Is our wrist the new tech battleground?

It has been coming for a long time and it is finally here. We are talking about the iWatch, or as it’s officially named, the Apple Watch. But the question is, does it stand up to the world’s expectations and will consumers buy it?

Let’s start from the second part of the question – will consumers buy it? Yes, definitely. I am sure that millions will be sold as soon as they get officially released. The Apple Watch will generate mass consumer interest in the field of wearable electronics and will definitely help shake things up and generate some competition that will lead to exciting new products for us.

Now for the first part of the question, has the Apple Watch stood up to the expectations? No, Apple definitely did not unveil the next big thing last week. For me, it seems that Apple decided to play it safe and go to market with the absolute minimal that they believed would attract consumer attention.

Do not confuse my skepticism for lack of confidence in the product and Apple. The Apple Watch is definitely a very interesting product with some seemingly simple but very intuitive features, from the use of the crown as an input to the near field heartbeat/emoticon sharing functionality. What it is not, is the watch that will revolutionize the market of wearable electronics the day it comes out.

I believe that the current first iteration of the Apple Watch is a fitness tracker that can also serve as a second screen for your iPhone. What let me down is the lack of creativity and innovation in the Apple Watch, at least based on what we are used to and would expect from Apple.

What bums me is that I really can not shake off the feeling that Apple took the iPhone and worked on making it smaller and more compact so that it can eventually fit on top of our wrist instead of our palm. This first iteration of the Apple Watch is not the wristwatch reimagined, but the iPhone.

The Apple Watch gives me the feeling of just another smartwatch like the ones found on Kickstarter or sold by Samsung, LG and others, but with the finish and attention to detail for which Apple products are known. This is not of course something bad and as a product it will definitely do great, but it does not make it the next big thing that will revolutionize our digital life.

I think that Apple decided to play it safe for several reasons, one being the technology at hand at the moment, which definitely sets some limitations to the size and features of the watch and that is why there is this dependance on the iPhone. Second, it seems that Apple wanted to first test the waters and see the consumers’ reaction There is no reason trying to over engineer something and then realize consumers do not like it.

One other thing, which I believe is very interesting for mobile marketers, is that at the moment there does not seem to be a plan regarding advertising on the Apple Watch. It would be interesting to see if Apple has abandoned the idea of online advertising for this new product line or has something in the works for the future, definitely the possibilities are endless.

Running the risk of going off track, I would also like to connect the above with the fact that Apple seems to be withdrawing some of its efforts from the mobile advertising space. Apple has control of millions of mobile devices out there, but has not shown any interest lately in capitalizing them further, as far as advertising is concerned, besides iAds.

To sum up, the Apple Watch is not the next big thing, but it is a good product and definitely a great first step towards that direction. Having said that, as a technology enthusiast and wrist watch collector I am a bit disappointed and anxiously waiting to see the Apple Watch 2 in September of 2015.


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