British Vogue on Friday posted full video footage of a recent interview that had editor Suzy Menkes talking with Apple design gurus Jony Ive and Marc Newson about Apple Watch and its place in the luxury market.
Amidst softball questions regarding Apple’s design philosophy, the answers to which have been repeated ad nauseum by Ive and other Apple executives, Menkes tossed in a probing inquiry about Apple’s potential play at the luxury market. With the Apple Watch campaign, the company is aggressively targeting well-heeled, fashion forward consumers, apparent with $17,000 Apple Watch Edition models and exclusive launch day availability at high-end boutiques.
The panel, held on Wednesday at the inaugural Conde Nast International Luxury Conference, saw Ive do most of the talking. Newson chimed in from time to time, but mostly ceded the floor to Apple’s design chief.
Menkes asked how Ive would respond to brands that might view Apple Watch as an attempt on the “luxury world,” an entrenched industry defined by expensive handbags, jewelry, clothing and other high-priced items.
“I think that we’re on a path that’s the same path that Apple really determined to be on in the 70s, which was to try and make technology approachable and relevant and personal,” Ive said.
Menkes followed up with a more pointed question, “There’s no doubt that you are now producing things that may be more desirable than traditional luxury to consumers, particularly the younger consumers. Don’t you think that’s true?”
“I don’t know, we’ll see. We’ll see,” Ive said, eliciting a chuckle from the crowd. He hedged somewhat, adding, “That was not our intent at all. Our intent has remained the same and is consistent which has been to try and take what is remarkable technology in terms of its capability and its utility, and to make it more and more personal.”
Only a handful of tech companies have attempted to break into the exclusive luxury market — phone maker Vertu comes to mind — and even fewer have gained any sort of traction. Menkes later brought up a good point about inevitable hardware upgrades, a cyclical process easily understood and accepted by tech savvy consumers, but perhaps foreign to buyers in the market for a $20,000 Hermes handbag.
By its very nature, technology is constantly evolving, iterating, changing and improving. The Apple Watch, for example, will likely be obsolete in one or two years.
“We can only imagine, given how much we upgrade our phones, that this is going to need an upgrade at some stage,” Menkes said. “It isn’t a watch in the ones that you collect. You both collect watches and thee are watches that have stood the test of time. Is it the same with your devices? Is it going to be the same with your watch?”
Ive said he thinks Apple Watch will remain beautiful, but more importantly pointed out that a digital device is in a different class than mechanical contraptions. For Ive, a device whose capability is defined by software is an intriguing concept.
“The product that I buy next week — it will be more capable and will do things I cannot possibly imagine in just six months time,” Ive said. “Now I think that’s extraordinary. I don’t know how we can compare these wonderful mechanical watches that we own and the product that has such a comprehensive functionality and capability that will grow and change beyond our imagining.”
Of course, for that elite echelon of consumer in the market for handbags priced well beyond $20,000, spending a few ducats on a $17,000 Apple Watch falls in the category of impulse buy.
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Apple launched its first wearable with an App Store filled with more than 3,000 third-party titles, a figure expected to grow exponentially in the months ahead. AppleInsider offers a look at some of the first offerings.
Apple’s Watch launch is a far cry from that of its iPhone forefather, which hit store shelves without an app ecosystem or official support for third-party software. Drawing from years of internal and external iOS developer support, however, the Apple Watch App Store went live on Friday filled with apps that test the platform’s capabilities.
As seen in the video below, a number of big-name companies and developers were first to throw their proverbial hat into the ring.
Amazon’s offering can be considered a stripped down extension to its full-fledged iOS app. Users are able to search for items using voice dictation, scroll through product descriptions and view star ratings with the Digital Crown. They can also add products to their Amazon.com wish list directly from Watch.
Other apps, like Dark Sky, make good use of Glances. With a simple swipe-up gesture, compatible apps serve up bite-size bits of information for at-a-glance consumption.
