The smartwatches that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) will need to be considered by consumers to be cool in order for them to succeed, Jon Fortt said in a discussion with Carl Quintanilla and Jon Steinberg on CNBC.
The trio were talking about wearables and smartwatches in particular as the buzz surrounding Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and its much anticipated smartwatch grows. Recently, the oft-discussed iWatch was said to be nearing production this July. Furthermore, other details such as the possibility of having different screen sizes – 1.3-inch, 1.5-inch and 2.5-inch – have also surfaced.
Quinatinilla started the discussion by asking whether Fortt and Steinberg would buy a smartwatch once Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and the iPhone maker enter the market. According to Fortt, he hopes that the smartwatches from these tech titans will be “sexy enough” for people to think that they have to have them. However, the CNBC contributor noted that he has not worn a watch for a long time because he can just as easily tell the time by looking at his phone. He said that he wished there was something that would give him more value and hence a reason to wear it, but it’s just not there yet.
Steinberg added to the discussion by saying that unless one is a “hardcore geek,” one will not know that they want a smartwatch until they see it. He noted that it was Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) cofounder Steve Jobs who said that a company needs to show people a product they did not know they wanted.
Quintanilla then noted that they asked during one of their segments whether people think that the new watch from the iPhone-maker needs to be a health and fitness data aggregator or more. He added that Lance Ulanoff, Mashable editor, has said that people do not want to know about their health every second. The team then agreed that there people who are really healthy may prefer to track their health, but people who are not that healthy may be turned off by the constant reminder of their health’s state.
Steinberg said that the problem Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) need to solve is how people can get messages and the like without being socially disruptive when using a smartwatch. It has to be unlike Google Inc’s (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Glass that, just by wearing one, causes social disruption, the Daily Mail North America CEO added.
Fortt then went on to say that the smartwatches from these companies need to be cool enough for people to be naturally inclined to want to wear one.
View the full discussion below:
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shareholders includes John Fichthorn’s Dialectic Capital Management which reported 7,076 shares in the company as of the end of March. Another hedge fund which was long in the iPhone maker during the same period is Jason Adler’s Alphabet Management which had 7,500 shares in the company.
Investors in Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) includes Daniel Bubis’ Tetrem Capital Management with 47,328 shares in the company as of the end of the first quarter of the year. Israel Englander’s Millennium Management also said that it had 46,175 shares in the internet giant during the same period.