Suddenly, Apple Is Losing Its Design Edge

Will geek soon be chic? According to The New York Times, Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) 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.

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 (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) was under Steve Jobs, which brings us back to Warby Parker.

How is it that Apple 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 design chief Jony Ive is already at work on both, or something similar. What matters is that he isn't alone. Apple taught its competitors that design matters. Google listened, and with Pixel and Glass it's attempting to woo Apple's core audience.

Can it work? I think so, but I also want to know what you think so please share your thoughts in the comments box below. And if you're interested in following Apple more closely, I urge you to take advantage of our newest premium research service. Motley Fool senior technology analyst and managing bureau chief, Eric Bleeker, will help you to understand whether Apple is a buy right now and what opportunities are left for the company (and, more importantly, your portfolio) over the long term. Click here now to get instant access to his latest thinking on Apple.


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  • Report this Comment On February 24, 2013, at 12:48 PM, quad10 wrote:

    Let us understand your logic, Google is getting interested in design that means Apple must be loosing its design edge. Because in your world there is limited design talent. Did you write the article to get attention or you limited intellect.

  • Report this Comment On February 24, 2013, at 12:55 PM, TMFMileHigh wrote:

    @quad10,

    Thanks for writing.

    >>Let us understand your logic, Google is getting interested in design that means Apple must be loosing its design edge.

    No. You've misread the piece. Here again is the relevant excerpt:

    "Apple taught its competitors that design matters. Google listened, and with Pixel and Glass it's attempting to woo Apple's core audience."

    In other words, Apple is no longer alone in emphasizing outstanding aesthetics. Losing that sense of uniqueness puts pressure on the business. Cook, Ive, and team are up to the task, I believe, but it's a tougher sell now.

    Foolish best,

    Tim

    --

    TMFMileHigh on the boards and in CAPS

    @milehighfool on Twitter

    http://timbeyers.me

  • Report this Comment On February 24, 2013, at 2:19 PM, Microwave52 wrote:

    Another irresponsible headline from Motley Fool.

    How is it possible to claim that Apple is suddenly losing its design edge when we haven't seen Google's finished product, nor have we seen what Apple has in the pipeline? I get the point that competitors getting closer to Apple's design standards, but stating that Apple's losing its design edge is premature given what we don't know!

    Fool off...

  • Report this Comment On February 24, 2013, at 3:45 PM, Sookey9090 wrote:

    Like others, putting irresponsible headline just to attract people!! Shame on you.

  • Report this Comment On February 24, 2013, at 4:17 PM, Jjkiam wrote:

    Yes another article that uses a negative headline to report that Google is adopting more interest in design by outsourcing as opposed to Apple's in house design efforts which have been continuously setting the design standards. There is simply no here here. The headline should have been more appropriately titled "Google abandons design efforts by relying on outside company. "

  • Report this Comment On February 25, 2013, at 10:48 AM, less1nessman wrote:

    you say ...

    No. You've misread the piece. Here again is the relevant excerpt:

    "Apple taught its competitors that design matters. Google listened, and with Pixel and Glass it's attempting to woo Apple's core audience."

    I say, well .... Apple's competition has long sought to make design matter, and they have mostly done this by copying Apple's designs and business model. There is no real news here in this. The only possible news is that Google continues to try to play catch up in terms of an Eco-System and hardware-software integration that rivals Apple.

    No doubt they are trying, but the Pixel Notebook, is not exactly a shimmering example of a complete hardware and software design. It's an attempt, no doubt, but is that really news?

    Your article, which includes the Bull Sht headline, is seeking to make the point that Apple is losing it's edge blah blah blah and that Google is gaining an edge over Apple. And of course, this happened all of a sudden LOL.

    Dude, people have been saying this crap ever since Apple caught their competitors with their pants down when they released the iPod, oh yea when they released the iPhone, oh yea when they released the iPad (which was doomed to fail after it's release), and even now as Apple will roll out another product shortly (according to their typical 3-4 year new product cycle introduction), they will once again surprise.

    Even within the existing product upgrades like the iPhone 5 this past fall, the skeptics wrote it off as to little to late. Really? What actually happened. Well the iPhone 5 went on to become the best selling smartphone in the world. Oh wait, the year old iPhone 4s was the number two best selling smartphone in the world. WHAT????? How can this be if Apple is losing it's design edge, all of a sudden?

    Oh it must be all those iSheep who blindly buy apple products because they are brain washed ... blah blah blah, give me a break!

  • Report this Comment On February 25, 2013, at 11:22 AM, sonofamram wrote:

    It is not enough to have good design. You have to have good design of a product that people will desire to use. Nobody but a few uber-nerds wants to walk around with a terminator interface projected in the field of vision. Make it pretty if you want...that won't sell it. The best way to kill a crappy product is great marketing though, so this one will be dead in a heartbeat.

  • Report this Comment On April 01, 2013, at 5:47 PM, Victoria2012 wrote:

    Is

    Warby Parker a publicly traded stock. If I want invest in google glasses but do not have funds to invest in google. Where should I invest?

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