Social media services like Instagram let users browse profiles and images, but limitations prohibit Apple Watch app versions from playing back video. Users can still favorite video content, but playback is offloaded to iPhone.
Some of the more interesting apps incorporate support for Apple services. For example, the Starbucks app can keep track of payment card balances, find nearby locations and display loyalty points, with transactions completed via QR codes stored in Passbook.
An unknown person has inserted an Easter egg image into Google Maps, depicting the mascot for the Android operating system urinating on an Apple logo, and is now gaining attention across the Internet.
The image was discovered by Team Android and can be found near the Soan River south of Rawalpindi in Pakistan when using the standard Map view. It’s not clear whether it was inserted by someone within the Google Maps team or an outsider who used a crowdsourced mapping tool. In any case, Google has yet to remove the content.
The graphic is a sendoff of a common bootleg Calvin Hobbes image, showing Calvin urinating on whatever the bootleg’s creator’s doesn’t like.
The rivalry between Apple and Google fans can sometimes be intense, particularly when it comes to smartphones. On April 17, two men stabbed each other with beer bottles is an argument over whether iPhones or Android devices were superior.
More attention has been drawn to the Apple versus Google battle in recent days because of Friday’s launch of the Apple Watch. The product is dominating technology news, and in some cases Google itself has shot back, for instance by announcing more features for its Android Wear platform. Wear-based smartwatches could potentially be iPhone-compatible in the near future.
Update: The image has been removed. In a later statement to the Washington Post, Google said that the the content was added by an outside person. The company offers a tool called Map Maker which lets third parties keep Maps current — normally reviews by other users and a moderation team prevent offensive graphics from going live, but the company has sometimes been accused of being lax.
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Once you get your Apple Watch out of the box, the first thing you’ll need to do is pair it with an iPhone to start using its features. AppleInsider offers a closer look at exactly how the pairing process works.
In the video below, we show the pairing of a 42-millimeter stainless steel Apple Watch with milanese loop and an iPhone 6:
Pairing is accomplished through the official Apple Watch app found in the most recent build of iOS 8. Once the pairing begins, a unique floating particle graphic displays on the Apple Watch, and once captured with the iPhone’s camera, the two devices are linked.
Once the Apple Watch and iPhone are paired, a quick setup process requires some basic information, including on which wrist the person plans to wear their watch, and a user’s Apple ID login.
Users are also asked to allow the Apple Watch to use both location services and Siri before the process is complete. A passcode can also be created to allow a user to unlock their watch if it is out of range from their iPhone.
Finally, the pairing process asks if users want to install all available third-party applications on the Apple Watch, or if they wish to do it later. A syncing process then takes about five to ten minutes before the device is ready to go.
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Early adopters of the Apple Watch can receive alerts fir breaking Apple news and browse the latest headlines thanks to the official AppleInsider app, which includes support for the new wrist-worn device.
AppleInsider’s new Apple Watch app gives readers an easy way to keep up with Apple news at a glance. You can choose to have important, breaking news notifications pushed directly to your wrist, or simply browse headlines and ledes at your own pace.
When you do find a story you want to dive into, Handoff support allows you to open the same article directly on your iPhone.
When a story is open on your Apple Watch, a Handoff icon for the official AppleInsider app will appear in the bottom left corner of your iPhone’s lock screen. Simply swipe up to open the same story on your iPhone for an easier reading experience.
Set in Apple’s new San Francisco typeface, the app blends seamlessly with Apple’s own Watch apps. Navigation is equally fluid with the Watch’s new digital crown or the touch-sensitive OLED display.
AppleInsider version 2.1 is available now as a free, 21-megabyte download from the App Store.
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With newly-delivered Apple Watch units now on the wrists of the lucky, users will undoubtedly be looking to try out the best launch-day apps for their latest purchase. AppleInsider offers a roundup of some prominent and essential launch-day apps, divided by category.
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