Why I’m breaking up with the Apple Watch

“I wanted it to work. I wanted to fall in love, like so many of my friends. ‘It takes a while,’ they said. ‘Don’t expect a coup de foudre. Let it build over time,'” Vanessa Friedman writes for The New York Times. “So I did. I knew other people looked at what I had with envy. But a month and a half after we first got together, I have decided it is time to — well, call time.”

MacDailyNews Take: I’ve been enraptured by the iPhone since January, but I never intended to keep it. Two weeks ago I spent a whole day in line waiting to get one, but as I explained at the time, I did so mainly out of a professional obligation. To me, a $600 phone seemed at least $300 too rich.Farhad Manjoo, “Why I returned my iPhone,” SALON, July 13, 2007

Friedman writes, “I am breaking up with my Apple Watch. The relationship was, despite all expectations, not what I needed. Still, I will never regret the weeks we spent together.”

MacDailyNews Take: You’ll tell me to get a room, I’m sure, but this much is true: This is a love story, but it’s a love that, alas, must remain unrequited, at least for now.Farhad Manjoo, “Why I returned my iPhone,” SALON, July 13, 2007

Friedman writes, “Not only does its face effectively span the width of my forearm, but the cool little screen saver that so many reviewers have lauded — the Mickey or the butterfly or the galaxy (which is the one I have) or the pseudo-watch hands (the one that, notably, is always on in every picture of the watch, and actually makes it look like a watch) — is also functionally sleeping most of the time.”

MacDailyNews Take: As a phone, it’s middling (or it’s fantastic and stuck on a middling network, which amounts to the same thing); it’s missing some key features; and even though many of these features could be added by third-party developers, Apple has locked it up… The iPhone’s portable Web, as great as it is, runs on EDGE, and thus is too damned slow.Farhad Manjoo, “Why I returned my iPhone,” SALON, July 13, 2007

Friedman writes, “Not that it would do much good. Typing doesn’t awaken the picture. Even when I rock my arm back and forth energetically, it often takes a few tries before up the earth pops. The default position is blank. And the small screen is simply too small to really read on, so I’ve been more annoyed than happy when it alerted me to texts from my loved ones; and when I saw a headline, all I wanted to do was find the rest of the story.”

MacDailyNews Take: Other omissions aren’t as painful, but they grate: There’s no clipboard, no voice dialing, no way to add wallpaper or ring tones, no search function for contacts or e-mail, no native instant-messaging application, and no way to fully sync the phone’s calendar with Google Calendar.Farhad Manjoo, “Why I returned my iPhone,” SALON, July 13, 2007

Friedman writes, “Besides, the busywork the watch’s apps can replace — handing over airline boarding passes, opening hotel room doors — seems less like an advance than a loss of control. Call me a Luddite, but honestly, I don’t mind unlocking things with my actual hands.”

MacDailyNews Take: But sometimes technology excels exactly when it eases the banal, when it lifts the pressures of the workaday life. I imagine that before they changed everything, refrigerators once struck some people as rather too grandiose, too — what was so wrong with the icebox?Farhad Manjoo, “Why I returned my iPhone,” SALON, July 13, 2007

Friedman writes, “The new watch OS announced this week may change the situation, but I am not sure I have the patience to wait.”

MacDailyNews Take: I’m counting on Apple to fix all these, and I’m counting on coders everywhere to help. .. But this phone — the phone as it exists right now — is not worth the $600 plus two years of AT&T service (that is, more than $2,000 total). This will change soon. For me, indeed, it’s right on the edge; they could just add voice dial and I’d snap it up. But I couldn’t wait.Farhad Manjoo, “Why I returned my iPhone,” SALON, July 13, 2007

Friedman writes, “The watch isn’t actually a fashion accessory for the tech-happy. It’s a tech accessory pretending to be a fashion accessory. I just couldn’t fall for it.”

MacDailyNews Take: My iPhone, meanwhile, will presumably fly back to Apple to be cleaned up and eventually sold to some very lucky soul. I wish it well.Farhad Manjoo, “Why I returned my iPhone,” SALON, July 13, 2007

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: At least Manjoo fully realized that what he was returning was a paradigm destroyer – a device that would change everything – even as he deprived himself of the early adopter’s joy of using, living, and growing with the seminal iPhone.

Poor Vanessa’s just clueless.

