Thursday, November 30, 2023

Apple was about to make the Apple Watch compatible with Android: why it didn’t happen

An Apple Watch compatible with Android? What kind of witchcraft are we talking about? Believe it or not, the apple smart watch was one step away from integrating with an ecosystem today made up of more than 3 billion devices with Google software, but Apple backed out at the last minute.

This is revealed by an extensive report by Bloomberg signed by journalists Mark Gurman and Drake Bennett. It sheds light on the challenges that Apple faced during the creation of the Apple Watch, a super secret project that was launched in 2011 through a kind of “stealth” startup called Avolonte, and by direct order of Steve Jobs.

The original initiative was to create a health device that could measure blood glucose level, without prick. A very attractive idea, but today, almost 10 years after the introduction of the first Apple Watch, it has not yet come to fruition. Of course, those from Cupertino are not giving up. There are still rumors about the introduction of this feature in future versions of the smartwatch.

What stands out about this story is that A version of the Apple Watch compatible with Android was more real than we could imagine. Gurman and Bennett explain that this was done very seriously and with a clear objective: to bring the watch to as many users as possible. Especially to those who were in countries where Apple’s main products—iPhone and Mac—did not have a large presence.

Project Fennelor how to bring the Apple Watch to Android

Bringing the Apple Watch to Android was a serious enough project that, internally, Apple gave it a code name: Project Fennel. It is not clear if this initiative was launched when the smartwatch had not yet been presented, or if the decision to integrate it into Google’s OS was made once the device was already on the market.

It is mentioned that, to guarantee the compatibility of the Apple Watch with Android phones, a version of the Health app would be launched for said software. However, those from Cupertino They backed down when the project was practically finishedsay the journalists of Bloomberg.

What would have weighed on this determination would not have been the fear that the Apple Watch would not achieve the desired sales among Android users, but rather that will negatively impact the marketing of the iPhoneApple’s flagship device.

The approach makes sense, considering that the deep integration between apple products has created an ecosystem where commercial performance feeds off each other. One of the sources of the aforementioned publication was forceful on the matter: “If you gave the watch to Android, you would dilute its value for the iPhone”.

A smartwatch market that could be very different

With an Apple Watch compatible with Android, it is likely that many of the other smartwatches available on the market today they would never have existed. It is true that there are more and better watches integrated into the Google ecosystem, thanks to the relaunch of Wear OS after its merger with Tizen.

However, it is impossible not to feel that some of the most attractive proposals, such as the Pixel Watch 2 or Samsung’s Galaxy Watch, They arrived late or failed to position themselves as an essential accessory for the public.. If you walk down the street and bump into someone wearing an iPhone, you’ll probably see an Apple Watch on their wrist; something that other manufacturers have not yet been able to replicate.

Be careful, the Apple Watch is still very far from being Apple’s most important product or the one that generates the most money. However, the area of wearables It is positioned as one of the fastest growing in the coming years. And we have already begun to see some signs of it.

During the presentation of the fiscal third quarter results, it was the second hardware category with the highest revenue, only behind the iPhone and ahead of the iPad and Mac. Likewise, and focusing only on devices, it was the only division that experiment year-on-year sales growth. It will be interesting to see how this story develops. Let’s not forget that tomorrow, November 2, Apple will present the results for the last quarter of its fiscal year.

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