Should you buy the Apple Watch when it goes on sale in April or should you wait? This is the dilemma facing Apple fans and it is a tough decision to make. Here are some thoughts on the matter that might help you to make up your mind.
The Apple Watch is almost here and for some, the day it finally goes on sale cannot come soon enough. Will you be queuing up outside the Apple Store on launch day? It is interesting to look at past launches of Apple products and how they have changed over the years.
The iPhone for example, was launched back in 2008 and while it may have been revolutionary, it wasn’t good. At least not compared to today’s iPhones. For example, it had a 3.5in 480 x 320 pixel screen (it is hard to believe, but it really was that low resolution), it lasted for just 5 hours talking on 3G, had a 2 MP camera, and only a handful of unexciting apps. Version 1 wasn't good.
Today’s iPhone 6 Plus has a 5.5in 1920 x 1080 pixel screen, 24 hours of talk time on 3G, has an 8 MP camera, and a million apps. Processing power has jumped by an equal amount too.
I did not buy the first generation of iPhone because it just wasn’t good enough. However, a few generations later, it was a great phone and I have had one for several years now.
It is the same story with the iPad and the original model was, big, heavy, had a low resolution screen, no camera, and hardly any apps at all, unless you wanted to run iPhone apps scaled up which made them all blurry. It weighed 0.68 kg, was 13.4 mm thick, had a 1024 x 768 pixel screen display, and no camera. Version 1 wasn't good.
Today the iPad Air 2 is so different it is amazing. It weighs 0.44 kg, is 6 mm thick, has a 2048 x 1536 pixel screen, has two cameras, including an 8 MP unit, and hundreds of thousands of apps. Processing power is off the scale compared to the iPad 1.
I did not buy the first generation of iPad because it really wasn’t that good. A few generations later and lots of amazing new technology, and I now have two iPads.
The iPod is the same and if you check out the specifications of the original, they are primitive not only by today’s standards over a decade later, but also just three years after the original launch.
This brings me back to the Apple Watch. It is interesting and one day it could be a fantastic device. However, I always avoid version 1 of anything. Products develop at a rapid rate when they are first introduced and the difference between this Watch and the second or third generation will be amazing.
The Apple Watch is big and thick and future models will be thinner and lighter (Apple loves thinner and lighter). Apple Watch lasts for only a day without needing a recharge, or just a few hours if you constantly play with it as you might when you first get your new toy. Future models will last a week or more. The number of apps at launch is very limited and we may well see hundreds or thousands in a few years. Apple Watch will simply get better and better.
This isn’t so bad if you buy the cheapest Sport model because then you can afford to change it when Apple Watch 2 is launched next year, which if other Apple products are anything to go by is surely a safe bet. If you buy the Apple Watch Edition costing $10,000 to $17,000 you are going to be stuck with it for a very long time, unless you are super rich and can afford a new one each year. Look how fast the iPod, iPad and iPhone changed in years two, three and four. You can expect the Apple Watch to do the same.
I will not be queuing up outside an Apple store for the first edition Apple Watch. Never buy version 1 remember. In a couple of year’s time when the third generation Watch comes out (gen 2 next year, so gen 3 is only two years away), I may well buy an Apple Watch. It will be immensely better than today’s model and probably a lot more useful too.
Some people say that Apple Watch will bring about a revolution in wearable technology and some people are expecting sales of up to 40 million over the next year. There are several reasons why this might not be the revolution everyone is expecting. Firstly, it only works with an iPhone. Half the world uses Android phones and so Apple Watch just isn't an option. This cuts down the potential size of the market enormously.
The iPod, iPad and iPhone could be bought and used by anyone. The Apple Watch cannot. In fact, even some iPhone owners will not be able to use it because it is compatible with the iPhone 5 and 6 only. A lot have been sold, but there are still iPhone 4 and 4S users out there.
Some people have stopped wearing watches and look at their phone when they want to know the time. I haven't worn one for five years.
If you are the sort of person that likes expensive watches, you probably won't like the Apple Watch. Nothing Apple has said or posted on its website suggests that the Apple Watch Edition, which has a starting price of $10,000, is any different to a $349 Apple Watch Sport. You appear to get a $349 digital watch in a $9,751 to $16,751 case and strap. If you buy an expensive Rolex or whatever your favourite premium brand of watch is, you actually get a better watch and internally it is superior to a $349 watch. This is not the case with Apple Watch.
I think it will take several years of development before smartwatches become common and they just aren't quite there yet.
- Written by Roland Waddilove
- Published: 22 March 2015