SEE ALSO:


Living with Apple Watch: One month in – June 3, 2015
Apple Watch: The early adopter’s take – June 1, 2015
Jean-Louis Gassée: Five weeks with Apple Watch – May 31, 2015
Ben Thompson: Apple Watch is being serially underestimated – May 20, 2015
BGR reviews Apple Watch: ‘A major technological achievement; you won’t want to take it off’ – May 7, 2015
The Telegraph reviews Apple Watch: Object of desire – May 7, 2015
Cult of Mac reviews Apple Watch: ‘Futuristic, fun and fan-flipping-tastic’ – April 28, 2015
PC Magazine reviews Apple Watch: ‘The best smartwatch available’ – April 28, 2015
Tech.pinions’ Ben Bajarin reviews Apple Watch: ‘Powerful’ and ‘completely new’ – April 8, 2015
WSJ’s Stern reviews Apple Watch: ‘Good looks and coolness’ – April 8, 2015
The Verge’s Patel reviews Apple Watch: ‘A masterpiece of engineering’ – April 8, 2015
WSJ’s Fowler reviews Apple Watch: ‘The first smartwatch worth buying’ – April 8, 2015
Yahoo Tech’s Pogue reviews Apple Watch: ‘Magical’
New York Times’ Manjoo reviews Apple Watch: ‘A power you can’t live without’ – April 8, 2015
Bloomberg’s Topolsky reviews Apple Watch: ‘The world’s best smartwatch’ – April 8, 2015
USA Today’s Baig reviews Apple Watch: ‘Second to none; I want one’ – April 8, 2015

57 Comments

    1. The article was written by Vanessa Friedman, and it makes some points about how people treat you when you wear an Apple Watch.

      MDN responds by making endless references to an unrelated author & publication — and early iPhone review by Farhad Manjoo that had several completely different (but also valid for 2007) points, many of which were aimed at AT&T.

      Frankly, it looks like MDN can’t take fashion criticism from fashion reviewers. Today we know that nobody cares about fashion when buying an iPhone — the first thing they do is wrap a cheap skin of polyurethane around it — but given how hard Apple is working to make the Apple Watch a luxury fashion item, it’s extremely naive of Apple and its loyal super fans to be surprised when the fickle fashionistas move on to their next fad in wrist wear after only a short while. Don’t worry, though, MDN. The Apple Watch will come back in style in about 2040.

      1. Couldn’t agree more Green.

        MDN: you’re clinging. Reaching. Look around you. Apple Watches are not everywhere. In fact, they’re hardly anywhere to be found. No amount of you getting blue in the face is going to change whether people buy the Apple Watch or not. The market will decide, not you and not your clan of fanboys.

        If it’s useful to people and they’re willing to pay the money for it, then they might buy it. The market will speak, and if they speak by saying no to the Apple Watch, you’ll speak by vomiting more excuses about why they’re not buying it and why they should.

        Let me say this again like I’ve said many times. Computing on a watch is a failed endeavour. It’s not going to take. That’s my prediction. It’ll be relegated to niche markets and more focused devices like the Fitbit.

        1. I wore my fitbit everyday of 15 months. It fell apart and I used duck tape to keep it together as I waited for my apple watch. I paid $100+ for the fitbit and $400 for the lowest priced iwatch. It is a much better product than the fitbit as it is better made and its capabilities far exceed the fitbit.
          the night article complained of a few items that I have not experienced – for example, I never have waking problems on my watch when I turn my wrist. Also, while I have had a few questions, these questions have not been nearly as frequent as she, apparently, has experienced. And anyway, who cares, how long will that go on, a few months? Grow up.
          Glancing down to see texts or emails at a glance has significantly reduced dragging the phone out of my pocket to see messages. It is very handy and I expect 2-3 years of good use out of it – 4 years would be great.

          1. So you paid 4 times as much for the luxury-oriented Apple watch and seem surprised that it is more solid. Nobody ever held up the fitbit as an example of durability or value. but Apple fans here think that their new wrist accessories are essential and are laying on the snake oil pretty thick. When a minor software bump is blasted as if it was like getting a new AW, it’s a bit much. hardcore Apple fans, why so touchy? If people don’t like Apple’s idea of fashion or need one of its products, what’s the big deal? It’s not like you need to own every Apple product released. Or is that now mandatory? Will silver hawk label us all trolls if we aren’t immediate adopters and apostles for each and every product Apple releases?

      2. I’m sure you are really into “fashion” as you seem to be the type. But I find it difficult to value the opinion of a woman who probably thinks it’s kickass to wear spike high heels with jeans. I will stick to the views and opinions of those who have a clue, and it’s not her and it sure isn’t you.

      3. and the evidence of that reaction from Apple is? Why do you feel competent enough to propose that you know what Apple’s reaction is, as there is no evidence in this article or replies to it to base that on. As such it seems that you are simply inventing a supposition to back up a rather unsubtle example of your own (possibly unrecognised) prejudice. Maybe look in the mirror next time and think about that before you make baseless assumptions to support biased argumenst and expect it not to be noticed.

  1. Sounds like Farhad Manjoo pretty much nailed it. I’m sure now that the iPhone’s usefulness has made the high cost of a two-year plan worth it for most people Mr. Manjoo has in fact purchased a smartphone. At the time what was saying was correct though, it was pretty expensive for limited and often slow functionality. It took a huge investment of the part of the carriers to make it what it is today.

