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This article was published on September 6, 2014


    The iWatch won’t be what you expect it to be…

    The iWatch won’t be what you expect it to be…
    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
    Story by

    Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten

    CEO and co-founder, TNW

    Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and Boris is a serial entrepreneur who founded not only TNW, but also V3 Redirect Services (sold), HubHop Wireless Internet Provider (sold), and pr.co. Boris is very active on Twitter as @Boris and Instagram: @Boris.

    They say that the only thing we learn from history is that we never learn anything from history.

    With the highly anticipated and expected launch of the ‘iWatch’ (or whatever it ends up being called) next week, everybody has an idea of what to expect, and competitors are already rushing products to market.

    Maybe I’m getting old, but it feels like a deja-vu. It reminds me of the lead-up to the iPhone announcement in 2007. A lot of people were predicting an Apple phone. It seemed like a logical next step for the iPod line-up. Looking back though, the predictions were all way off. The problem was that we looked at Apple’s line-up and tried to predict the new iPhone by extrapolating from the current situation. That led to some hilarious mock-ups of the iPhone.

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    Looking back it shows how difficult it is to predict what Apple does and how much of a paradigm shift the introduction of the iPhone was. Case in point, the following iPhone mock-ups from before the iPhone.

    An iBook-like iPod/iPhone clone, and two crude renderings of a dial pad iPod:

    iphone concept 4
    iphone-apple-concept
    ipod-concept_7

    I don’t think anybody took this one seriously, but credit for thinking out of the box:

    iphone_032

    An minimalistic iPhone concept based on the Max OS X calculator maybe?

    iphone_035

    Many thought the Apple phone would at least have slide-out keyboard to compete with the amazingly popular BlackBerry. Nope:

    iphone_MRisell 8

    The Motorola Razr was a very popular and innovate flip phone at the time so it makes sense that people tried to combine it with an iPod:

    iPhone- Concept 6

    iphone-concept-apple

    A slightly different take on a flip phone was this fold-open approach with a hidden keyboard iPod:

    iphone-concept-ipod

    Why not hide the keys under a flip-up screen and create an iPod pop-up phone:

    iphone-concept-side

    Imagine having to type on those tiny keys on this concept phone:

    iphone-concept

    Well, at least it looks sleek:

    iphone-concepts

    So, what can we learn? We should know now that when Apple comes up with an iWatch it will be different from what you expect and most certainly not just an iPhone strapped to a wrist, just like the iPhone wasn’t just a telephone glued to an iPod.

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    Images sourced from the Apple iPhone concept blog, Apple Gazette and The Roosevelts.