$10000 gold Apple Watch deemed ‘perfect for douchebags’

13 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

4 questions to ask yourself before you buy an Apple Watch.

With Apple’s Watch finally to be released, with pre-ordering starting April 10 and watches to be on store shelves – or on consumer wrists — from April 24, now is the time to ask yourself: Do you need the Apple Watch to change your life?UBS’s Steven Milunovich and Peter Christiansen have a note out on Apple (AAPL) today, about what they see as the Apple Watch’s main opportunities in the wearable space. There are a number of competitors in this fast-growing market, some that even work with Apple devices, which if you’re already firmly ensconced in the Apple garden is an important factor.

Like many others, I already use an iPhone, my work computer is a MacBook Air and there’s an iMac on my kitchen counter for displaying recipes, family photos, watching funny YouTube videos that family members want to share and keeping track of the digital deluge that’s part of a every family’s life these days. Apple enters wearables with two big advantages, according to Sonny: (1) other than Pebble, Apple Watch is the only wearable that works with iOS since most others are Android-compatible—in that sense Apple Watch has no competition; and (2) Apple offers customization, which no other wearable has. And then I plug it in and forget about it for days or months until all this talk about smartwatches reminds me I have one that I mostly like to use to track activities, so I drag it out again.

The most detailed data on this problem, a July 2014 Endeavor Partners study, tells us that about a third of all smartwatch and fitness band owners abandon their wrist wearables after six months. How much are you willing to pay for a watch that will let you open doors remotely, share your heartbeat with other Apple Watch users, or prompt you to get up off the couch? It starts at $449 – about the cost of a gym membership for a year – if you really want to splurge you can shell out a whopping $13,000 for a gold Apple Watch. By comparison, the new Pebble Time, which you can get on Kickstarter now starting at less than half that price, has many of the functions and apps you may want – plus because it’s an e-paper screen, its battery lasts much longer, up to seven days.

Trust me: I’ve been reviewing smartwatches since they became a thing, and once you run out of juice the first time, you’re already on the path to giving up. And several smartwatches on the market or coming soon are also water resistant – at a rating that actually lets them be submerged up to one meter for 30 minutes, which I figure is more than enough to survive a little snow melting in my jacket cuff, rain pelting on a run or even the shower.

Yet on Monday Apple confirmed that the Watch will allow voice calls from your wrist, just like Samsung’s Gear, an ambitious but seriously flawed smartwatch pioneer. But it’s also essentially useless, as none of these watches’ heart rate sensors can provide accurate real-time readings during the jumping and jostling of physical exercise.

Now, sure, you could argue that some smartwatch features are must-haves, that a smartwatch isn’t a smartwatch unless these features are present and accounted for. I think a much stronger Apple Watch would offer simple notifications, Passbook with built-in Apple Pay, HomeKit integration, and a full suite of timekeeping and personal messaging functions.

Indeed, Apple’s small, ostensibly trivial surprise-and-delight tricks (taps, sketches, stickers, and custom animated emojis) might be all the Watch requires to be a resounding success. So while you might buy the upcoming Apple Watch, you may not buy its second-gen follow-up if you feel you didn’t get your money’s worth, or some borderline features just didn’t work.

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