Apple CEO Tim Cook unveils the Apple Watch in 2014.
Photograph by Stephen Lam — Reuters
By Philip Elmer-DeWitt
December 11, 2015

According to the generally accepted account of the sequence of events, the Apple Watch was not just the first new Apple product since the iPad, but the first new product created—from beginning to end—under Tim Cook’s watch.

“[Apple design chief Jony] Ive began dreaming about an Apple watch just after CEO Steve Jobs’ death in October 2011,” according to Wired’s in-depth Secret History of the Apple Watch. “This was to be the next step in a dynasty—the first without the guidance of Steve Jobs.”

Not so, says Creative Strategies’ Tim Bajarin, whose on-and-off relationship with Jobs dates back nearly 35 years.

“Steve was aware of the Watch,” Bajarin told an audience of analysts, developers, and venture capitalists Thursday at Glance, an Apple Watch conference in San Francisco. “He didn’t nix it as a product.”

MORE: Who’s Got Time for an Apple Watch?

Bajarin’s version of events doesn’t directly contradict Apple’s, but it does run counter to the impression left with the media and with Wall Street—one that Apple, as far as I know, never bothered to correct.

Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at @philiped. Read his Apple (AAPL) coverage at or subscribe via his RSS feed.

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