That’s exactly the way it’s been with new Apple products for as long as I can remember, and I can remember so far back in modern tech history that I’ve already forgotten what I don’t remember.
Here are a few comments I picked up last week about Apple’s ‘newest’ device.
“I still can’t believe this! All this hype for something so ridiculous! Who cares? I want something new! I want them to think differently!”
“I was so hoping for something more.”
“Heres an idea Apple – rather than enter the world of gimmicks and toys, why dont you spend a little more time sorting out your pathetically expensive line up? Or are you really aiming to become a glorified consumer gimmicks firm?”
“Why oh why would they do this?! It’s so wrong! It’s so stupid.”
If those comments sound familiar it’s because they came from MacRumors forums after the iPod was introduced in 2001. Similar comments came after both the iPhone and iPad were launched, and now we’re getting the same thing with Apple Watch.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion, of course, but opinions before a product is released into the wild doesn’t carry much weight and shouldn’t be give much consideration. So, here’s mine.
Though I’ve collected a dozen or so through the year I hate to wear a watch. It’s a bauble I don’t need, and the only thing it does is tell time, and my iPhone, which goes wherever I go except the shower, does that already– and a whole lot more.
That said, I’m a candidate for Apple Watch. A perfect candidate. Why?
Because it comes with convenience and luxury in a single, beautifully designed device that acts as a simple extension to the iPhone that’s in my pocket. Instead of fishing around in my pocket or backpack for my phone when it rings or alerts me to this or that, Apple Watch will gently tap my wrist. All I need to do is flick the wrist up and glance at the watch screen.
The screen comes on with whatever recent alerts have been received to my iPhone, but I have options to respond. That alone is worth the price of admission for many iPhone users, but that’s not where Apple stopped.
In other words, there’s more going on inside Apple Watch than merely telling time, but let me jump to the fashion and style issue because that’s equally important on a device that gets worn. If you’ve read some of the commentary online you’ll note that it’s all over the map.
One watch executive loves the design, while another says it was designed by a high schooler. Another critic says Switzerland’s luxury watch industry is in no danger (similar to what the smartphone industry’s pundits, critics and executives said when iPhone was introduced, and we know how that turned out), while yet another says Apple’s positioning is brilliant.
Remember, the iPod was hefty, clunky device that just happened to be easy to use, and solved a problem many of us didn’t know we had– portable music in your pocket. From then on Apple redefined the iPod, making it smaller, lighter, and more powerful.
Do you honestly think Apple Watch will look like this in five years?
Two years from now all the internal components will be smaller, lighter, faster, and have longer battery life. I foresee a round Apple Watch within 24-months after launch, and many more styles.
The iPhone has a wonder ecosystem of accessories– cases, for example. Guess what? Within a year you’ll be able to choose from a few thousands Apple Watch bands and custom watch screens.
Let me finish up with the convenience factor. For now, Apple Watch is an extension of the iPhone. The heavy lifting of processing and data storage are on the iPhone. That won’t be the case in a few years. Fitness, scheduling, Mail, Messages, alerts, alarms, and Notifications will give way to tens of thousands of apps, extensions, games, and utilities just made for Apple’s little high resolution screen.
No, Apple Watch won’t sell in the same numbers as iPhone or iPad and maybe not even the Mac (initially), but it’s sufficiently well-designed, utilitarian and beautiful, that it will sell, and it will spawn copycats, and it will have an impact on the watch industry.
That’s my two-cents.