The most anticipated gadget of the year is finally here, with a slightly different name than what we had all been expecting. The Apple Watch (which nearly everyone had assumed would be called the iWatch in line with Apple’s other product lines) has just been unveiled by Apple CEO Tim Cook. It will be available early next year starting at $349, and while it looks like a solid product there’s no obvious ‘killer app’ that will really set it apart from other smartwatches already on the market.
Apple Watch delivers, but without much surprise
In today’s presentation Cook called the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Watch a “precise and customizable timepiece” and a “comprehensive health and fitness device,” that is “as much about personal technology as it is style and taste,” reports Josh Ong at The Next Web. Of course all of that is important, but none of it is really surprising.
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Most smartwatches sell themselves as extensions of your smartphone that’s especially useful for a handful apps like receiving notifications, health and fitness (smartwatches are perfect for quick glances during a workout and conveniently can track your pulse), and of course as a timepiece. The Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Watch has six different straps that you can swap between depending on which you think looks best (I’ll leave it to others to comment on whether the Apple Watch is stylish).
Cook also said that the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Watch knows when you raise your arm to look at it, that it uses haptic feedback for notifications, that it uses inductive charging and takes dictation with Siri – all good features, but again it’d be more surprising if they were absent.
None of that is to say that the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Watch is a disappointment, the Moto 360 has apparently sold out and the Apple Watch will probably be a hit when it launches as well. The Apple Watch also has the important distinction of providing iOS support and connecting you to the larger Apple ecosystem of apps and the iCloud. But for now consumers are likely to choose smartwatches based on the smartphone they have and not the other way around, so the Apple Watch will probably track the iPhone’s market share providing another revenue stream for Apple but not breaking open a new market like it has in the past (iPod, iPhone, iPad).