Google acquired WIMM to boost smartwatch efforts — now it’s Apple’s turn

Janko has a nice scoop this afternoon, revealing it was Google, not Apple, that bought the WIMM assets a year or so ago.

In case you’re not familiar with WIMM, the company had released a developer-centric smartwatch and then went dark, putting up a cryptic message about a strategic partnership.

Turns out that strategic partnership was likely Google.

With Samsung debuting its smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear, next week and Google now clearly in the game, it looks like it’s going to get hot and heavy in the smartwatch space in the coming months.

So the question I have with all the impending action is, What exactly Apple will do? It’s not one to follow with a me-too product, and instead it often tries to reinvent a market completely.

Well, here’s the problem for Apple. There are going to be lots of innovative approaches, app platforms, and interfaces that are going to be exposed over the next few months around smartwatches, and the very fact that Apple has yet to show us anything could mean the company gets upstaged before it releases something. With each day that passes and potential new entrant, the pressure rises on Apple to produce something completely different.

Now, maybe it will. It has clearly done it before. But if it simply has something similar, say, to Pebble or the forthcoming Galaxy Gear, I think it will have a disappointed audience.

And really, when’s the last time the company has debuted an entirely new product category and disappointed the market? A decade? More? I don’t even know if I can name a the last disappointment they’re so infrequent.

But with each day that passes, the company is seeing expectations rise for its entrance into the wearables space, and with all the big boys getting in before them, it will be interesting to see if they can deliver.

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Michael Wolf

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