Jony Ive and the Apple Watch compromise

Much is being said about Jony Ive leaving Apple, from the Wall Street Journal’s reporting to Tim Cook’s “scathing” rebuke. Odds are we’ll never know much of substance.

Any reporting on relationships is, by nature, interpretive – especially if the people involved aren’t talking. How well can you understand your own relationships let alone those of others?

Thomas Ricker, writing for The Verge, highlighted a tiff that’s believable, however:

Ive disagreed with “some Apple leaders” on how to position the Apple Watch. Ive pushed for the Apple Watch to be sold as a fashion accessory, not as an extension of the iPhone. The product that went on sale was a compromise.

The Apple Watch is one of the most interesting products Apple has released in a while. It felt like the compromise it allegedly was.

Apple figured out the Watch – or people figured it out for them, gravitating to its potential as a fitness tracker. And now it’s freeing itself from the iPhone.

Given the path the Watch has taken, it looks like both sides of the debate (if there was one) were wrong. The Watch, at its best, isn’t an extension of the iPhone – even if it had to start life as one – and it’s not quite a fashion accessory.

That lofty status fell to the AirPods.

Funny how a device that knows what it needs to be – and does it well – can become chic. Especially when their looks didn’t exactly endear themselves to people at first.