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What's right (and wrong) with Apple Watch

While the Apple Watch won't go on sale until early 2015, we got a huge amount of information dumped on us, and ahead of getting our hands on a working Apple Watch, we can start to work out way through this information and come to some conclusions.

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Topic: Mobility
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The Apple Watch

Following months of mockups and renderings and guesses, Apple has finally unveiled its newest product line – the Apple Watch. And it wasn't a bangle or a snap bracelet or a small iPhone that you strap to your wrist. It's not even a smartwatch, it's a smart wristwatch.

While the Apple Watch won't go on sale until early 2015, we got a huge amount of information dumped on us, and ahead of getting our hands on a working Apple Watch, we can start to work out way through this information and come to some conclusions, as well as ask a few questions of our own, and take a peak into the crystal ball and make a few predictions about the Apple Watch 2.

See also: Wearables in business: Deployment plans, anticipated benefits and adoption roadblocks

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What's right with the Apple Watch?

  • Starting price: $349 is a great starting price. That's not going to scare people.
  • Design: It's an innovative design, combining some of the paradigms of a traditional wristwatch and of the iPhone, and adding a few new ones.
  • Embeds well into the iPhone ecosystem: iPhones ranging from the iPhone 5 to the latest iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus can play. That's a massive ecosystem of some 200 million devices.
  • Innovative: Not only do we have an innovative design, an innovative way to change and fasten the straps, the , the Taptic Engine, but it also thrown in innovative – and intimate – new ways for people to communicate.
  • Closely tied to health and fitness: Like having a small, benevolent drill sergeant on your wrist.
  • Doesn't look like a smartwatch: Looks more like a wristwatch than a smartwatch.
  • In fact, it isn't a smartwatch: People haven't been asking for smartwatches, and as, as pointed out by James Kendrick, "." At no point did Apple refer to this as a "smartwatch," and that's both telling and a very clever move.
  • Plenty of hype: Did the Apple unveiling generate a lot of hype? Yes it did.

Special Feature: Are Wearables Fit For Business?

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What's wrong with the Apple Watch?

  • Long ramp to release: Do people like waiting? Not sure they do anymore.
  • How well does it work? Demo units are a long way off from finished production units. Just how usable a design is it?
  • A look that might not suit everyone: Take away the straps and finishes, and the Apple Watch is a rectangular watch.
  • Tied to the iPhone: This is still a companion device, an accessory. It is not a standalone platform.
  • Some aspects feel gimmicky: Sending heartbeats and taps and little drawings kinda feels like a gimmick to me. But gimmicks like this can catch on.

See also: Wearables in business: Deployment plans, anticipated benefits and adoption roadblocks

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What are the unknowns?

  • Price: While $349 is a good starting price, this will be for the base model. It will be interesting to discover the price ceiling for this product (which, given that the high-end models are made using 18k gold, could be eye-watering).
  • Battery life: Seems like it is a "charge daily" piece of kit, which might rule out certain functionalities, such as acting as a sleep monitor.
  • Storage: How much storage will there be on the Apple Watch? How much space for apps?
  • Developer interest: Can Apple convince developers to support the new platform?
  • What's the lifespan? Are people going to have to buy a new watch every few years as the battery wears out from daily recharges? If you're into 18k gold timepieces, this could get pricey.
  • How durable? Apple products aren't renowned for their durability. Can the Apple Watch – especially the Sports variant – take bashes, bumps, and exposure to water and sweat?
  • Comfort: How does it feel to wear, especially day in, day out?
  • How much can it do without an iPhone? We don't know.

Special Feature: Are Wearables Fit For Business?

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What will Apple Watch 2 bring?

Let's take a peak into a crystal ball and make a few predictions as to what the Apple Watch 2 might bring.

  • Smaller and thinner: The Apple Watch looks like it is about as thick as the first-generation iPhone. While it's not as bulky as some Swiss watches – especially mechanical wristwatches – Apple will no doubt be keen to make future generations thinner and lighter.
  • Better battery life: Again, no doubt something Apple will be interested in.
  • Unified wireless charging with the iPhone and iPad: I'm surprised Apple didn't add wireless charging to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but now that Apple is dabbling in wireless charging, that will no doubt happen with future product incarnations.
  • Front-facing camera: This would have huge potential.
  • More sophisticated look: How long until there's a partnership with a designer to make the Apple Watch look sexier? My guess is not long at all.
  • OS X integration: Just as iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 are now closer than ever, expect the Apple Watch to tie into OS X soon.

See also:

Special Feature: Are Wearables Fit For Business?

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