Apple Watch, the world’s first real smartwatch, will be a massive hit

By SteveJack

Apple’s still got it. In spades.

Apple today revealed the world’s first smart watch and, once Apple Watch hits the market in early 2015, nothing will ever be the same.

In a tour de force exposition of hardware + software engineering prowess, Apple just sent the wannabes scurrying back to their drawing boards. Oh sure, Apple has likely patented much about Apple Watch, but we all know how much that’s worth. Still, as with the iPhone knockoffs, the copycats can only approximate so much; no matter what they do, it’ll never be a real Apple Watch. You can wave it at cashiers and airline gate attendants and nothing’s going to happen until your arm falls off.

Apple Watch, starting at just $349, will be a massive hit. Already in its nascent, first generation form Apple Watch is an object of lust, a compelling design that screams, “Wear me! Everyday and everywhere!” With its rather remarkable Digital Crown and pressure-sensitive Force Touch Retina display, precision engineering, exacting build quality, and pioneering user interface, Apple Watch proves that innovation did not die at Apple when Steve Jobs left us far too early.

Apple Watch in 42mm Stainless Steel Case with Milanese Loop
Apple Watch in 42mm Stainless Steel Case
with Milanese Loop
Initially, with six Apple watch straps, two sizes of Apple Watch cases, and three distinct collections – Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition – there will be a desirable combination and fashion statement for everyone. And, wow, are they gorgeous! And useful; more useful than most people yet realize.

Apple Watch is going to change everything. From its unique charging system that combines Apple’s MagSafe technology with inductive charging to it myriad sensors to social functions like Walkie Talkie, Friends, Taps (literally tapping others on the wrist via Apple Watch!), Sketch, Heartbeat, and Smart Replies to its Apple Pay integration to its Taptic feedback to its comprehensive Activity and Workout apps (sorry, Nike+, but buh-bye)… I’ve only just scratched the surface (figuratively, of course, I couldn’t scratch Apple Watch’s sapphire crystal Retina display if I tried).

Apple Watch
On the back of Apple Watch’s case, a ceramic cover with sapphire lenses protects a specially designed sensor that uses infrared and visible-light LEDs and photodiodes to detect your heart rate. Apple Watch uses this sensor, along with an accelerometer and the GPS and Wi‑Fi in your iPhone, to measure myriad types of physical movement.
The User Interface offered by Apple Watch is unmatched. Only Apple seems be able to muster the in-depth, sustained focus required to accomplish such natural, innovative, years-in-the-making UIs. The stupidwatches currently on the market were rendered even more anachronistic dead ends today. If you have one of these wastes of time: Sell it. Get as much as you can for that piece of junk, make room on your wrist, and get ready for the world’s first real smartwatch: Apple Watch.

Along with many millions of people, you are going to want an Apple Watch. All you have to do it touch it and see even a glimpse of what it can do and you’ll be sold.

Apple Watch already does so much, but once third-party developers get a hold of WatchKit and really dig in, the sky’s the limit!

Apple deserves a long standing ovation for Apple Watch. They have now proven definitively that they can still be “Apple,” exacting and demanding, without Steve Jobs shepherding over them. Tim Cook has proven his leadership to the world.

The Apple Watch is going to be a massive hit that sells millions upon millions of units.

SteveJack is a long-time Macintosh user, former web designer, multimedia producer and a regular contributor to the MacDailyNews Opinion section.

MacDailyNews Note:

Related articles:
Why would anyone buy an iPhone 5c instead of an iPhone 5s? – September 10, 2013
Why I’ll be buying an Apple iPad – along with millions of others – January 27, 2010
Apple’s App Store makes me want to cry – July 10, 2008
Is Apple building ‘The Device?’ – December 10, 2002

111 Comments

  1. Huge Apple fan, but I’m not sure about this thing. It’s clearly beautiful, elegant, and a master of engineering.

    It’s also bulky, expensive, and redundant. It must be used with an iPhone, and even though it has watch-specific versions of many apps, the more fully-featured apps are sitting in my pocket. Is it really better to have a dumbed-down version of these apps on my wrist vs. the full-featured one in my pocket? The phone is always with me anyway, so I don’t quite know (yet) what AppleWatch solves. It doesn’t even work as a standalone fitness tracker. It’ll get you steps and heart rate, but if you want to know how far you ran (for example), you still need the phone. And because it has to charge at night, you can’t use it as a sleep tracker (which would have been truly great).

