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This is how Apple decides when to pull the trigger on a new product

Published Mar 20th, 2015 10:21AM EDT
Tim Cook Apple Watch Interview
Image: Apple Inc.

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In a few short weeks, Apple is going to launch a smartwatch. By the time the company finally announced it was working on a watch, it didn’t come as much of a surprise, but considering how infrequently the company steps into new product categories, it’s still interesting to consider why Apple would place a bet on wearables. And why now?

READ MORE: This sleek metal bumper is easily my favorite iPhone 6 case right now

In a recent interview with Fast Company, Tim Cook discussed how Apple reaches these decisions.

“When Apple looks at what categories to enter, we ask these kinds of questions: What are the primary technologies behind this? What do we bring? Can we make a significant contribution to society with this? If we can’t, and if we can’t own the key technologies, we don’t do it.”

If Apple can’t bring something new to the table, it won’t bring anything at all. This was the case with the Apple Watch as well — had the engineers and developers not created something they thought could change the landscape of the wearable market, there wouldn’t have been any March media event for the Apple Watch. There wouldn’t be an Apple Watch at all.

“We weren’t first on the MP3 player; we weren’t first on the tablet; we weren’t first on the smartphone,” Cook told Fast Company. “But we were arguably the first modern smartphone, and we will be the first modern smartwatch—the first one that matters.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.