While Apple started taking pre-orders for the new Watch on the 10th of April, with the first week’s sales estimated anywhere between 1 million to 2.3 million units, one still cannot help but wonder what its purpose is.
With the basic Watch Sport model (with an aluminum case, ion-x glass, composite back) priced at $ 349 and a slightly upgraded version with a stainless steel case, a sapphire crystal and a ceramic back going for $ 549 it has to be really good to warrant the price, which is not too far from the $ 700 the 16 GB iPhone 6 costs and which seems even higher when thinking about the functionality each device can provide.
And it tries to do just that and even surpass the function of a simple time keeping device. But to achieve this, the Watch needs to and is designed to pair exclusively with an iPhone 5 or iPhone 6 device in order to be set up properly and customized.
Even after this initial step, it depends quite a bit on the phone for the advanced capabilities. For example, placing calls, sending and receiving messages require you to have the phone close by and connected to the Watch. Even for past events such as already sent or received messages, calls log and notifications you need to first sync the watch with the iPhone.
Want some music or some photos on your Watch? You can do that but first you have to sync it with your phone and pull them from the phone’s storage or from the iCloud.
Want to use Apple Pay and Passbook for easy payments or storing various boarding passes, tickets, and loyalty cards? That’s also possible but you require your iPhone to push the required information to the Watch, such as debit or credit card details and QR codes for tickets. There is also a camera remote app that you can use to command your iPhone to take a picture.
Then there are the apps that don’t necessarily require the iPhone like mail, calendar but which will want to keep in sync on both devices to avoid missing out on important information or appointments in case you leave your watch behind or its battery is empty. Even Siri works without your iPhone so long as you don’t ask it to call someone.
The apps that don’t require the iPhone at all are the fitness apps which monitor your physical activity, the maps, the weather and stocks apps, the basic time keeping apps and even a remote app for your Apple TV.
The third party apps, on the other hand, require a permanent connection between the Watch and the iPhone to work.
For now it is sure that the pre-orders come from the gadget geek crowd and Apple followers who are not turned down by the shortcomings of the device, such as the need to charge it daily, the price and the interface which is difficult to navigate due to the small screen and different design than what can be found on the iPhone.
As the sales in Apple stores will not be possible until June and the chance to view and try the Watch in person will take some time because it is not even available in all their locations, people will have enough time to evaluate if looking at your watch instead of the simple act of taking your phone out of your pocket to accomplish the same task is worth the financial commitment and willingness to accept Apple’s locked in ecosystem.
Image Source: Techradar
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