    As with most first generation Apple products, the AppleWatch is underwhelming and expensive, and like the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, could be really amazing in 2 or 3 years–especially once Apple and third-party developers figure out the “killer app” for the watch. But for now, it doesn’t strike me as a must-buy.

    1. You might have said this about the new 2007 iPhone, especially priced at $600. But I wouldn’t have missed that for the world either. Count me in for an watch.

      I wonder if anyone’s clued into the fact Apple for the first time in a long time is not using an ‘i” before the device name? Could the pad, phone, tv and pod, etc. be far behind?

    2. You’re right about first gen products not being the best. But you miss a lot of points with this one:
      iPhone doesn’t have the sensors to check your heart rate. You have to look at it for “turn left/right” guidance instead of getting different buzzes; iPhone doesn’t have “walkie talkie” mode; iPhone doesn’t track total body movement; you have to take your iPhone out to silence a call instead of just covering it with your hand.
      It doesn’t HAVE to charge at night. Charge it in the evening and when someone brings out a sleep tracker, wear it at night too.
      It’s going to be worth looking at when it’s released next year.

      1. Uh, you don’t have to look at your iPhone for turn-by-turn direction, it speaks them to you. But the Apple Watch’s silent tap code for left and right turns when walking will seem like magic to your companions on walks. You’ll always know how to get somewhere.

    3. I agree with you. After watching all of the videos I can’t really see the usefulness of this device. Great engineering and design work, no doubt. However, I think this one will prove to be fad that will fade out after about six months.

      Proud owner of iMac, MacBook Pro, iPad 4, iPhone 5, iPod Nano.

    4. Invicta watches, which sell like hot cakes for prices ranging from $80 to $1500, are as large as 52-54 mm in diameter and almost 18 mm thick, before you add the crown. The Apple Watch at 42 mm X 36 mm and ~13 mm thick is small. The Stührling Meteorite Turbillon watch I wear daily is 44 mm in diameter and 14 mm thick. Yes, you can get thinner and smaller watches, but you pay a lot for small limited function. The Samsung Gear S watch is going to be 39 mm X 61 mm X ~11 mm, that’s a beheamouth. It looks like a wrist weight mated with Dick Tracy’s Wrist TV.

  2. It’s lightyears ahead of what the competition is churning out, but I can’t help but wonder if it doesn’t go far enough. I mean, what is the great problem that this is solving? What great interface need does this satisfy? Maybe that will become clear when it is released, or in the future generations when new technologies become available.

    For right now, though, I cannot help but feel that this will just be a cool accessory and not much else. Hopefully I am wrong. Hopefully there is something that I’m not seeing with this, or something that Apple hasn’t yet.

        1. I’ll second Predrag’s question: Didn’t you watch the presentation? Agreeing with MDN (and most others), this is truly an amazing piece of beauty and engineering. However, to repeat what I said elsewhere:
          “I heard nothing about the Watch camera! Oh… Sorry. That’s the Watch 2, I’m thinking about. Can’t do a Dick Tracy thing (look it up, latecomers) without a camera! As with the original iPad, there is wisdom in waiting for the second release.”

      1. Russ, I completely agree. I had also thought of that. In many cases, they may not even have to glance at their wrist either.
        On the other hand, I am making the assumption that Apple has some way to turn off ALL Watch notifications for those times when we really don’t want to be notified of anything at all. If not, there’ll be a bunch of lost watches after those people are forced to take them off! So… I’m sure there’s an off switch for all taps and other notifications. (Not really sure, but just talking that way.)

  3. Don’t know, will have to hold one first. This looks like it’ll be obsolete every two years. That a lot of money to keep spending. The $199.00 mark was the max of my pain threshold. I’m still using the watch my wife gave me at graduation so I guess I’m not the market.

