Over the past few weeks I’ve be racking my brain to figure out how the Apple Watch may fit into our lives both in the near term and over the long run. To try and understand how we’ve progressed over the last decade, I started watching past interviews of Steve Jobs from the early 2000s. After watching hours of video, I stumbled upon one that occurred in 2003, just 2 years after the iPod was introduced.
In the video Walt Mossberg questions why the iPod can’t live on its own. Why it doesn’t have Wi-Fi and why it relies on the computer so much. Jobs’ answer to this is quite interesting (skip to 4 minutes 19 seconds).
Well it can, but a personal computer at its very basics has a really big hard drive in it, its got a really big display, its got a really big keyboard, and its got a really fat pipe to the internet. And its got a reasonable processor in it that can run really big applications. So, the iPod might be great and holds all our music, but we see it more as a satellite device because you couldn’t [looks down at his hand like he’s holding an iPod] really do a music store on it because the music store just needs more screen real estate and these things fight each other. So if you want a compact thing you can put in your pocket, unless their’s a breakthrough in foldable displays over time, it’s going to be hard to really browse a music store and find the music you want on the iPod itself even if it has an internet connection.
11 years later we can basically replace the words “personal computer” and “iPod” with with the words “iPhone” and “Apple Watch” respectively and it would read very much the same. What Steve Jobs said then is probably exactly what he’d say now.