Some of my guesses about what kind of wearable would make are sort of true, particularly to do with the price point. A $350 Watch fits the middle market, where there is some intense competition in the watch arena. The Watch is also considerably more expensive than most of the Android wearables that have appeared so far, which is exactly what you expect. Apple don’t compete at the low end. They don’t want that market, they don’t want those customers, they don’t want to deal with the customer support that would inevitably result from selling a cheap piece of crap.
I was a little surprised to see that the Watch Edition has a gold case. That’s going to cost well over $1000, pitching the device against some high end fashion accessories. Add a third party gold strap, you’re talking serious money. But although sales are low at the top end, the profits are high, so of course it makes sense.
Whether Apple will break into that top end with the Watch as a watch on the other hand, is moot. This particular reviewer, a watch expert, details all the things that Apple got right with Watch. The feel and finish, the references to “classic watch vocabulary” with the crown and the strap system (of course). He also points out that both sizes look good on all kinds of wrists, meaning that this is not a version for men and another for women. Those of us who prefer something smaller will buy the 38mm. But, crucially, while it looks quite nice, it’s still too chunky to fit easily underneath a shirt cuff. His conclusion is that Apple will be market leader in a category nobody asked for.
As to whether I want one. Well. I’m certainly in the pre-order stage at the moment for the iPhone 6, currently trying to decide between the standard and the plus. (Pre-ordering, by the way, is when you’re thinking about ordering; what tech companies call “pre-ordering” is ordering.)
But I’m not really in the pre-order stage for the Watch. Obviously Sports is going to be the entry level, but if you still have to have your phone with you (for the GPS), then I probably won’t bother. Same goes for if you have to have your phone with you to listen to music. Contactless payments might be interesting, heart rate etc., but I’m not so much of a hypochondriac that I feel an urgent need.
Mainly, I’m thinking about battery life, and convenience, and version 1.0 issues. Maybe, in a year or so, there will be a new model that is thinner and that fits under a shirt cuff. I’ve never been a fan of big chunky things on your wrist, and at the moment, I think the Withings Activité, with its properly analogue face, is a better looking watch to wear as a watch. On the other hand, Apple is all about the integrated software / hardware experience, and that always sells me.
So I’m saying, probably not this time. Maybe next time. Early adoption is a mugs’ game.