Jony Ive asserts that Apple Watch isn’t competing against luxury watch vendors

The Apple Watch has just been launched, and of course, we’ve seen a flurry of reviews and discussion concerning Apple’s first truly new product (i.e. not an iteration of an existing device) since the iPad.

And naturally enough, Apple’s design bigwig Jony Ive has got his two pennies in, claiming that the Apple Watch isn’t actually competition for luxury watch vendors – despite its positioning in posh fashion boutiques (Dover Street Market in London was the only place you could actually buy the thing off the shelf in the UK on launch day last Friday), not to mention the Watch Edition with its £8,000 plus price tag.

Ive (and designer Marc Newson) were questioned by Suzy Menkes, Vogue International Editor, at the recent Conde Nast International Luxury Conference.

Menkes asked Ive if Apple’s products were now in competition with luxury goods, and he replied that, broadly, he didn’t see it this way. Ive noted that when Apple designed the iPhone, the motivation was that Cupertino’s staff members couldn’t bear their phones – whereas that’s not the case with the Apple Watch. He noted that he loves his traditional watches, and Apple’s timepiece has a very different motivation to the iPhone in that respect.

As Mashable, which spotted the interview, reports, Ive stated: “It wasn't because we thought we could design a better watch, [or that we] wanted to compete with the existing watch makers. It was because that we saw that the wrist was a fabulous place for technology."

As we’ve already mentioned, though, this does rather go against the grain of the positioning of the device. That said, we can appreciate the point Ive is making about how the iPhone was very different in terms of the reasons for its inception, and that rings true enough.

Check out the full interview above.

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