Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Waiting for iWatch: Here's to the complainers

David Price | July 30, 2013
Apple fans demanding an iWatch right now might be unreasonable, but they're what makes the tech industry great

Nobody knows if and when the iWatch will launch — okay, Tim Cook might have an inkling — but that hasn't stopped Apple fans and analysts in their droves from demanding an iWatch, complaining that the iWatch has been 'delayed', and speculating about the iWatch's possible features, price and specifications. We think these people are totally unreasonable, but also brilliant. Here's why.

The mood in the Apple media game right now reminds me of an old YouTube clip — long since deleted for copyright reaons, sadly — called 'Everything's amazing and nobody's happy', by the American comedian Louis CK — an entertaining chat-show rant about modern technology being taken for granted. ("Give it a second, would ya?" he tells a dissatisfied mobile user. "Is the speed of light not fast enough for you?")

One thing the clip illustrates perfectly is that the technology industry has no memory. What was once thrillingly groundbreaking becomes obvious, and then boring, and then grossly inadequate, in a cycle that's become indecently brief. "What else?" is our constant follow-up. "What next?"

Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, of course. The progress of technological innovation depends on a healthy dose of dissatisfaction. If it wasn't for some truly unreasonable people with a pretty grotesque sense of entitlement — people like Steve Jobs, for example — we'd probably still be using smoke signals.

All of which makes it somewhat fitting to hear Apple fans playing a game of "What have you done for me lately?" They've grown used to a company that sits at the bleeding edge of innovation, and demand nothing less. They've reached a point, barely nine months after the iPad mini changed the market, barely six years after the iPhone changed the world, where they want something different. They want something new.

 

Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.