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Apple Watch: Does it give enough bang for your buck?

Posted: 15 May 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Apple Watch? wearable? iPhone? smartwatch?

Despite the anticipation leading to the Apple Watch release last April 24, the supposedly game-changing wearables in the tech industry has failed to tip the scales the way the iPhone did when it first came out. In fact, that may be why Apple has not released the initial sales figures. The market is still trying to decide: Is this device worth buying?

My verdict: It is not a winner yet, and it may never be unless it proves it's value. However, it is a marvellous piece of jewellery and a technological masterpiece. This intriguing gadget fully embodies Apple's design philosophy, and demonstrates keen attention to Apple's commitment to a better user experience. I would say that it is a very well executed and well-made product.

Apple Watch

Apple is the only one of the few smart watchmakers that understands that a watch is not only a status symbol but also needs to reflect the personality of the wearer. Unfortunately, the electronic nature of the watch means that it cannot begin to compete with its high-end mechanical counterparts.

The high-end watch landscape

If you spend a few minutes in some watch forums, you will understand how much some people are obsessed with their watches: spending time admiring their watches, taking pictures of their watches, bragging about their watches, sharing those pictures and dressing the watch with many different bands. It's also evident that they do a huge amount of research prior to making a purchase. The watch becomes a cherished possession that gets gifted to the next generation, especially Rolexes, Omegas, Pateks and even some Seikos. These individuals see a watch as a wise investment, since a Rolex holds its value.

Mechanical watches are pretty much eternal. They need little maintenance and come to life once they are worn again after being stored away. There are watches that are running like new even after 60 years. Meanwhile, divers watches keep running in the face of abuse, from mud to water, and still are stylish enough to be an attractive accessory on a formal occasion.

High tech rather than high end

That's the problem with the Apple Watch: the technological nature of it means that it will be outdated quickly. The high-end audience that might shell out the hefty price has questions: What do I do once it is watch functions slow down? How do I upgrade? That actually creates an interesting problem to solve and this could be another blog post.

Any spectator of the Apple Watch wearable unveiling probably harkened back to the first iPhone launch by Steve Jobs. In that moment, Steve Job's ingenuity was evident, just as this newest offering shows off how difficult it is for Tim Cook to fill Jobs' shoes. We can even argue the differences between an entrepreneur and a manager. When I started my pursuit of an MBA, I told the professor that I had joined Georgia Tech in hopes of learning how to start my own company. It was a good start.

Then I got introductions to the folks at Advanced Technology Development Centre (ATDC), a leading incubator for start-ups. The first lesson I learned: Find a problem to solve, find the person plagued by that problem, he'll stalk you for the solution, and all you need to do is solve the problem so well that it will be easy for him to adopt, and adopt to, the new way of doing things. Take the example of iPhone. When the product launched, it did three things very well: 1) making calls, 2) supporting email (that cool touchscreen), and 3) browsing the Internet. All three were available on a single, aesthetically pleasing device. Then, of course, the app store emerged and it exploded from there.

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