Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Tim Cook has certainly made it clear he doesn’t mind criticizing the competition.
For example, back in February, he panned the OLED technology used by Samsung in the screens of its Galaxy series devices, while at the same time, offered Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s own Retina Displays as a superior alternative. While I happened to find those comments particularly curious considering Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) had reportedly just hired an OLED expert of its own, that still didn’t stop shares of OLED supplier Universal Display Corporation (NASDAQ:PANL) from falling as much as 7% that day.
Even so, it’s hard to blame Cook for wanting to extol the virtues of his own company’s strategy and products.
Shattering Google Glass
Now, Cook has trained his sights on the search behemoth Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG).
More specifically, while discussing the future of wearable technology last week at the D11 Conference hosted by AllThingsD, Cook stated, in no uncertain terms, that he doesn’t think many people will buy Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) Glass.
Though he admitted there were “some positive points in the product,” here are three choice quotes he used to take jabs at Google Glass:
“I think it’s probably more likely to appeal to certain vertical markets, and I think the likelihood it has broad-range appeal … that’s tough to see.”
“There’s nothing great out there that I’ve seen. There’s nothing that’s going to convince a kid who has never worn glasses, or a band, or a watch, or whatever to wear one … or at least I haven’t seen any.”
“I wear glasses because I have to … I don’t know a lot of people that wear them that don’t have to. They want them to be light and unobtrusive and reflect their fashion … so I think from a mainstream point of view [glasses as wearable computing devices] are difficult to see. I think the wrist is interesting. The wrist is natural.”
One reason he may be wrong
First, as the folks over at the Huffington Post so astutely pointed out, it’s no coincidence that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) partnered with designer glasses start-up Warby Parker, best known for making trendy (and often bulky) “hipster glasses.”
Even so, with or without incorporated lenses, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s own pictures of the device make it hard to claim Google Glass is particularly gaudy:
Better yet, if recent reports prove true which say Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has decided to use ultra-slim OLED displays from Samsung in the commercial version Glass, you can bet the final product will be even more streamlined by the time it’s offered to the masses.
The bigger picture
However, while fashion could undoubtedly lead to a variety of interesting arguments for or against owning Google Glass, a larger question remains which could easily determine Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s success or failure: What level of invasiveness are people willing to accept in the first significant iteration of wearable computing?