Apple Event Recap

Apple Watch

Ok… let’s get the important information out of the way first:

  1. Apple Watch will be available for pre-order on 2015-04-10
  2. Apple Watch will ship and be available for general purchase on 2015-04-24

Pricing for Apple Watch will be as follows:

  • Apple Watch Sport – Comes with 2 Fluoroelastomer (large and small) bands
    • 38mm – $349
    • 42mm – $399
  • Apple Watch
    • 38mm – $549 – $1049 depending on the band you get
    • 42mm – $599 – $1099 depending on the band you get
  • Apple Watch Edition – 18k Rose Gold Case
    • 38mm – $10,000 – with White Sport Fluoroelastomer band
    • 42mm – $12,000 – with White Sport Fluoroelastomer band
    • Prices climb $2,000 – $3,000 with every price tier (by band type, by 38mm and 42mm respectively
    • Current prices top out at $17,000

apple

Bands are available for separate purchase, but range in prices from $49 (for Fluoroelastomer sports bands) to $449/$499 for the Link Band (38mm/42mm, respectively).  It doesn’t seem that you can mix and match Apple branded bands between versions. In other words, you can’t put a 38mm Apple Watch Link Band on a 38mm Apple Watch Sport.  However, I’ve seen on iMore that third party bands will be released shortly after Apple Watch is publicly available, and a Link Band should be available to fill that use case/ need.  That’s good, because quite honestly, I hate rubber watch bands. I have one on the Fitbit Surge that I’m currently reviewing, and honestly I don’t like that band at all.  Its constantly sweat lined underneath as it doesn’t breathe at all, and my skin is either negatively reacting to the latex like material or something else in the band, as I occasionally have a light rash underneath it that disappears a day or so after I’ve taken the Surge off and left it off. I anticipate having a similar problem with Apple Watch and the Fluoroelastomer band when it arrives.

Over and above the cost – which can be considerable…for a watch – there seems to be a bit of confusion on the product itself. Not everyone understands what it’s supposed to do or who its target customer might be.  Many people are concerned that the high price and the limited functionality of a wearable computing device will limit is real use. According to Karen Haslam, editor of UK magazine,  “…the Apple Watch is going to have to do a lot more than notifications, tell the time and monitor our fitness if its [going] to change our lives and justify its [high] price tag.”

She’s right, too. With Apple Editions costing well over $10,000 USD, Apple is going to have a huge issue with obsolescence and Watch.  NEXT year’s version will likely have a better processor, more and/ or revised sensors, and better battery life.  How they update Watch and make some or most of the new stuff available to CURRENT watch owners is something that Apple Watch and Edition owners are going to be watching.  I’m not saying that at $350USD the device is disposable, but when you invest that much and more into a wrist mounted computing device, it needs to last for more than a year or two…ESPECIALLY if you spend hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars on it. (The latter, especially…)

While all that Apple seems to be touting with Watch right now – notifications, time telling, and fitness monitoring – in a nutshell, I would expect a number of firmware and OS updates to both Watch and to iOS in the coming months, designed to specifically increase Watch’s value, its functionality AND its battery life.

Battery life is a huge lynch pin, if you ask me.

Currently, the Apple Watch is said to have 18 hours of battery life with moderate use during the day.  This means that you’re likely going to get up in the morning, get dressed, put on Watch, and then go about your day.  When you get back to the house at the end of your day, you’re likely going to have to charge it – at least overnight – to prep it for use the next day.  This means that its likely NOT going to do sleep analysis as part of your fitness and health tracking. It can’t… it won’t have enough power.

Apple faced a similar challenge with iPhone when it was released in 2007. No one understood where the iPhone was meant to sit or what it was going to do, or how it was going to do it.  I’m assuming that Apple has a similar vision for Apple Watch.  Not everyone may see it. Everyone may not understand it; but I’m also thinking they didn’t understand or see the vision that has become the success of the iPhone, back in 2007, either.

So…

Is Apple Watch destined for a wrist near you?  Does it offer enough value for its apparent high cost? If its cost came down, would you be better interested in/ more likely to purchase one?  Do you think the product and its capabilities lived up to the hype?  Do you think Research Kit paired with an Apple Watch and/ or an iPhone provide a better value proposition than one or the other by itself?

I’d love to hear what you have to say in the discussion area below.  Please join me there and share your thoughts on anything in this article.

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