Thoughts on the Apple Watch

by Colin Berkshire

The big news last week was Apple’s watch. It tightly integrates with the iPhone and the price starts at $350.

Everybody’s all excited about the Sapphire display glass which keeps it from getting scratched. But what nobody seems to have noticed is the footnote: the $350 model has a glass screen, not Sapphire. Does the press no longer have the ability to read?

The Apple watch comes in three different case styles: aluminum with glass screen, stainless steel with sapphire crystal, and gold with sapphire crystal. No indication what you will end up having to pay for the model that has the no-scratch sapphire screen. Apple hasn’t disclosed this.

The early feedback from my wife says that the watch is still too bulky. Thus, it is making an “I am a geek” statement. She’s not sure that she wants to wear it. She also made the comment that the wristbands all look very masculine. For us geeks, I think it’s a reasonable compromise between pulling the phone out of your pocket every few minutes and being a Google Glasshole.

What especially bothers me is that some of the highlighted features seem rather juvenile. The ability to send your heartbeat to a friend, for example. Or, the ability to draw a pony on the screen and send it. Perhaps a unicorn?

Fortunately, Apple’s market is large enough that they can sell an object like this to the bleeding edge male geeks and make enough profit to fund version 2.0. By then they will probably start to focus on what woman would like.

My wife suggests that the watch should simply be an electronic cartridge that you can pop into a real designer bracelet, such as a Cartier. It’s probably difficult for Jony Ive to be willing to delegate the designer part of a watch to companies that really understand that market.

My biggest disappointment is that you have to take it off and charge it each and every night. What a hassle. And, so much for its ability to do sleep tracking.

It looks and acts like a version 1.0 product. It will certainly become more refined and smaller over time. That is, if they sell enough of this one.

The one real innovative idea is the Apple Watch’s launch pad. It’s far superior to the current iOS home screens. Really, they should’ve concurrently introduced this feature on the iPhone and iPad in iOS 8. Then everything would’ve fit together.

Apple has had three years since the Pebble watch proved demand for this market. I think we’ve established that Tim Cook is likable, but not a driven individual like Steve Jobs. He runs an affable bureaucracy that borders on being lethargic. All bureaucrats that I’ve ever met feel that they are running at a breakneck pace. I’m sure he does as well.