With Apple set to announce new details on the Apple Watch, including a release date, Mark Wilson at Fast Company says he has the courage to say what a lot of people are thinking: The watch is going to be a big flop. The device has more in common with Apple's failed Newton tablet than with hits like the iPhone or iPad, he argues, saying it's being built about a decade before the "technology or infrastructure to pull it off in a meaningful way" exists. All the watch is really good for, he says, is letting people read a few short emails or tweets via a piece of technology on their wrist that may need to be charged up to four times in the course of a workday.
So why is Apple releasing the watch? Wilson suspects that the company has built it to satisfy design chief Jonathan Ive, "who has become more obsessed with Bentleys and Rolexes than making attractive, functional technology that will actually make life better for the 99%." Apple's best moments, he argues, have involved bringing meaningful functions to the masses at just the right moment, not building "elitist filigree." Even if the watch is a massive hit and Apple sells 100 million of them, "will your lives be any better for it?" he wonders. "And if not, what does that say about how Apple is designing our tomorrow?" Click to read the full column.