Apple Watch is ready to celebrate a 90-day anniversary. Looking back on the hundreds of thousands of words that have been written about Apple’s iPhone accessory has me scratching my head and mumbling to myself.
I mean, really, what’s the big deal about Watch? It’s not a standalone product in the vein of Mac, iPhone, or iPad, but obviously it’s more of a hobby than Apple TV. So, I decided to sharpen my pencil (so to speak; it’s really a digital notebook) and list all the reasons Apple Watch is so bah humbug and meh to critics.
How Do I Hate Thee?
Let me count the ways that Watch already shows why it garners so much criticism from so many corners of the charter members of the technorati elite (the same ones who predict doom for Apple and whose record for prognosticating failure includes the Mac, iPhone, and iPad).
Watch Design – Please. Watches are supposed to be round. Everyone knows that. Why is the Watch a rectangle? If you’re not viewing Watch the screen is black? How am I supposed to tell time on someone else’s Watch if I can’t see the screen? Looking over someone’s shoulder to read their smartphone screen is a time honored method of data gathering, but, clumsily, Apple made Watch immune to that.
Watch Screen – This is Apple’s first use of AMOLED, a screen technology used in Samsung’s devices forever and ever. If you want sapphire instead of the Ion-X glass you’ll have to pay more money. That makes Watch much like every luxurious watch made in the past 50 years. Where’s the true innovation, Apple?
Battery Life – Has Apple gone cray cray? Users claim battery life on Watch is abysmal and can barely get through a 24 to 30-hour day without being recharged. It’s just like the iPhone, which everyone knows needs to be recharged every day, night to morning. Has Apple bought stock in electric power companies? Even worse, a recharge sometimes takes a couple of hours in a row.
Activity Tracking – Watch has both built-in and numerous third party activity apps which count heart rate, steps or stride, distance, and route traveled, and because they’re all part of iPhone, some can track locations, workouts, calories, and keep the data in a database. How long before insurance companies recognize that Watch users pay more attention to their health and then increase their premiums to help cover the costs of the less healthy who draw on their insurance more?
Notifications – This is the part that I don’t get. Why did I buy an iPhone if I’m forced to leave it in my pocket, backpack, or briefcase to receive alerts, alarms, and notifications on Watch instead? We need physical exercise, folks, so stopping what you’re doing, fishing around for the iPhone in pocket or bag, is far more enlightening and physically demanding than simply flipping over a wrist to see who wants your attention. Amirite?
Accessory Accessories – Watch is an accessory, yet in Apple’s world-wide-ecosystem, you can buy accessories for the accessory in the form of stands, bands, covers, and the like. I bought the space gray Watch with the black rubber band (Apple calls it fluoroelastomer; marketing speak for rubber) and I can’t find a reason to buy a different band. This one is attractive, goes on easily, cleans quickly, matches the Watch case, and shows no wear and tear even after daily jogs. Clearly Apple is missing the accessory train by not building in some planned obsolescence to Watch accessories.
Marketing Bliss – Apple’s clever marketing techniques, which everyone knows drives the company’s customer demand for its expensive line of interoperable products, has created demand for a new gadget that no one was demanding. Engineering and design excellence? Pfft. Apple is all about clever commercials, titillating videos which highlight the steak’s sizzle at the expense of taste. How else does one explain that almost 3-percent of Watch owners to date are not satisfied with Apple’s newest digital trinket, a far lower rate than experienced by the original iPhone’s first customers.
Clearly, Apple’s gamble in wearable devices has created yet another profitable revenue stream for a company already plagued with problems trying to spend the profits it’s made on other products the past few years.