April 24th, 2015, the Apple Watch is scheduled to be released. It will fail. I’ll tell you why.
Initially, all the Apple fans will buy their obligitory new device to prove devotion. Everyone else will still be trying to understand why they need an expensive watch that’s even more delicate than a normal one. Everyone else will still be trying to figure out what that watch does for them that their iPhone doesn’t already do.
When someone traditionally thinks about wearing a watch, they want something reliable to tell time. If you look at the Citizen Eco watches, it helps keep the watch going without winding. Even without this, a traditional watch with watch battery is going to last years. One that uses a side winding many people do once a day, but it just takes a second and can be done anywhere. Automatic winding watches can be worn daily without much winding just due to the normal motion of your arms. The Apple Watch by contrast will have a rated 18 hour battery life. Post release, we will find out if that’s screen on time or not. In addition, Apple watch is charged using yet another special USB cable.
Another reason people often wear a watch is that some of them are downright beatiful works of art. Engineering wise Apple Watch is a work of art, fashion wise, not so much.
Considering the cost of the watch (something like $1k), you expect this thing to do something really neat that has never been done. The truth is, except for the fitness applications, I can’t really see the value in any of the other features to make people want yet another thing to charge, another thing to carry, and another thing to spend their hard earned money on.
In short, I think the Apple Watch is solving an aggregation problem that doesn’t exist, will fail to do it at a valuable price point, and will fail to do it well enough. The only possible benefit I can think of is for people who regret buying their iPhone 6+, so they want a small device again.
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