Apple Watch Turns One

A year on, this wearable from Apple continues to divide wearable gadget users across the world

Apple Watch Turns One

When the Cupertino-based tech giant launched the Apple Watch exactly a year and one day ago, the response was tepid. Fans of the company were excited but not exactly gushing while detractors barely managed to stifle a yawn. And, the only ones who were drooling were Tim Cook and his band of designers.

The reasons were not far to see. Apple’s earlier offerings – right from the MacBook range to the iPhones and the iPads, the company had shifted the market paradigm each time, often making naysayers eat humble pie.

A year on, how does the market feel? Opinion remains divided – but that is true for all Apple products, isn’t it? Remember the binary system (0,1) that we keep harping on at Techtree?

A report published in Digital Trends suggests that sales of the Apple Watch in the first 365 days after its launch have actually exceeded that of the first iPhone. The new device sold twice as many units in a year compared to the iPhone, the device that made touchscreen the norm, during 2007-2008.

The report suggests that the Apple Watch sells around 12 to 13 million units, putting it second behind the record-breaking 19.5 million units of iPads sold in its first year. If one were to compare this with the 6.1 million iPhones shipped in the first year, the fan boys have a reason to smile. (Read the full story)

Of course, there are those who say that the price cut for Apple Watches caused this turnaround. A report published in Apple Insider quotes metrics from Slice Intelligence to suggest that the USD 50 cut in entry-level watches caused average daily sales to jump 250 per cent sequentially.

Be that as it may, the Apple Watch remains a critical component when the markets assess Tim Cook’s tenure as successor to Steve Jobs. Apart from being the first product released in Cook’s tenure, the watch launch coincided with an expected softening of sales of iPads and iPhones.

Of course, there are hurdles to overcome, as this video of Wall Street Journal suggests.

At Techtree, we decided to do a quick check of how the digital world reacted to the first anniversary of the Apple Watch:

What’s not worked for Apple Watch?

  • The obvious complaints are – it is slow; it has an underpowered processor that gets throttled further to enhance battery life; it lacks mobile and GPS connectivity etc.
  • At an ephemeral level, analysts are not quite clear about defining its purpose. While it is smart in some aspects, such as activity tracking, mobile payments and notifications, it needs an iPhone to work.
  • On another front, the Apple ecosystem has not really fallen for the product in terms of building apps. Barring a few from travel and hospitality industry, there is nothing to boast of.

What works for Apple Watch?

  • Half a decade from now, people are going to feel weird at not having a smart watch, says Adam Grossman, creator Dark Sky, the popular weather app for the iPhone. He feels that the Apple Watch will find its own niche.
  • The fact that the product comes from the Apple stables makes people (at least the fan boys as well as fence sitters) want to give it more time. They hark back to the early iPhone and iPod experience and what it eventually turned out to be in the smartphone and smart music markets.
  • For many of the users, the Apple Watch has become the one wearable that they use to track appointments, view and respond to text messages and deal with any number of notifications that they receive.

What Users Expect in Year Two?

  • A definitive improvement in speed so that interactions are quick and stops users from getting exasperated and reaching out for their iPhones from the trouser pocket
  • The Siri feature appears rather under-used on the watch and Apple would do well to allow it to command any app on the phone with the user’s voice, not just a handful of programs that it allows now.
  • Most importantly, Apple should look to ways to delink the watch from the smartphone. A report published in Engadget suggests that the next edition could include cellular access and have a faster processor.

While the company has not officially commented on the future of the Apple Watch, there was a mandate from the company to all apps should be native to the watch and not extensions of the iPhone apps.

So, what can we look forward over the next twelve months? Rumors abound. And competition is active – be it Samsung or LG – their products are lined up and even at this point they offer 3G and 4G coverage.

At the end of the day, Apple would have to come up with that one killer feature or app that defines the future. Of course, there is also a question of how this product ties up with the enterprise segment of the industry?

Of course, a company that earns USD 6 billion a year from the product would definitely seek to enhance its revenues.

Meanwhile, here is what a regular Apple Watch user thinks of the device…

Tags : Apple, Apple Watch