I generally agree with John Gruber’s analysis, but this is simply wrong:
But there is no way in hell that Apple is working with any other company, Intel or otherwise, on the design of any unannounced new products. Think, people.
Yeah, today’s Apple would never work with Intel on an unannounced product, would they? (Jump cut to Macworld 2008):
Now, we’ve got a great relationship with Intel. Both companies are engineering-driven, and they both love to challenge each other. And Intel’s got enormous amounts of technology. So when we were building this product, we asked them to consider something.
This is their amazing Core 2 Duo chip, right? It’s a screamer. We said that we want that chip in this product, but we need to go to smaller packaging: the same die on a smaller package. It sounds easy, but it’s not. They invested a lot of engineering to create this for us. This is the same chip in a package that’s sixty percent smaller.
Okay, but that was another notebook, right? And the smart watch is something that’s more unique in Apple’s space. They wouldn’t create a brand new, desirable product category with another company, would they? (Jump cut to Macworld 2007):
Our partner [for the iPhone] is going to be Cingular, […] and they’re going to be our exclusive partner in the U.S. It’s a unique partnership, though. We’re not just going to be selling phones and services together; we’re going to be doing innovation together. We worked with Cingular on Visual Voicemail because it’s an innovation that requires both innovation on the phone and in the network.
Gruber uses the word “design” in his comment about collaboration, but that word doesn’t appear anywhere in the linked story, which strikes me as a curious choice. Apple has collaborated with other companies on products before (even on high-value, above-top-secret stuff like the iPhone), and they’ll likely do it again. While I’m not sold on the smart watch concept, Gruber’s reasoning here is off the mark.