  4. Wow Apple nailed it with the Watch. I was worried that they would make a round watch face which I think would of been a waste of screen space as the Moto360 only has a very small usable screen with the round face.

    I guess the Scumsung fans will hate the Apple watch because it doesn’t lag and doesn’t have ugly screws on the face lol. WTG Apple you just shat on the competition from a great hight.

    I Love the UI btw utter class Apple, utter class.

  5. SteveJack is back, yes that’s the sort of reviews we’ll be reading once the Apple Watch gets out there, too bad it won’t be in time for Christmas it would have been a bonanza.

    Great job Apple, finally some facts for the jouranalists to muse over. Let’s plunge that stock for a bit and sell millions of them like hot cakes.

  6. just went through some ‘hands on demo’ videos.

    The fact that you can change the Clock face: different shapes colours, customize them etc makes it more interesting than you first think (some are really attractive) . There’s a lot of thought put into making it easy to navigate the small screen. Looks really promising.

    the 349 price is cheap comparing to other ‘designer’ watches and those are so limited.

    as for the naysayers think of comments they made of the iPhone in 2007…

  7. A few months ago, I posted here what was wrong with all the existing “smart” watches. I compared them to the way smartphones were, before iPhone, and the fact that Apple’s competitors do not want to take risk, and be truly innovative (even if they had the ability).

    Before iPhone, the popular smartphones used a scaled-down PC interface, complete with tiny keyboard and a stylus for pointing instead of a mouse. “Innovation” to Apple’s competition is taking something that is already successful and “morphing” it, without fully considering usability. It’s just another form of copying…

    Before Apple Watch, the existing attempts at a smart watch were mostly the equivalent (lack of) “innovation.” They took the wildly successful iPhone touch-based interface and scaled it down to fit on a wristwatch, again without fully considering usability. Copying iPhone yet again…

    Apple’s true INNOVATION and RISK-taking are on full display with Apple Watch. The combination of Digital Crown, pressure sensitive touch display, and “haptic” feedback creates an entirely new interface, one that is optimized for a device that is worn as a wristwatch. Apple did NOT copy Mac and put it on iPhone. Apple did NOT copy iPhone and put it on Apple Watch.

    The other point is how Apple Watch interacts with iPhone. Apple Watch can do many of the things that were demonstrated, because it is linked to an iPhone. iPhone provides the Internet connection. iPhone provides the primary local data storage for the apps you use. iPhone provides the processing horsepower; that demonstration of using Siri to talk to Apple Watch works because iPhone is processing what you said (not Apple Watch).

    The design philosophy for Apple Watch is to NOT replicate what iPhone does already. Focus on other things that go beyond iPhone. So, there is no camera on Apple Watch, because if you want to take a photo or video, just pull out iPhone. There is no general web-surfing on Apple Watch… Etc. Apple Watch is not replacing iPhone.

    Instead, what’s REALLY happening here – Apple Watch lets iPhone do things it could not do before, and makes being an iPhone customer into a better experience. And if even 10% of iPhone (5 and later) customers buy an Apple Watch to enhance their iPhone experience, it will be a HUGE success. But I think it will be MUCH higher than just 10%. 🙂

    1. The reality is that Amazon and Samdung are firing in all directions and dont have the R&D resources to focus on one specific device. So instead they have to let Apple set the agenda and then copy the solution as best they can without getting their ass kicked in the courts for too much money.

  8. Well looks really good and really well made. In regards to it being expensive really its actually reasonable price. if its £300 or £350 here in the UK for a watch braun make more expensive watches

  9. All of the health monitoring hires were for this?

    Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t really expect glucose monitoring until the last few weeks when it was being mentioned *everywhere*, but I certainly expected more than just heart rate. Not sure how big a hurry I’ll be in now to even check it out. (Diabetic wife – I would have bought on release date if it had anything that might be useful to her.)

    Semi-expected, but disappointing to me for this one reason only.

    Otherwise looks very nifty!

    1. Cook said at the very end that the feature list of stuff they didn’t have time to show was a mile long. I suspect there is a whole lot that they have not revealed/got working just yet, because, yeah, they did hire a lot of health-related people.

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