Apple fans now know what to expect from the Apple Watch, so what improvements will we see when the Apple Watch 2 launches? It is not yet clear how successful the first Apple smartwatch will be, but some analysts believe that it could shift as many as 20 million units during 2015. A performance as strong as this, which would represent 10 times the number of Galaxy Gear smartwatches sold by Samsung, would be an excellent indicator for the future of the Apple Watch.
But a follow-up to the Apple Watch is absolutely inevitable, and obviously Apple will want to significantly upgrade the device in order to attract new customers. So here are some of the features that Apple could include in the 2016 edition of the Apple Watch.
Apple Watch trade-in / priority upgrade
One of the issues that Apple must address with the Apple Watch is the rapid obsoletion of the existing technology. This is something completely new to the watch marketplace, with timepieces manufactured by such classic designers as a Rolex tending to last for decades rather than years.
This is not a function of the mobile marketplaces within which Apple operates, with many people updating their iPhones on a yearly basis. So Apple needs to strike a balance between continually upgrading the Apple Watch in order to make it a viable device for the company, and at the same time delivering something which suits the lifespan of a watch, and does not become prohibitively expensive. Apple also cannot afford to abandon existing Apple Watch owners by not supporting previous models of the smartwatch in the way that Microsoft often discontinues versions of Windows.
The bigwigs at Apple will doubtless have a strategy in mind for every possible scenario related to this, but one way that they could curry favour with existing Apple Watch owners is by offering a trade-in or priority upgrade program. This could enable buyers of the first Apple Watch to get their hands on a sequel to the device at a priority rate, and simultaneously ensure that Apple has a constant supply of Apple Watch devices to sell to new consumers.
The other big issue that Apple unquestionably has to solve is related to the battery life of the device. As soon as the Apple Watch was announced, speculation began regarding the battery life of the smartwatch. This is another area where Apple has to reassure people that a smartwatch actually makes sense for the average consumer. People are not accustomed to having to charge their watch on a daily basis, and coping with a watch that could require this amount of charging will be a big evolution in people’s daily experience. And probably not a particularly welcome one.
We’re not yet quite sure what sort of battery life the Apple Watch will deliver, but we do know that it is likely to be significantly less than the Pebble Time Steel. This technologically market-leading device can last for 10 days on a single charge. It is unlikely that the Apple Watch can deliver this level of battery life, and indeed Apple products are notorious for being rather thirsty with power. But an Apple Watch 2 could conceivably deliver a battery life of three days per charge, which would at least be an improvement over the first smartwatch in the series.
Some analysts have suggested that including a camera with a smartwatch is unnecessary, and that it could necessitate certain privacy issues. However, considering that the Apple Watch already has the functionality included to act as a viewfinder for the camera in the iPhone, it could also be utilized as a full-scale camera. The Apple Watch 2 could be a useful selfie-taking device, and this would seem to be essential in order to attract the Facebook-generation to the device.
Improved water resistance
The first generation Apple Watch does feature a certain level of water resistance, but it would be fair to say that it is rather disappointing in this regard. This is unusual for Apple products, which generally feature stronger levels of water resistance. And it is particular surprising considering that health-related functionality has been strongly pushed in the promotional material relating to the Apple Watch.
If Apple wants the Apple Watch to be a serious health tracker for professional athletes then improving the water resistance should be prioritized in the second iteration of the device. It should be possible to utilize the Apple Watch smartwatch as a swimming companion, and this is something that Apple should be working on ahead of a 2016 release.
Improved health-tracking / functionality
Aside from improved waterproofing, Apple could also step up the health-related functionality in the Apple Watch. Although this is a major aspect of the existing Apple Watch, Apple experienced problems during the testing of the smartwatch which ensured that some of the features it had intended to be part of its portfolio will not debut in the first Apple Watch.
Apple cannot be blamed to strongly for these unfortunate technical issues. But the next twelve months should be spent ensuring that it gets on top of the issues and delivers the sort of health-tracking that it eyed and promised first time round.
This may seem like a simple suggestion, but an Apple Watch featuring a circular face would be extremely attractive to consumers. Apple has clearly worked extremely hard to produce an attractive Apple Watch, and the general consensus of opinion is that it has delivered in this department. But watches have always been associated with circular faces, and a smartwatch which possessed the traditional visage of a wristwatch would be an attractive proposition to consumers.
Apple has always excelled in the design department, and if anyone can deliver a smartwatch of this nature then it is Apple. This certainly merits serious consideration for the Apple Watch 2.