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TECH VIEW: Apple Watch will fail, is a product without a purpose

Posted On Wednesday, 11 March 2015 00:00 Written by
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It’s not often that Apple unveils a product that is viewed pretty much universally as ridiculous and unnecessary. Lots of people love Apple computers, millions love their iPhones and iPods -- some fanatically.

 

That’s not the case with the Apple Watch. Unveiled earlier this week at another of Apple’s grand events, the world waited to see what Cupertino had to offer in the wearables department. And everyone -- including Apple’s devoted followers -- was left highly disappointed.


Here’s a breakdown of why, despite what the cool commercials with catchy music will tell you for the next year or so, I can promise you that Apple’s newest product is dead in the water in terms of gaining any sort of sizable success.


A flawed idea from the beginning

First and foremost, there’s the thought I’ve had in the back of my mind since this product was announced (and to be fair, since any smartwatch was announced): “Nobody wears watches anymore.”

This is an undeniable fact for me and most people in the world.

I personally haven’t worn a watch on my wrist for about 20 years. For the past dozen or so years, it’s because I always have my phone on me and it tells me the time. Prior to that, I just didn’t want any extra baggage on my arm -- it was annoying so I stopped wearing one.

So even if it’s “smart” and can do all sorts of cool things, I don’t want a watch on my arm. Not from Apple or anyone else. I’ll stick with the phone in my pocket to do the tasks this product claims it can handle in a more timely manner.

I don’t want to check my email on my watch (I do that enough on my computer and phone as it is, give my mind and my eyes a break already).

 

I don’t want to watch any videos on my watch on a tiny screen. That’s just silly.
I don’t want to look at Instagram photos on my arm on a tiny screen either.


I don’t want to be talking into my watch and look like a completely ridiculous human being in the process. (and if I want to stream music via Bluetooth, I’ll do that from my phone)

Fitness devotees might like some of the fitness and health themed apps to track their activity, but there’s many more affordable fitness tech options on the market already.

To sum it up, I literally have no reason to want a watch on my arm for tech purposes.

 

And if I don’t want the tech and I’m not a fan of jewelry (which a watch basically is), then why on earth would I want a smartwatch? Even if Apple makes it and I have other Apple products that it can work with (you do need to pair it with an iPhone), what does it do that my phone can’t do already? Apple didn’t answer that on Monday, because there’s no answer that will sound good.

The Apple Watch is essentially marketing itself as cool, but can’t say that it’s functional -- not a good combo.

 

Battery woes

Apple claims the Apple Watch will get 18 hours of battery life. This is very weak for something you’ll probably wear all day other than when you sleep.


And guess what -- you now have another device you have to charge every night; Add that to your phone and probably a tablet, your electrical outlets are going to be a bit peeved at you. Beyond cost, this is just a pain in the butt.

Then there’s just the silly features on the watch which may be cool, but which have no great reason to exist. For example, you can connect an Apple Watch to another Apple Watch. Then any content from your watch can be shared with the other watch. Great, but you can also do that with your phone -- so what’s the point of getting a whole new device to do it?

People who have sampled the Apple Watch were not impressed, saying it was difficult to set up and that it doesn’t do much of note and has no definitive must-have app.

And as a side note -- if reaching for your phone takes too long and you have to learn something so instantly it needs to be on your wrist, your expectations for speed are way too high. Like Ferris Bueller said, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around for a while, you could miss it." … We don’t need to know everything instantly; and besides, we already do -- through our phones.

 

Tries to be high-end, but can’t compete with high-end brands

Apple can’t win with the strategy they have in terms of how this product is marketed pricewise. On one hand they are hyping the watch as a high-end product, even offering a $10,000 version with an 18-karat gold case (some variants of which are as costly as $17,000).

That’s oh-so-Apple of them (you know, the whole overpricing thing), but true watch aficionados, the only folks willing to spend that kind of money on a watch, would never buy an Apple tech watch for that price -- instead they’ll go with the trusted handcrafted watch brands they trust to last a lifetime.


The idea of any filthy-rich people skipping their trusted Swiss brands for an Apple watch that will be outdated technology-wise in a year or two is pretty silly.

At the same time, the regular version of the Apple watch is priced more costly than its competitors in the wearables market (lowest offering starts at $349 and many versions are closer to $1,000), but isn’t anything that special to look at and its materials aren’t leagues about the competition to merit the price difference.


Apple devotees only

Add all this up and you’ll come to one conclusion: Only the Apple faithful who must have EVERY Apple product will line up to get this thing

But unlike the iPhone, there probably won’t even be a line. Even fans of the company and its products -- those who buy every iPhone and iPad and regularly replace their MacBook Pros -- will probably come to the same conclusion I did when this idea was first announced and ask a basic question that will continue to define this product and all wearables.

“Who wears a watch anymore?”

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Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.
AutoTechReviews can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview; Follow the AutoTechReviews Facebook page at
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Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

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