Last week saw the official launch of the much anticipated (in tech circles anyway!) Apple Watch. On the back of record $18bn profits at the start of 2015, it seems that Apple can do no wrong – but is the Watch, not the iWatch, the next big thing or an innovation too far?
Why you need one:
- Fashion – When Apple launched its first generation of phone in 2007, thanks to some fantastic design and marketing from Ive and Jobs, it was an object which people actually desired. It became a fashion accessory, so merging tech and fashion is not new to Apple.
- Price – The price tag isn’t cheap but in the world of watches, £299 isn’t too bad. That money will get you a very nice designer watch (Armani, Boss and Barbour are all in the ball park), but these watches are different propositions. The real competition to the Watch is probably the Samsung Gear which retails at a similar price. It might feel more expensive than a phone as a lot of phone cost is added as part of your phone contract – no contract with the Watch.
- Functionality – As it stands, the Watch is able to read emails, receive calls, summon Siri and alert you to social media updates, with Facebook and Twitter alerts working. So it’s no white elephant. And the functionality will only increase. Devices live and die by the developer buy-in and the early signs are that there will be lots of new apps arriving on the Watch soon.
- It’s a New Apple Product – You can expect the hype to grow over the next six weeks and if the last quarter of 2014 is anything to go by, the hype works on lots of us. There will be big queues outside shops across the world at the end of April.
Why you don’t need one:
- Track Record – As is often the case, Apple is not first to the smart-wear market. Samsung’s Gear range has been on the market for around 18 months and hasn’t exactly set the world on fire. The Pebble Watch works with iOS, and while it has sold 1m units in its first two years, Apple will be expecting to shift a lot more than this. Is this suggesting that people just aren’t into smart-wear (yet?)?
- You Need an iPhone – Obviously! And if you have updated your software with iOS 8.2, then you will notice that Apple have helpfully popped the Watch app on your phone. Just like they helpfully put the latest U2 album on your phone….
- Battery Life – This has been quite contentious since the launch. Apple claimed battery lives of over 24 hours, but tests have yielded far poorer results. It kind of depends on what you do and how often you use the phone but the battery on your Watch going dead at lunchtime will seriously irritate.
- Fashion and Price – While both of these were listed as reasons to buy a Watch, they are also reasons not to. The £299 price-tag is worth paying if you are going to see some sort of benefit, but will the Watch really deliver it? And the Watch is a mix of fashion and tech, but being both means it could do neither well.
What do you think? Are you excited by the launch or letting it pass you by?