The Apple Watch has had a good week, beating almost all pre- and post-launchpredictions. However, now that the so-called “need it now” people have purchased the iWatch, will sales and popularity continue to grow?Will it evolve from being just a neat-looking gadget into a really useful, must-have accessory? This is a question that has even Apple executives worried, despite the company making its first significant foray into the wearable technology industry.
Form or Function?
When is a watch not a watch? when it’s the Apple iWatch. Well, not really. Though the 42mm Stainless Steel Case version with a bright blue leather band certainly looks beautiful, it’s not really useful as yet. At times I’ve simply marveled at how the hardware has been surgically designed and constructed, or how the material used is such premium quality. It’s a device that really tries hard to make that much-needed emotional connection with the wearer, which it does in my case, but that’s where the charm really ends.
The big issue right now with the iWatch (all versions of it) is the bugs. While some may attribute this to early-version software issues, I personally think it’s also lacking in functionality. The Uber app refuses to load, the Twitter app is too confusing, and the app I installed for Starwood hotels just froze my iWatch completely. Plus the iWatch is useless until you’ve invested in the Apple ecosystem, which means that you need to have an iPhone 5 or 6 at the very least.
There is no real need for the iWatch.
Most people point to the fitness monitoring aspect of the iWatch as being a so-called killer function but in my experience, as well as that of other early adopters, it has a very long way to go. Though the fitness capabilities may mature into a juggernaut ina few years, today they just don’t work beyond showing your heart rate and calorie burn.
But there is potential and we’d certainly like to see the apps on the iWatch work independently of the iPhone; after all, what’s the point of having a wearable computer when you have to rely on your cell phone for everything other than checking notifications?
The price for the Apple Watch starts at $350, and goes all the way up to a whopping $17,000. This is a lot for a gadget which at present offers sub-par battery life, a buggy experience and has difficulty working independently of Apple’s ecosystem. However, on the flip side,Apple has managed to bring much-needed visibility to the wearables market, and this will eventually benefit everyone owing to increased consumer traction.
We will soon see Samsung and other manufacturers introducing their versions of wearable computers. But for now the current first-generation iWatch is a sure sinker. It’s best suited for someone who has a few hundred dollars extra which they don’t mind using to explore the new iWatch’s beauty and marvel at its engineering.