Suddenly, Apple Inc. (AAPL) Is Losing Its Design Edge

Will geek soon be chic? According to The New York TimesGoogle Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is working on bringing its Glass wearable computer to Warby Parker’s fashionable spectacles.

Initial designs of the Glass product, which is expected later this year, include a small computer and battery attached to the upper right frame. A Warby Parker model would presumably be sleek enough for the runway crowd.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)For now, Google last week began accepting “applications” for those interested in the current prototype. Those chosen will pay $1,500 plus tax for the “Explorer” edition and attend a special event in either Los Angeles, New York, or San Francisco to pick up their specs.

Interestingly, the talk of a tie-up with Warby Parker comes just as Google showed off a more refined design sense in its latest Chromebook. Dubbed “Pixel,” the polished aluminum computer is suspiciously reminiscent of the MacBook Air. A high-resolution touchscreen adds to the premium feel of the device.

Google under Larry Page has become as design-obsessed as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was under Steve Jobs, which brings us back to Warby Parker.

How is it that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) didn’t ink a deal? We’ve known since last summer that iEmpire is pursuing a patent for interactive eyewear. Surely the same team that’s toying with an “iWatch” could also spend some time drawing up — pardon the pun — “iGlasses.”

Perhaps Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) design chief Jony Ive is already at work on both, or something similar. What matters is that he isn’t alone. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) taught its competitors that design matters. Google listened, and with Pixel and Glass it’s attempting to woo Apple’s core audience.

The article Suddenly, Apple Is Losing Its Design Edge originally appeared on and is written by Tim Beyers.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Apple and Google at the time of publication. Check out Tim’s Web home and portfolio holdings, or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple and Google.

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