The Apple Watch is the first major product to be launched without any involvement from Steve Jobs, but according to one of his long-time associates, the Apple cofounder was well aware that Jony Ive was working on a timepiece.
On Thursday at Glance Conf in San Francisco — the first Apple Watch conference ever — Tim Bajarin who had an on-and-off relationship with Jobs for over three decades, said Jobs had at least been told about the watch before he passed.
“Steve was aware of the Watch,” Bajarin told an audience of analysts, developers, and venture capitalists, reports Fortune. “He didn’t nix it as a product.”
Bajarin didn’t go into detail on how much Steve Jobs knew about the project, but his statement does contradict a Wired profile on Jony Ive, Alan Dye, and the creation of the Apple Watch, which claims Jony Ive didn’t start working on it until after Jobs’ death.
“Ive began dreaming about an Apple watch just after CEO Steve Jobs’ death in October 2011. He soon brought the idea to Dye and a small group of others in the design studio.”
Both statements could be true, but it doesn’t sound like Jobs had any input into Apple Watch if all he did was not ‘nix it as a product’. Maybe Jony brought up the watch as one of the dopey ideas the two often shared and then gave it more thought after.
Whether Jobs knew about the early ideas of an Apple Watch isn’t really important though. It neither validates the wearable or makes it worse if Jobs didn’t love the idea. Jobs wasn’t able to make a significant impact on the final version of the product, which might sell 21 million units in the first year, blowing away the iPhone and iPad first year sales.