  2. It’s a fashion accessory for a future beginning now. Critics employ analysis, which uses the past to explain the present. That is no better than your five-day weather forecast.

    1. A lady friend predicted that more women than men will buy the Watch for its utility after the early adoption phase.

      She pointed out that women don’t usually have big pockets to constantly keep their phones in reach, so the Watch will be a serious convenience.

  3. I do not think the watch is for everyone so no big deal.
    I have no desire to get one and if things change over time i’ll buy one but today I’m happily ape watchless.

      1. If I showed up at your doorstep wearing a Watch that brilliantly complemented my evening ensemble, you might have kinder words to describe it. We could fend off the boredom with a nice chat in the yard over a decent Riesling and a cheese board, discussing architecture and chess.

  4. So I actually own Apple watch with two bands. I use everyday. It last longer than 24hr. I use 60 percent of current features. I love it and suspect everyone will have one in the next 3 years.
    Reminds me of first iPhone , stupid articles about why is sucks and why Im taking it back…. same BS. Warning it will not wash your car, you can not watch 3d tv on it, and it is not an IPHONE!

    1. Ikmd

      Could not agree more. I have an Apple Watch and love it. And with the new update I will love it more. As more and more of them get into the wild, more and more people are going to find out how useful they are.

    2. Totally agree as well. Works well. Unquestionably essential? Not yet. Worthwhile? Absolutely! Some of the negative comments in this thread make me chuckle inside (sorry, but I laugh AT the commenters, not WITH them). “We don’t see Apple watches everywhere in the world yet”…um, ok…you won’t see the one I wear as it’s under my sleeve most of the day. When I get a notification, I can see it just fine. 🙂 Or the perennial whining about the cost of some product or other. $400 is a drop in the bucket for many (it certainly is for me). If it’s a stretch to afford it, then just pass on buying one until the “value proposition” is high enough for your material sacrifice, but don’t pretend it isn’t worth every penny just because you can’t scrape the coin together to own one. Some of the critical comments just come across as sour grapes and aren’t at all persuasive.

  5. I just ordered the Lunatik Black Anodized Aluminum case with matching Black Anodized Aluminum Link Band from their already fully funded Kickstarter campaign for only $150. Ships in September. Meanwhile my $20 ActionProof Italian Black Rubber Bumper is in the post to tide me over.💥😱😜🎉🚀⌚️

  6. I get so tired of these stupid articles…I love my Apple Watch even in it’s infant state. Sure it might not be for everybody but so many people totally do not “get” it. Also, after every WWDC I hear nothing but a bunch of people trash talking Apple and saying how the keynote was boring, a snooze fest, and so on. WWDC 2015 was very exciting and Apple is doing some amazing things! The future is looking bright!

    1. Well said! Please, tech world, do not let people write articles who don’t “get it” and sound so old. Leave it for people who have an imagination and can see past the end of their own nose.

      1. I already responded to the other cited article, about the writer, posted yesterday so I won’t repeat it here.

        I am not sure what is happening with the NY Times, wasn’t it Brian X Chen who wrote that Japanese HATE the iPhone? Now he is one of the senior Tech Bloggers for NYT.

        There is another woman who writes (wrote) for the LifeStyle of NY Times, and she said almost the same tone about the iPhone when it was very new. I thought it was it was the same writer as the author for this article.

        I cannot find the article in the archives of NY Times, I wonder if it was placed in the graveyard of “What a shame to have been written by one of our staff”

        If someone can find that article about the iPhone being given up by a NY Times LifeStyle writer, I would be grateful.

        At least Manjoo seems more analytical, even with his piece about Ads.

        CGC

    2. Yes, I’m 68 and everyone I know, save one, doesn’t understand why anyone would want an WATCH. All Luddites with massive ignorance and vapid curiosity. Not one even wants me to show them how it works or explain why I love it. Plus I’m sorta in the country where tech is less prominent in most people’s lives. I’m on an advisory board for our Senior Computer Center and I can’t even get another board member to give a rats ass about WATCH. Very demoralizing for an WATCH & Apple Enthusiast like me. This board is the only place I can find any friends who share my feelings. Thanks everybody.😍⌚️😃

  7. Just got my space grey today with black band… Having fun. My wife loves hers (she has had it for about a week). It’s a beautiful piece of art that only Apple could make. Looking forward to updates, more faces, new apps, etc.

  8. Voice dial? When was that ever a make or break feature? Especially in 2007. Who thinks it’s a make or break feature today? Someone was splitting hairs trying to justify an article.

    1. Exactly. I’ve had mine for just a week, after the 1.0.1 update. The biggest thing that stands out to me is how full-featured it and the app are. I had no idea it had so many features and settings and so polished. It could have been half of what we have and just as successful. Apple Watch is far ahead of where iPhone was at this point.

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