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.
2 responses to “ Watch watch”
Apple watch is not on my pre-order list because I am not wearing a normal watch and I am not doing sports. It is a classic design, nothing special, but with some nice ideas, like the clever way of changing the strap. Charging is not clever, it is too much linked with a normal cable.
But the iPhone 6 plus is on this list, because I hope the keys are bigger on the keyboard, but there are news that Apple will fill the space with new keys.
Hope it can be switched off.
I was surprised at the lack of wireless charging, since it had been rumoured so widely. I guess Apple tried it and it didn’t work well enough. Maybe not quickly enough. But is the Watch charging clever? I’ve read that it’s designed so you can easily plug it in in the dark. I actually try to do this quite a lot with my iPhone and iPad, and often give up and switch on a light. So if Apple have really come up with a charging system that you can manage easily in the dark, that to me seems quite clever at least. And is typically Apple: they’re still the only company I know of who give you a laptop power supply that’s designed to have its cable wrapped around it, which is what everybody does with all laptop chargers.