“If they are to be successful, tech gadgets need to have a clear purpose, function, and set of capabilities that people can easily understand and appreciate. If not, well… there is a large and growing bin of technological castoffs,” Bob O’Donnell writes for Tech.pinions. “Part of the reason that the wearable market hasn’t lived up to its early expectations is directly related to this existential crisis. Even now, several years after their debut, it’s still hard for most people to figure out exactly what these devices are, and for which uses they’re best suited.”

“Of course, wearables are far from a true failure. The Apple Watch, for example, has fared reasonably well,” O’Donnell writes. “The problem is that we were led to believe that wearables — particularly smartwatches like the Apple Watch—were going to be general purpose computing and communication devices capable of all kinds of different applications. Clearly, that has not happened, though some seem to hold out hope that the possibility still exists.”

“Those hopes were particularly strong over the last few days with rumors about both a potential LTE modem-equipped version of the Apple Watch coming this fall and a potential deal between Apple and CIGNA to provide Apple Watches to their health insurance customers. Some have even argued that an LTE-equipped Apple Watch is a game-changer that can bring dramatic new life to the smartwatch and overall wearable industry,” O’Donnell writes. “Color me skeptical.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We haven’t heard anything about Cigna, but we have heard reports of Aetna broadening their client’s use of Apple Watch.

As for the cost of the cell plan for the LTE Apple Watch, we’re hopeful that Apple has worked up something innovative with the carriers.

As daily Apple Watch users since Day One, we’re less skeptical than O’Donnell. An LTE-capable Apple Watch will be a game-changer.

CNBC: Next-gen LTE Apple Watch to launch in September – August 15, 2017
Apple and Aetna hold secret meetings to bring Apple Watch to the insurer’s 23 million members – August 14, 2017
Ming-Chi Kuo: Next-gen LTE Apple Watch to retain current form factor – August 14, 2017
How Apple could put an LTE radio into Apple Watch without killing battery life – August 7, 2017
An LTE-equipped Apple Watch could be a good sign for Intel – August 7, 2017
Apple Watch LTE will be a game changer – August 7, 2017
Apple plans to release a cellular-capable Apple Watch later this year – August 4, 2017
Apple Watch Series 3 reportedly set to arrive this fall – July 26, 2017
Apple Watch Series 3 could sport MicroLED display, cellular connectivity, Apple Smartbands – July 21, 2017
In major win for Apple, Aetna becomes first insurance company to subsidize Apple Watch – September 27, 2016
New ‘SweatCoin’ iPhone app pays people to get fit – May 5, 2016
Why you’ll wear an Apple Watch to keep your job – March 14, 2016
Share your fitness data for an Apple Watch – or cash – March 2, 2016
Tim Cook hints Apple might build a health device – November 10, 2015
Apple should double down on Apple Watch’s health sensors, battery life, and waterproofing – October 2, 2015
Health insurer will charge more for lazy people, less for active people, based on Apple Watch sensors – September 18, 2015

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]