Essays on Technology and Culture

Copy of a Copy of a

Well, Asus has released a new Android Wear watch that bears some similarity to Apple Watch. Cue the whining from the usual Apple pundits. I’ve only been in the Apple community for a little over a decade, but if there’s one thing that’s always rubbed me the wrong way about my fellow Apple users, it’s how spiteful they get over other companies releasing products whose designs or marketing are similar to Apple’s. Spare me.

It’s the degree of offense I get from the articles, podcasts, and other Apple chat that bugs me. I don’t know if they don’t think that consumers will be able to know the difference, or if they’re just offended by the idea. While it’s not a new phenomenon, Apple helped stoke the flames with it’s billion-dollar trade dress lawsuit against Samsung. Going back further, there was Apple v. Microsoft over the Windows 3.0 interface. Plus ça change… Frankly, it just comes off like endless partisan nonsense to me, something which tech journalism is already too rife with.

A credit to Tim Cook is that, since his tenure as CEO began, Apple’s become less litigious about trade dress crap, and opted to just focus on making products that don’t suck. A point could be made about competitors in Apple’s spaces using Apple-inspired design as a way to make their products appear better without putting Apple’s degree of care and skill into it, but even the best design can’t hide crap. If the Asus Zenwatch 2 succeeds, it won’t be because it has a digital crown and comes in rose gold. If Tim Cook’s Apple sees this as a threat, I’m sure they’d bear down on Asus with the full force they’re capable of. I don’t think they do.

You don’t like the Zenwatch 2? Don’t buy it. Tell your friends and family, if they ask for advice, not to buy it. Otherwise, relax. Your own Apple Watch isn’t going to become useless and worthless because some other company has a product that looks and is marketed similarly. It doesn’t work that way.