Apple CEO Tim Cook recently sat down at the D11 Conference with Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, and discussed a host of topics about his company, where it's headed and how he believes Apple is still changing the world.
But the biggest news from the event was Cook's comments about his competitor Google and why he believes the search giant's Glass technology just won't make it as a mainstream product.
Cook acknowledged that Glass might appeal to some people in the marketplace, but for the typical consumer, it's not something that will excite them all that much. The technology might be viewed as somewhat interesting by consumers, the Apple chief executive said, but actually getting them to take the leap and make the decision to plunk down cash for wearable glasses just isn't something that Cook believes will happen in too many cases.
Although Google fans have said Cook is wrong and just competitive, he's actually right. Google Glass has no chance to appeal to the mass market. The future of Google Glass is in niche markets.
Read on to find out why:
1. It might be expensive
According to Google, if a person who was able to test Glass lost the device, it would cost them $1,500. That doesn't mean, of course, that Google Glass will cost $1,500 when it launches, but there's a good chance that it'll be rather expensive at least to start. The struggle will be to achieve sales volumes that allow Google to reduce the cost while it still makes a profit on each device.
2. What's the point?
Google must answer one simple question when it launches Glass: What's the point of owning the device? Yes, I know that it can provide directions and call information and all kinds of other neat things, but consumers will already find all of that functionality built into their computers, smartphones and tablets. Why should they spend more cash on something that they can already do?
3. It's not exactly a fashion statement
Make no mistake: Fashion plays a crucial role in the ability for Google Glass to win acceptance in the mainstream market. The device needs to be a fashion statement and something that people would be happy to wear or it will only appeal to the so-called "geeks" who really don't care what they look like when they try out a new piece of wearable computing technology. Judging by its design right now, it's hard to see it being considered fashionable to the mainstream market.
4. There needs to be a high-end, special app
The idea of the "killer app" is something that can't be underestimated when evaluating Google Glass. There has to be something special or unique or extremely interesting (from a software perspective) that would make customers actually want to buy the device. Right now, Google's integrated services aren't doing it. And Google needs to realize that.
5. Glasses take some getting used to
One of the things Google must overcome is that it takes awhile to get used to wearing glasses, and in some cases, people will stop wearing them altogether because they don't like having something on their face. Sure a lot of people don't mind wearing sunglasses even if they don't need corrective lenses. But if Google Glass takes too long for users to get used to them, the device won't take off.