Tim Cook made good on his promise last week, he definitely launched Apple into a new category; but successfully is another question?
Apple’s last major product introduction was in 2010, when Apple launched iPad. Now, 4 years down the line, we see Apple attempting another move to dominate a market – the wearables.
The Apple Watch marks Apple’s first wearable piece of technology in a market that is becoming saturated. Apple’s competitors have already made their presence known, Google, Samsung, LG and Motorola have all launched their own personal-wearable gadgets; meaning Apple has a large mountain to climb even before it launches the Apple Watch.
But what’s all the fuss about? Hmmm… Apple would like you to think that Apple Watch is the most revolutionary, ground breaking, diverse piece of technology we’ve ever seen – in reality, it might be just short of that. Myself, I am undecided on Apple’s timepiece. But looking objectively, Apple has launched a smart watch that allows you to tell the time, view maps, communicate through text and calls whilst having access to various notifications. These aren’t new features, they aren’t groundbreaking.
Where things do get interesting is the way Apple goes about allowing us to access our content. Intelligently (as you’d hope), Apple realised pinch-to-zoom wouldn’t work on a 1.5 inch display, hence the introduction of a digital crown. The wheel of the watch allows you to zoom in and out of the interface, wherever you are. If you’re navigating the circular menu, which looks like it would be more at home on a circular watch than a square, you can zoom via the digital crown. If you’re wanting to enlarge pictures, you can zoom via the digital crown and on maps, you can zoom via the crown. I think you get the drift. Apple also allows you to interface with the Watch simply by touch. On a screen that small, Apple built in the ability to detect force and hence ‘force push’. Allowing users to access more options by pushing down on the display.
Apple has the added benefit of design experience. Apple Watch, admittedly, has a clean, sharp and stylish design. Made of aluminium and available in 18-karat gold, it is there to make a statement. Apple has design nailed to a ‘T’. Customisation is at the core of Apple Watch and the user can set their own clock face and grab a matching watch strap to go alongside.
I’m not 100% set on the use of a smart watch yet; let alone Apple’s smart watch. I think there is a lot left to be seen. If you asked me now, I’d call it a gimmick. Apple has a good history at selling anything, regardless of price – so the $349 price tag won’t put anyone off. The industry is ripe for the picking, the possibility of selling third party straps is a major money maker. It has all been thought out. The fact that Apple is also selling three watches, a standard, sports and gold watch shows how they’ve sized up this market. $$$.
Time, it’s a big player in this new product. Apple won’t launch Apple Watch until 2015 and then the clock starts to tick. Does Apple have what it takes to galvanise another industry – that has yet to be seen. The Apple Watch, I hope, will be a first for Apple in the wearable market. Only that way can Apple beat the clock and avoid Apple Watch beaming a viral fad.