Well, Apple have finally announced further details of their anticipated Apple Watch and I am seriously not impressed.
The anticipation for the event was high, expectations even higher considering Apple like to tout themselves as this handheld and wearables design messiah.
The incestuous fanboy brethren who live for every word their cult leader Tim Cook tells them also help further propel this grandiose perception of God-like perfection.
While the Apple Watch looks quite decent, it is definitely not the best looking smart watch out there. And when compared to a traditional timepiece, it does not matter if you have a sapphire coated screen, you cannot compete with the look and feel of a real watch.
Apple had a lot to live up too besides their self-inflated sense of importance and design prowess. They were beaten to market by all of their competitors: namely Samsung, Pebble and Motorola. They had everything to loose out of this event.
Other more affordable smart watches include the Motorola Moto 360 (an exceptional looking watch with a rounded face) and the Pebble watch (the e-ink variant).
While the Pebble watch is not as featured packed as Apple’s bloated kitchen sink watch, it looks nice and it has a great selection of applications. Not to mention it can last up to 7 days on a single charge. Imagine that, a watch that can last for more than a day?
Then you have the latest and greatest inclination of Pebble called Pebble Time with a steel variant, swappable bands and great battery life.
I am not sure what Apple were thinking and while I haven’t gotten my hands on Apple’s new watch, based on what I have seen and read, Apple’s honeycomb like approach to laying out the icons looks messy and is confusing.
Compared to the approach that competitors have taken, more specifically the Moto 360 and Pebble, I think Apple seriously missed the mark on creating a nice interface for their watch. They focused on the build quality, but the software suffered.
What is the matter with Apple these days? Their engineering feats are impressive, they produce beautiful and functional hardware, but the software quality has seriously been going downhill. What’s the point in having a beautiful device if the software sucks?
If you are going to charge considerably more than your competition your point-of-difference needs to be more than, “Well, it says Apple on it and it has a Sapphire screen” – the Moto 360 is one of the best smart watches out there at the moment.
While competitor offerings might not have as much industrial design flare or expensive sapphire coated retina screens, does it really matter?
There are three base models. You have, “Apple Watch Sport”, “Apple Watch” and “Apple Edition” – the edition model is 18 Karat gold and is the most pricey variant of them all starting at $14,000 and going up to $17,000. The cheapest is the sport variant which starts at still a steep $349.
Paying $14,000 for something that is going to be out of date in 12 months is a lot of money. The lifespan of the electronic components in the Apple Watch is probably half that of the battery life you get in a traditional timepiece like a Swiss watch.
To properly utilise the watch to its full potential, you will also need to own an iPhone. The price of a new iPhone isn’t cheap, so while it might not be a winning situation for you, for Apple’s shareholders it certainly is.
Don’t even get me started on the battery life. The Apple Watch (all editions) boast a supposed 18 hours worth of battery life before you need to charge it up on your magnetised charging mat.
Because 18 hours for a watch is impressive, right? Seriously. I get the Apple Watch is more than a watch, it’s a device you can use to quickly accomplish tasks you would previously use your phone for. But 18 hours is just not good enough.
Compare that to the battery life of an actual real watch battery of which some can last up to 15 years before needing to be replaced. Compare that to the Pebble which can offer up to 10 days.
The low battery life is of course due to all of the sensors, high resolution screen and network connectivity (wifi especially). The Pebble watch for example lacks a high resolution screen, opting for e-ink instead which is far more efficient and easier to read in all forms of light and glare.
Want the metal link band?
If you want to add a metal link band to your Apple Watch, it will set you back USD $449 to buy the metal link band to make your watch look less like a Fitbit and more like a real watch.
For the price of that band, you can even buy a decent watch for US $449 (complete with a metal link band as well).
The Apple Watch will undoubtedly sell. The Apple legion will buy it and for a brief moment in time, Apple will reap the fruits of their labour.
I seriously think Apple have priced themselves out of the watch market. They might be a highly regarded company with brand awareness few can boast of, but they’re not Chanel or Louis Vuitton, they can’t charge the kind of prices they are asking and expect it to be a successful long-term strategy.
Written on my now outdated 6 month old MacBook Pro 13" with Retina Display…