group: McAfee EPO Speciali...

    QA Manual Tester - Agile

    £300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...

    Sales Account Manager / Account Director

    £40 - 60k (£80 - 120k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A number of Sales Account Manager...

    Service Delivery Manager (Product Manager, Test and Deployment)

    £40000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Service Delivery Manager (Product Ma...

    Day In a Page

    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
    The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

    The fall of Rome?

    Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
    Glasgow girl made good

    Glasgow girl made good

    Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
    Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

    Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

    Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
    Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

    Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

    Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
    The landscape of my imagination

    The landscape of my imagination

    Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories