Apple’s ‘By Innovation Only’ event: The overlooked innovation

Apple Watch Series 5.
Apple Watch Series 5 features the Always-On Retina display

Mark Hibben for Seeking Alpha:

Much of the tech and business media have overlooked the important hardware innovations Apple showed at the Sept. 10 event…

Each generation of Watch has been a step along the path to that future, with the biggest step being the addition of LTE cellular capability. This year, we didn’t see quite as significant a step as that, but the addition of the always-on screen was another step forward, and I consider this to have been the most important innovation of the launch event.

The key innovation here was being able to offer the display while maintaining the 18-hour battery life of the Watch without having to greatly increase the battery size. Other companies offer always-on displays, but burden their smartwatches with batteries that make their Watches much more bulky.

Watch, with the always-on display, is looking very strong for the holidays. And iPhone, even without 5G, will hold its own, although no one expects unit growth this fiscal year. But Apple has cleverly positioned its new TV+ service to reinforce hardware sales. No other streaming service could afford to give away a free year of service.

And there’s much to look forward to next year: The first 5G iPhones, more TV+ content, even better Apple Watches, and those AR glasses. I remain long Apple and rate it a buy.

MacDailyNews Take: How many Apple Watch users, even those with Series 4 models, will want to upgrade to Series 5 for the Always-On Retina display? We sure do and have already ordered ours!

Interns, we salute you with mugs in hand waiting to be filled once you do your duty! TTK!

Cheers, everyone (except for Rod Hall)!

You’ll get nothing, Rod, and like it.


    1. Yes. This. Always on is a winner. It’s a great move. Apple wins again. Finally, we will even see some of the dummbbest always off commenters here find themselves to at last be always on once they upgrade to Apple Watch Series 5

    2. This was always my biggest gripe, checking the time had to be a more obvious wrist turn or screen tap than simply glancing at the time like on a normal wristwatch. I’m surprised they got to this point so quickly. With the supply chain being so perforated with spies and leakers for external hardware changes, these types of under-the-hood/software advances (or Apple TV+ pricing for example) are becoming Apple’s big reveals.

  1. If Apple did an always-on-display I always thought it would be a minimal design with most of the display blacked out and just the time as white text or a pair of arms. I certainly didn’t expect the same fully featured watch faces with only slight modifications, amazing implementation.

    I personally see more utility in implementing an always-on-display over sleep tracking. Far more people will use and benefit from this feature compared to sleep tracking.

    Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait for sleep tracking as it will be another valuable health feature but this feature brings AppleWatch closer to acting like a classical watch than ever before which is fantastic. I suspect we will see a well implemented sleep tracking system in the next year or so.

    This has pretty much been the pattern with AppleWatch, each year Apple introduces one or two major innovations that are well thought out (early years were rough though). Each time they tick another box and AppleWatch becomes even better value for more people.
    This year Apple has also made AppleWatch more accessible by lowering the price of the Series 3 which in some ways is just as significant as the always-on-display.

    I would like to see them implement a UV sensor or something that could measure how much real exposure you’ve had to the sun. I think this could be as important and life changing as the heart sensors. It’s exactly the same idea as the noise alerts but instead of trying to prevent hearing loss it could help prevent skin cancers.

  2. I was going to upgrade my Series 4 but Apple’s trade-in value for it is only $100. So I’ll keep it for another year. I had three iPhones to upgrade with Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program, which is great, but still cost $90 in activation/upgrade fees and about $150 in sales tax.

  3. Going GPS Only Gold Aluminum because unlike Series 3 GPS Only which still only has 8GB of storage vs 16GB for the Cellular model, all Series 5 models have 32GB of storage. Saving $100 for a feature I never used in my Series 3 Cellular model and $10 a month I never spent. As long as the iPhone is nearby there’s no reason to buy and subscribe to WATCH Cellular service. Only runners without the iPhone nearby with compulsive telephonic communication needs and those who don’t want an aluminum case really need the Cellular version.

    1. I don’t agree. There are times when I don’t want to have the phone with me. There are times I forget I left it in my shop in the basement, or in the garage, where the signals don’t reach my watch. Sure, at home the WiFi will help that, but not when I’m somewhere else.

      If I’m in the shower, I get a call that’s easy to respond to, amazingly. And yes, sometimes I must, even briefly. But I don’t want my smartphone in there with me, despite it being water resistant.I’ve found it to be very useful. If you can’t afford that extra amount, or the $10 a month, or refuse to, then that’s understandable.

  4. Well, I also ordered the new one, again in black SS, as I always do. But honestly, even though I do like the always, sort of, on display, I’d better like a longer battery life.

    I usually get almost, but not quite, a two day life. I prefer getting more than that, at least a guaranteed two day life.

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