Why the iWatch deserves to be 'one more thing'

Time for Tim to channel the Stevenote

You could cut the tension with a knife when Steve Jobs was drawing to the end of one of his brilliantly orchestrated announcements. A weighty pause from a consummate performer and then..."but there's one more thing…"

And the crowd goes wild.

Tim Cook is clearly not the showman that Jobs was, nor would he choose to be. A thousand profiles and three years' worth of launches have seen Cook defer much of each presentation to trusted lieutenants like Phil Schiller.

Yet the audience is still ever hopeful, and tonight's reveal is perhaps the biggest opportunity for Cook to pause and utter those magic words.

Perhaps it would be seen as a little crass, a little too demonstrative of a man who clearly sees the utter sense behind making Apple less about one man and more about its overhyped but often utterly brilliant products.

Homage

But, for many, it would feel like an homage to Jobs; an opportunity to draw a thread from that raucous first iPhone mention back in 2007 - through to the iPad announcement in 2010 and now onto the first significant new product line since Jobs' death, the iWatch.

Rightly, 'one more thing' is not a phrase to be used lightly by Apple of late - rolling out that now gilded phrase for a new iteration of Mac, or a thinner lighter iPad, would not be considered acceptable.

But for a whole new direction for Apple? That's surely worthy of a bit or rock'n'roll.

iWatch a concept picture

Don't get too excited, this is only a concept picture

Make no mistake about it, Apple's iWatch (and, as of time of writing, I'm still making assumptions that this will indeed be shown) is a huge deal for Cook and the company itself.

The plethora of smartwatches that have emerged in the past few months might not become world beaters, and they are certainly not likely to become mainstream objects.

But they clearly are headturners in the tech world, sucking up the headlines without truly explaining why there's a great deal of user benefit.

For those that spent years talking up Jobs' 'reality distortion field' you could argue that an iWatch might well be the most appropriate Apple product to date.

You get the distinct impression that Apple would probably be happier waiting a while to unleash it's next big wearable thing, that it ideally would like to watch its rivals plough a lone furrow before leaping into the market with an offering so far advanced from the others' that it instantly blows the market apart.

The issue is that the world has changed. This isn't an MP3 player market where Creative was the leader, nor a smartphone market where the Palm Pilot was leading the race.

In wearables Apple's biggest rival in hardware, Samsung, has gone hard at the market and LG has also begun to push alongside its fellow Korean brand.

We've even had an Apple-like design led hype machine powering into our consciousness, with Motorola's Moto 360 winning the first 'round' with an innovative design.

Motorola s Moto 360

Motorola's Moto 360

Let's not forget that these smartwatches are partnered with phones; you want a smartwatch currently then you're going to need an Android phone. That threatens a core business for Apple.

So the Cupertino giant looks to have made the decision to get involved in wearables sooner rather than later - with this evening's announcement about the launch likely to be calculated to disrupt the Android Wear market for Christmas, and give Apple's customers a reason to stick around with iOS.

To do that, the iWatch is going to have to make the kind of splash that, thus far, only Steve Jobs has created.

So will we get one more thing? I hope so.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Global Editor-in-Chief

Patrick (Twitter) is Global Editor-in-Chief for techradar, and has been with the site since its launch in 2008. He is a longstanding judge of the T3 Awards, been quoted or seen on everything from the The Sun to Sky News and is on the #CoolBrands Council. He started his career in football, making him one of approximately one journalists to have covered both a World Cup final and an iPhone launch.