Drudge had a link - PAPER: Apple watch doomed. . . or something like that. It sounded like a reasonable financial report, because it had PAPER: in front of it. Turns out it’s another guy who wants to wave his arms and say OVER HERE! MAN WITH NO IMAGINATION!
Apple released the much-anticipated — and much-hyped — Apple Watch last week, with CEO Tim Cook putting its best face forward. Unfortunately for Cook, he never gave us a reason to want or need the gee-whiz gadgetry.
This us you speak of. Who would that be? The people who see the device as something that boils down the smartphone interactions to something simpler that doesn’t require taking out the phone to interact? Because you know how that goes - take it out, stab here, do something, put it away. This moves that to your wrist, so you look and dismiss without hauling out the slab.
When Steve Jobs debuted the iPod, it too was not the first to turn MP3 music into gold — but he made you want that device. “The coolest thing about the iPod is that your whole music library fits in your pocket,” he said. Boom! Sold!
And everyone loved it! Everyone! Except the bleating of the tech press that insisted it had been done before and done better, and this was overpriced and Mac only and doomed, I tell you, har har, doomed like Apple itself. And then it sold a bazillion units because it was . . . easier. And better.
Last Monday, I didn’t hear that. What came to mind was another much-ballyhooed gadget.
Like the iPad? Maligned for its name (hur hur menstruation) or its size (It’s just a big iPhone why would you I can’t even) or the fact that someone else came out with a tablet that had a STYLUS, DUDE, and this is just more fanboi fodder for der sheeple. Look, I’ll be honest. I have an iPad mini, and sometimes I think I’ll never buy another iPad. Because this one is perfect. It’s small and lightweight and does everything I want. Books, web, games. Now if they made the screen eye-blindly sharp with 3d holomatrix projectors, we’re talking upgrade, but for now this is all I want in a tablet. The iPad. Which was a much-ballyhooed gadget.
Cook is trying to reinvent the watch, but Google didn’t have much luck trying to re-imagine eyeglasses.
This is like saying Henry Ford is trying to reinvent the watch, but Lucius Beaufont didn’t have much luck breeding horses with cars.
Google put a video camera with e-mail and telephony capabilities on a pair of glasses. They released the narcissist’s dream on April 15, 2013, to 8,000 hand-picked “Glass Explorers” at a price of $1,500 … plus $225 for prescription lenses.
Google’s past failures are direct and incontrovertible evidence of future Apple failures.
On May 15, 2014, Google Glass was released to the public. And on Jan. 15, 2015, Google announced that it had stopped production but remained “committed to the development” of the glasses.
(Apple Watch product team sees that timeline and shudders in anticipatory dread)
Here are a few reasons not to buy this timeless gadget. For starters, the pricing model is flawed. The opening commitment if you do not have an iPhone is just under $1,000 to replace your Timex.
The market is not people without an iPhone. The market is for people who have a recent iPhone, and people who want to upgrade. After that the market is everyone else who will be interested in switching because of the phone-watch combo. Also, your “Timex” does not display texts or play music or give turn-by-turn directions or let you send a custom doodle to your child on the other side of the planet, but details, details.
To operate the Apple Watch, you need an iPhone, which offers many of the functions of the watch, including the time.
Just as the iPhone offered many functions of a laptop, including the time, and email. So why would anyone want one of those.
A watch that can run up to $17,000 and is not called Rolex, Breitling or Patek Philippe is not a bit much, but a whole lot much. Those high-end watches tend to be good investments over time.
The basic Watch starts at $400. The high-end Apple watch is pitched at a rarified stratum of people for whom money is no object. Imagine a car company. Imagine a car company that sells affordable cool cars and amazing expensive sports cars that do 150 MPH. Imagine people judging the low-end car’s ability to get from point A to point B solely on the basis that the company sells an expensive car.
The Apple Watch is certain to be relegated to a drawer in a year or two when it’s replaced by the Apple Watch 2, with more bells and whistles.
I remember buying the first iPod, and thinking “sure glad this will never be improved, and I can use it forever without thinking any aspect will benefit from incremental improvement.”
Because it’s “cool” or super-functional doesn’t mean it’s practical.
It’s interesting how someone who said there was no reason to want or need the Watch thinks it’s super-functional. That would suggest it had functions and was super good at them. But impractical!
Look. Let me tell you about this thing. The battery life will disappoint, probably. For now. It will take some time to get used to the crown, and navigation may seem wonky at first. For now. The first commercials for the iPhone were idealized, but everything they said the device would do is what the device does.
Just remember, Google Glass was heralded as one of the best inventions of 2012.
And the iPod was heralded as one of the best inventions ever . . . years later. By people who said “well of course it turned out to be awesome. But is Apple innovating now?
I’ve said it before: you’re a parent whose child is off in college or on vacation or backpacking around, I don’t know, Vietnam. Phone buzzes. You take it out. You see the text. You thumb the button. You see the picture. You smile and text back a message.
Or: You get a tell-tale tap on your wrist, the signal it’s your child. You glance at the screen; it’s a picture of where she is. You draw an exclamation point, and a minute later on the other side of the globe it taps her wrist in a repetition of the gesture you set up.
Plus, paying for groceries by waving your hand over the terminal. Remember the days when you had to use your thumbprint? Gawd.
Here’s something by someone who’s actually used one. Compare and contrast.