Mike Elgan, writing over at Cult of Mac:
I’ve notice a new trend lately: Now markets are being created based substantially on nothing more than the expectation that Apple will enter it with a killer product.
For example, Acer, AGENT, Androidly, Cookoo, Dell, EmoPulse, Foxconn, GEAK, Google, I’m Watch, Intel, Kreyos, LG, Martian, Metawatch, Microsoft, Pebble, Qualcomm, Rearden Technology, Samsung, Sonostar, Sony, Toshiba and Vachen are all in, will be in or will probably be in the smartwatch market, which has struggled for years to get off the ground as a mainstream category.
Why the sudden embrace by so many major companies? I think the reason is that everyone expects Apple to enter it, and by doing so create it. You’ll notice that the majority of press about smartwatches is about a rumored “iWatch” from Apple — a phantom product that Apple hasn’t announced or even discussed significantly in public.
It's an interesting premise, but it completely falls apart once you actually start looking at the facts. Just a basic timeline for when the existing smartwatch models were launched reveals that they could not have been influenced by iWatch rumors.
Leaving aside the fact that some of the names listed are only vaguely rumored to be working on a smartwatch (Microsoft, Google, and Dell, for example), there are also several smartwatches that existed long before even the first rumor that Apple was working on an iWatch.
For example, the Motorola MotoACTV debuted in October 2011. Sony released their smartwatch in January 2012, and that was when the I'm Watch was officially launched. And then there is the SonyEricsson LiveView, which launched in November 2010, or the precursor to the Pebble, which was shipped in limited quantities in early 2010.
Three of those smartwatches had to have been under development in mid-2011, and the LiveView even earlier. That presents a problem for Elgan's theory.
The thing is, there were no rumors in 2011 that Apple was working on a smartwatch (not that I can find in Google, anyway). For much of 2011 the only iWatch gossip I could find came from fanboys wishing Apple would release an iWatch, not anyone discussing a rumor that the iWatch was under development.
In fact. the earliest development rumor I can find dates to December 2011. And that wasn't even a product rumor; it was a rumor about research projects:
Apple has also experimented with prototype products that could relay information back to the iPhone. These conceptual products could also display information on other Apple devices, like an iPod, which Apple is already encouraging us to wear on our wrists by selling Nanos with watch faces.
Elgan would have you believe that 5 different companies invested in smartwatches based on rumors that no one in the tech blogosphere had reported on.
Sorry, but that just doesn't make any sense.
At this point the idea is clearly bunk, but just in case you're still wondering let me point out the best example yet:
As you probably know, this smartwatch was funded via Kickstarter in April 2012 (based on tech that dates back to early 2010). And as you probably also know, Pebble went that route because they couldn't generate enough interest among capital investors.
Elgan would have you believe that companies were investing in the smartwatch market in anticipation of Apple releasing the iWatch, so why did Pebble have so much trouble getting investors interested?
That, folks, is the only point I need raise to debunk Elgan. It shows that he is so swept up in the reality distortion field that he can't think straight anymore. He apparently believes that Apple is so amazing that they can control time and space and have an effect on markets long before any products launch or even any rumors circulate.
Crazy, I know, but that's the Apple reality distortion field at work.
image via XDA Forums