Later this evening Apple is expected to release details including price, street date and more application functionality information tonight at it’s Spring Forward event. The hype surrounding the release of Apple products has always been rather difficult to explain, but the watch release is unique in a few ways. One of the main questions when it comes to these new smart watch releases is how they will hold up with time. Purchasing a vintage diver’s watch can easily be seen as an investment into the future. The price of vintage timepieces tend to only increase with time, will the blend of timekeeping and technology be the same? Are people going to be handing down their Apple Watch to their grandchildren?
This doesn’t feel like an Apple product
One of the early criticisms of the watch stems from the fact that unlike most Apple products the Watch comes with a variety of different options, sizes, styles and colors. While Apple has offered color options before, the variations on the Watch are significantly broader than any Apple product before.
Fashion Audience vs. Technology Audience
One of the reasons behind offering so many options may be that Apple is venturing into uncharted waters for the company. They are stepping out of pure technology offerings and moving into an industry where style, value, investment and brand recognition are everything. Will Apple be able to break the mold and manage to create a product that moves from Technology to must-have fashion? Only time will tell.
Investment or disposable technology?
The rumored price points for the Apple watch are split between two very different markets. the entry level $349 sport version fits well into the mold of wearable technology / fitness accessories. This model of the watch isn’t surprising and will, according to most experts, do very well for Apple. The real interesting release however is the higher end fashion releases, rumored to be priced starting at $999 and moving up almost endlessly. Will Apple manage to capture yet another unseen market the way the iPad did with its release, practically inventing the tablet market?
The main negative that Apple needs to overcome is the fact that smart watches feel like disposable technology to most watch enthusiasts. The technology itself is very novel and actually does seem to address a few pain points that connected individuals encounter with their mobile devices. Watches however aren’t purely timekeeping pieces, they are status, they are engineering, they are a piece of jewelry that is an extension of your personality. How will the Apple watch stand up when compared to the big name watch as fashion brands of Rolex, Tag, Omega or Breitling? With comparable price points, the question is going to come up. Is the Apple watch a comparable investment?
Why we’re not handing down our first generation iPods to our children.
Technology advances at a breakneck pace, and each incarnation is an improvement on the last. Watches don’t follow that same pattern. Technology and watches have had an interesting relationship, look around and see types of watches most people are wearing, are they digital or analog? Vintage or modern? Most everybody carries a timepiece with them in the the form of their smartphone, why are people still wearing watches?
Watches are a connection to the past, they are engineering marvels from a time past. People wear watches and carry smartphones for opposite reasons. A watch is a decorative piece of art, a smartphone is a utility. Apple’s main concern will be how to turn their Apple Watch from a utility to a piece of art.