Apple Inc.’s first wearable was finally released on Monday and the world now sees the complete package of the Apple Watch, but some pundits say it may or may not be a game changer. It took about three years for Apple to develop Apple Watch and as it promised, the wearable is out early this year.
Being their first wearable, Apple said the Apple Watch is their most personal device ever made. Aside from the typical timekeeping functions, the watch offers more. It is a precise timepiece that provides new ways to immediately and intimately connect, plus it serves as a comprehensive fitness and health companion, with a long list of built-in apps. Then, there is also Apple Pay.
Design-wise, the smartwatch comes in a stainless steel case, crafted from a 316L stainless which is cold forged to make it stronger. With a beautiful mirror finish, it is less vulnerable to corrosion. Apple Watch’ ultrahard display is protected by a precision-machined and polished sapphire crystal. Its bands are of three options – fine leather fluoroelastometer, Milanese loop and link bracelet.
Designed for fast interactions and quick looks, Apple Watch comes with an enriched ecosystem, some of which are already familiar, such as, Maps, Messages, Weather, Timer, Mail, Siri, Passbook and Music. Among the new apps are Workout, Activity and the Camera Remote, which makes the wearable a viewfinder for the iPhone’s iSight camera.
However, amidst the spotlight and the hype, Apple Watch may or may not be a game changer. According to GAM Investment Director Mark Hawtin on CNBC’S Tech Check, and as quoted by Insider Monkey, Apple’s watch is not revolutionary, just evolutionary. There is a possibility that people will rather anticipate Apple Watch 2 than diving into the first version.
While the iPod introduced something new during its time, Apple Watch does not. The tech market already has watches and fitness bands.
Though it comes with various fitness-oriented apps which, as Hawtin said, are its best, consumers can find the same features in many fitness bands with a price three times less. Apple did try to set the Apple Watch apart from the traditional watch market, trying to save it from being labeled as an accessory, but it may not sell in millions.
On the other hand, Steve Tobak expressed in FoxBusiness that he expects Apple’s first wearable to be a category killer this year. True, that the watch does not have a killer app, nor solve a problem.
Nevertheless, it was the same story as the iPhone, which did not solve anything before it debuted, and now everyone is playing on its multi-touch display, thousands of apps and virtual keypad. iPad came with no killer app just the same, but did not end up as a mere big iPod Touch. iTunes and iPod were not even expected to make waves in music.
According to Tobak, the Apple’s wearable can bring immense enhancement to the mobile experience by allowing people to make calls, compose message, navigate, make payments, monitor fitness, board planes and check in hotels, without retrieving a phone from their pocket. Apple Watch may or may not be a game changer, but it makes iPhone usage hands-free – so far the best way of sticking into Apple’s rich ecosystem, Tobak added. He thinks the Cupertino colossus will bring more unexpected change to communication, such as, relying on voice, instead of thumb control.
By Judith Aparri
Photo courtesy of Kārlis Dambrāns – Flickr License