Neil Cybart: Apple’s missed opportunity at WWDC

While stating that, for the third year in a row, Apple held an impressive WWDC, Neil Cybart says that the company missed a big opportunity at this year’s WWDC to push its most personal product – Apple Watch – even further than it has already.

Focus helps users filter notifications to reduce distractions, using a custom Focus or a suggested Focus like Work or Sleep.
Focus helps users filter notifications to reduce distractions, using a custom Focus or a suggested Focus like Work or Sleep.

Neil Cybart for Above Avalon:

There were three specific instances in which Apple had the chance to add functionality to the Apple Watch but instead chose to puts its focus on less robust alternatives. It is in Apple’s best interest to expand Apple Watch functionality in order for the device to handle an increasing number of tasks currently given to smartphones and tablets.

• Focus: Apple missed a big opportunity to position the Apple Watch as a solution for iPhone information overload.

• Smart Home: Apple missed another opportunity to position the Apple Watch as a key differentiator when it comes to grabbing territory in the home… Apple seemingly ignored how nearly 110 million of its users already have Siri always on them when at home by wearing an Apple Watch.

• Siri Watch Face: For the third year in a row, Apple acted as if the Siri watch face didn’t exist. While Apple can technically use its fall event for unveiling new Apple Watch hardware to also announce updates to the Siri watch face, such a scenario doesn’t seem likely.

There are two possible explanations for Apple’s actions:

1) Apple believes wrapping the Apple Watch around health makes the device an easier sell with consumers. There may be a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality at play with Apple Watch product marketing. Apple’s current Apple Watch strategy involving health (and fitness) seems to be connecting with customers as seen by Apple Watch unit sales (the following are my estimates):

• 2018: 22 million units
• 2019: 26 million
• 2020: 31 million

2) Apple is close to announcing its entry into face wearables. Apple may not want to spend years positioning Apple Watch as a certain kind of device only to have it be surpassed by a pair of lightweight smart glasses (AR / mixed reality). Instead, Apple is focused on pushing Apple Watch in a direction that it is confident will complement a pair of smart glasses.

MacDailyNews Take: There is much more in the highly recommended full article here.

10 Comments

  1. why do these people not understand simple physics?

    They don’t push the Apple watch for the mirad of other things it can do because they are at the limits of whats possible right now in battery life Vs amount of actions in a day.

    It would be very foolish for them to actively promote all that it actually can do as then the battery would die after 2 hours use. It’s no rocket science to understand this so Apple have picked its direction and thats what they focus on for now.

    No one can use it for all it can do and still have it working all day as everyone is under the same battery constraints.

    1. Not everyone is under the same battery constraints. Only those with Series 1-5. Series 6 has much longer battery life – 40 hours. Plus it charges way faster too – in only 100 minutes.

  2. My Apple Watch Series 6 gets over 40 hours between charges and charges in 100 minutes. I don’t understand all the battery is no good comments. If those comments are true the customer should get a new battery replacement from Apple.

    1. The battery is fine, but it sounds like your use case is very light. I’m down to roughly 60% in the evening after charging it to 100% overnight. I could probably get away with a second full day but there’s no sense worrying about whether it will die and having to charge it in the middle of the day, like an iPhone it’s no problem to just charge it overnight. Instead of longer battery life I’d like to see it stay the same but in a slimmer (larger diameter if necessary) package. The thickness hasn’t changed since gen 1 and I’m regularly whacking or nicking it against doorknobs and such, luckily the sapphire screen has held up well thus far in my gen 4, the gen 1s screen started falling off after 5 years.

      1. The Series 4 battery lasts way less than the Series 6 battery. Plus the Series 6 battery charges way faster than the Series 4 battery – in only 100 minutes.

  3. I went from Series 3 for two years then to a Series 5 for only one year and now the blue Series 6 since last November 2020. Big noticible improvement in both battery life and charging speed between 5 & 6. I switched from 5 to 6 because I wanted the Blue Apple Watch Series 6. But the battery difference was an unexpectedly pleasant surprise. So anyone here who is complaining about the battery probably doesn’t have a 44mm Series 6 model. While everyone would like longer battery life, 40 hours between charges is pretty good. And 100 minute charges is also very fast.

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