Based on what Steve Wozniak has said in the past, it would be very easy to come to the conclusion that the Apple co-founder is far from excited about the Apple Watch. In an interview with CNNMoney late last year, Woz seemingly dismissed it as a “luxury fitness band,” and said that he had gotten “real negative on smartwatches.”
What a difference a few months makes. In a new interview for the BBC, Wozniak touches on everything from the new Steve Jobs movie, to rumors about an Apple car, to — yes — his thoughts on the Apple Watch.
And if he wasn’t enthusiastic before, he certainly is now!
“I’ve had bad experience with smartwatches so far,” Woz acknowledges. “The thing is, Apple makes products more fun than anyone else. If you look at the display it’s almost like a little piece of art … It’s going to be so special. Everyone’s going to notice it, just like you do nowadays when you walk around — ‘You’ve got an iPhone, you’ve got an iPhone, you’ve got an iPhone.’ A lot of people, especially in hip [campus] areas, they’re going to be saying, ‘You’ve got the right watch, you’ve got the same watch as me.'”
“Apple has this thing,” he continues. “They’ve made so many good products that everyone who owns Apple products will buy [the Apple Watch] and that means millions of people will buy this watch from the start. That helps get a critical mass going.”
“Millions of people will buy this watch from the start.”
Woz also shows off his current watch, made of vacuum tubes which haven’t been made for 45 years. “This is not the Apple Watch,” he jokes.
He then moves onto discussing the use cases of the Apple Watch. “I look around a lot of times nowadays and when you’re in groups of older people, they still wear a lot of watches — usually like jewellery,” he says. “Younger people wear no watch, they got rid of it, because it’s in the way. That’s the question about a smartwatch: is it going to be a new class of jewellery that came back? Obviously, the wrist is free (for new devices), but it has to have a good enough use.”
Here, he suggests that mobile health might prove the answer: something we’ve written about previously. “Look at how many people have diabetes. If this thing’s actually measuring blood sugars all day long — oh my god, that’s a bit in niche market that’s very huge already.”
Woz also speculates on what Apple might do next (“It could even be something like self-driving cars, which is going to be an important technology in the future”), his desire for better voice recognition on Siri, and his thoughts on Seth Rogen playing him in the new Steve Jobs movie (“We’ve been in touch a little, a couple of times”).
It’s only a brief 4-minute interview, but it’s worth a watch (at the link below) if you’re a fan of Woz. Personally, I’ve always enjoyed Woz interviews, since despite his obvious vested interest in Apple ($$$), he more or less comes across as an enthusiastic fan. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what most of us are?